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Alicia Kirschenheiter is an American Council on Exercise Certified Advanced Health & Fitness Expert, Personal Trainer, Fitness Coach, Certified Weight & Lifestyle Management consultant and Certified Wellcoach. Alicia is owner of Evolution Total Wellness Inc. located in New York, providing health and wellness solutions for individuals and businesses. Alicia is also a published fitness, health and wellness writer for a variety of venues and author of Oscar and Otis – Fat Fighters, a children’s book about healthy lifestyle choices.

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The Pursuit of Ultimate Wellness
by Alicia Kirschenheiter, Certified Advanced Health & Fitness Expert, Personal Trainer, Fitness Coach

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So by now you are well on your way into the Diet.com 6-week New Year's Weight Loss Challenge. Your body should be showing signs of changing. Not great leaps, but small steady changes. You are beginning to feel stronger, less tired and more energetic. Maybe the stairs aren't so breathtaking... and the groceries not so heavy. Awesome, right?

Learning more about yourself, your body and your likes and dislikes when it comes to your fitness needs is all part of the process. Another large and important part of the process is finding the right support for your transformation. No man is an island. Seems like a really silly cliché, but it makes a really good point. In your pursuit of fitness and wellness as a long-term lifestyle, finding the right support system is crucial. Because the pursuit of ultimate health is a life-long journey, there are ups, downs and often a lot of mediocre in the middle. Positive support systems can keep us motivated, grounded and accountable.

What is good support? Well, not all the people we surround ourselves with can truly be viewed as positive lifestyle support. For instance, my mom (to this day!) still smokes and unless a meal is broiled or fried, she doesn't eat too much of it. We laugh that she is my worst client. However, my mom is generally surrounded by other people who support her not-so-health-conscious lifestyle habits. They help her perpetuate the bad decisions by reinforcing the behavior with their own bad health habits.

Conversely, finding people that have the healthy lifestyle you desire and admire or who are making positive lifestyle changes may help reinforce your positive lifestyle momentum. Now that's not to say every person you socialize with needs to be a fitness junkie, but it would be my hope that the people in your life respect and support your healthy minded choices and changes. I have had the occasion where people closest to my clients actually rebel against them becoming fitter and healthier. Change is hard, not just for us, but for the people who love us. Sometimes bettering ourselves can cause fear and insecurity in others. People fear change especially if they also feel left behind. Be patient. Seeing that you truly want the best health for yourself and that being your best self will also benefit them in the long run will win them over.

Of course your fitness pursuit may also inspire someone else. Remember inspiration can happen when you least expect it. You may unknowingly become the support for someone else. Seeing the same faces at the gym, a smile, a nod, a heads up can be enough to qualify what they're doing as being the right thing. The greatest compliment I have ever received was being an inspiration for someone else to become healthy. It creates an inexplicable feeling of doing something right.

Be inspiration and be well.


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