08/19/2012 08:06 am ET Updated Oct 19, 2012

How I Went From Late-30s Slouch to Early-40s Sexy Without Ever Using the Words 'I Really Should...'

Don't get me wrong; I used to use the words "I really should" a lot. My wife used them too, saying things like "You really should get in shape." I really should.

Life takes over day after day, and by the time you raise your head again and remember that you decided that you really should work out, any muscle mass is gone, and what was once a budding muscle is now just a soft spot.

"But I am really busy!" I used to think.

"Yes, busy making bad excuses," I would argue back.

I decided to take a lesson from my wife. By the time I would have my coffee in the morning, she would have already come back from a run and would be in the middle of the first of two aerobic Bob Harper tapes. She never had to force herself. It seemed like the effort that it took for her to remain fit was the amount of effort I would put into a crossword puzzle. I realized that there had to be an easier way. Instead of forcing myself to take the same physical actions she was taking, I resolved to take a closer look at what makes us struggle in the fight to get fit. What is it that makes certain activities seem so difficult?

The fact is, there is nothing difficult about working out. You are in the moment, you sweat, and while you are moving, it feels good! The torture we perceive is just that -- a perception. The procrastination is all mental. The excuses are all mental. The solution, then, also has to be mental.

Who's in Charge?

By the time you find yourself procrastinating, it is already too late. You will not be working out. Your subconscious has a plan, and it can't and won't just let you get up one day and decide to get fit. If you try, it will mess it up for you. If you really try, it will let you have a win or two, and then mess it up for you again. Sound familiar? I thought so. The question, then, is what is the subconscious trying to achieve? Certainly not health and longevity! In fact, all your subconscious is doing is matching the outcome of your actions with your core beliefs. Simple.

You want to be fit and sexy, but it doesn't matter what you want. The plan behind your fitness and health is what you believe... how you see yourself deep down. The outcome is obvious: your body! Take a long, hard look at your body. Dig down deep. Is there a heart attack waiting to happen? Is there a disease building up in there? Your genetic makeup is most likely complete enough to allow for a fit life. Your actions, triggered by your subconscious and guided by your beliefs, are what brought you to the here and now.

Believe Differently

The key is your belief, your view of reality, the world, and yourself.

It's important to replace beliefs that make you procrastinate with ones that will make you fit. Once you do, your subconscious will begin to change direction. Imagine when it stops making you procrastinate, and starts making working out feel like fun! There will be very little struggle between mind and body.

I went about this in two ways:

1. Visualizations and Affirmations:

I told myself that I was fit and sexy, again and again, for days. I saw myself healthy. I even created a curved mirror that allowed me to see myself thinner.

2. Stern Talk:

With myself, of course! I said something like, "Self, I know that I taught you to make excuses and to procrastinate, but that part of my life is over. I am setting a new course. From now on I am fit and attractive. From now on you are no longer making it difficult for me to work out. From now on you are making it fun and easy to work out. You are going to find time to work out."

I went from thinking running a mile was crazy to running over 20 miles! I now work out two to four times a week, and it is never a struggle. I hardly ever procrastinate, and I never utter the words "I really should." The success was not in the trying; it was in the letting go. It came when I set the right course in my mind and allowed it all to happen. No matter where you are right now, how much you weigh or how many push-ups you can or can't do, you can be better. Change is not easy, and will not happen overnight, but it also doesn't have to be a struggle.

It's your turn. Make it happen.

For more by Hanaan Rosenthal, click here.

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