THE BLOG
10/03/2011 08:12 am ET Updated Nov 29, 2011

Let Fitness Change Your Life

For many of us, it's befuddling to figure out how to improve our lives. Here's my shot at it.

When you decide to eat right and exercise regularly, the person you become has it much easier. Life isn't as complicated, and more opportunities come your way. This simple philosophy changed my life. I used to have so many problems when I was younger. Everything was difficult. So much drama and conflict. I was lazy, tired and overwhelmed much of the time. Life was a struggle because I couldn't deal with reality. Not in a million years would I have equated a poor diet and lack of physical activity as the bane of my existence.

In my late twenties and early thirties, I began to eat better and workout more regularly. Suddenly, new opportunities came my way, my confidence improved and the drama began to fade. At that time, I would have never thought life outside of my workouts was improving just because of my lifestyle choices. I didn't have the knowledge to put two and two together. I chalked it up to luck, nothing more. There were times in those days when I'd get lazy, eat garbage food and blow off my workouts -- and sure enough, life got complicated again.

When my opportunities in the fitness industry started to explode, my eating habits and workouts were fairly consistent. When I was working on fitness programs for Beachbody in the late nineties, it was incredibly challenging but I never thought for a second that I wasn't ready or capable. It wasn't a right-place-at-the-right-time kind of luck that created these opportunities. It was an opportunity-meeting-readiness kind of luck. Because of my workouts and clean diet, I had the energy and enthusiasm to create something that could change millions of people's lives. I finally had a clear understanding that my regular exercise and healthy eating habits had everything to do with my triumphs.

The more consistent I was with workouts and diet, the more opportunities came my way. As a boy I ate too much junk and, outside of sports, never exercised. As a result, my life was a mess. I struggled because I didn't have the brain power of a person who was firing on all cylinders. During my sometimes-on-sometimes-off phase I suffered from what I call "fitness bipolar disorder." Lack of consistency didn't allow me to reap the life-altering benefits of a true health and wellness lifestyle. In the last decade I have learned how daily whole foods and near-daily exercise will provide opportunities for a better life.

Of course, I'm not alone in this way of thinking. Since my revelation, books such as John Ratey's "Spark," as well as "Younger Next Year" by Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge have come along and helped cement my philosophy.

I'm telling you this because I want you to realize that life can be incredible -- not through roll-of-the-dice luck, money, tutelage, education or status. I know plenty of very smart people with lots of money and most of them are miserable. Joy, happiness, opportunities, success and the life you want comes from making "the change" to a lifestyle that involves taking care of yourself. What seems hard as hell at first will turn your life into a wonderful world of endless experiences, purpose, plenty of opportunities and the vim and vigor to enjoy life for the rest of your life. The issues and drama of the past will fade because you had the courage to make consistent fitness and healthy food a priority.