On behalf of all fitness professionals, registered dietitians, nutritionists, physicians, nurses, physical therapists, and anyone else in the world who tries day in and day out to motivate, encourage, cajole, threaten, scare, and beg us to get healthy and fit, this one’s for you.

We, all the aforementioned groups and professions, acknowledge the following:

• You are busy

• You are out of town

• TV was good last night

• You lost your Internet connection

• You are sick

• The conference lunch had bad food choices

• Your job is stressful

• You are busy

• You want to put that weekend food orgy behind you by ignoring it

• You eat organic

• They made you a cake

• You are busy

• Your family is sick

• You are allergic to South African bee pollen

• Your car is at the shop

• Your dog is sick

• Your child failed a test

• Dunkin’ Doughnuts had a sale

• Soft-serve yogurt with Oreo toppings probably does have some calcium

• You are busy

• Your cat is sick

• Your cactus fell over

• You forgot to wash your workout clothes

• You are tired

• Your pinky nail fell off

• The moon is out of phase with Jupiter

• You are busy

Feel better? Good.

Now that’s out of the way, I can say: NONE of that, NONE OF IT, is a reason to not keep up with what you’re eating and get in your weekly physical activity. Wanna know how I KNOW it’s not a reason? I use my “$100 million prize” litmus test. If starting tomorrow, I said “hit your goal and you’ll get $100 million” I know dang well you’d find a way. Friends tempting you with a cocktail? “No thank you, I have a goal and alcohol doesn’t align with it.” Kids screaming for ice cream on the way home? “Sorry kids, you can have something at home. We are not stopping. I have a goal.” Feeling a little tired? “I’m not too tired to cook a healthy dinner and I know I can squeeze in a measly hour at the gym, even if I’m moving slow. It’s only an hour and I’ve got a goal to hit.”

My $100 million, litmus test helps me see where we have priority issues vs. true, unmoving challenges. Remember, plenty of folks have been right where a lot of us are standing and still managed to stay on track, keep up with their nutrition, and work out on a regular schedule — even without the giant prize.

Here’s another way of looking at it: have you EVER heard someone say, “Man, my life has gone crazy. My dog died, I got a divorce, lost my house, was laid off at work, and have been diagnosed with Ebola. I’ve been so stressed out I haven’t brushed my teeth in six months?” I highly doubt it. And do you know why? There are just some things in our lives that we do unconditionally. We always take a shower, brush our teeth, comb our hair, put on some clean underwear, and try to chew with our mouths closed. No matter what life throws at us, we have some things we just do no matter what. In order to attain and maintain a healthy lifestyle, we have all got to move “good food choices” and “regular physical activity” into that do-it-no-matter-what category. No excuses. Nothing gets in our way.

And before you get mad, know I am not minimizing the stress and strain of daily life. It’s hard. I admit it. IT’S HARD. So now what? Stand there kicking at the dirt, repeating “it’s hard” and don’t change anything? Or, suck it up, give yourself a kick, and make some permanent changes? I’d opt for making some changes.

So, to take a line from “Jerry McGuire,” help us help you! In a few months, you’ll be stupid happy that you did.

• NSCA certified personal trainer Shannon Sorrels has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and an MBA. Her Ahwatukee-based company, Physix LLC, works with Valley individuals and groups to improve their overall fitness. Reach her at (480) 528-5660 or visit www.azphysix.com.

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