Constantly I’m posed with the same question from different people I encounter. “I want to lose weight fast…how do I start?” Instead of constructing a meal plan or mapping out a workout regimen, I approach the question with a question of my own. What’s your reason for wanting to get fit? What’s your motivation? What’s your why?
Roughly 6 years ago, I was the victim of a senseless crime that almost cost me my life. This couldn’t have happened at a more pivotal period as I had just married my wife and we were expecting our first child. While going through rehabilitation I made a conscious decision to change my lifestyle and take my fitness more seriously. I envisioned not being around when my son was born. Or rather physically not being able to keep up with my energetic children. I was once told, as a parent my responsibility is to leave lasting memories for my children. I want to be remembered as the father who attended his son’s basketball games. The dad in the audience shedding tears of joy as he watches his daughter walk across the stage and accept her college degree. Without physically being at my best, I know meeting the high demands of parenthood would be next to impossible. That’s my reason, my motivation, my why.
Discovering your why is as easy as focusing on what you’re passionate about the most. For some it can be a spouse/partner, for others it can even be responding to an event or experience that had a major impact on your life (near death experience, traumatic illness/physical limitation). So many people lose hope and accept being unhealthy/out-of-shape as “who they are.” All it takes is a little motivation and something to trigger that zeal for more which I believe everyone has within.
One method which works well especially for me is surrounding myself with like-minded individuals. The power of accountability is knowing there is always going to be someone you can count on to steer you back on track when necessary. Also utilizing the plethora of tools that are available in promoting a healthy lifestyle is a major key. There are several fitness apps such as MyFitnessPal which I personally use that do a great job in encouraging healthy living. From healthy recipes, to daily calorie counters and even an active community of users are some to the benefits of utilizing the app and many others like it.
If you’re at the point where you know you need to be a better version of yourself and are ready for change, ask yourself what’s your why. Prepare yourself for this fitness journey that’s going to test you more so mentally than physically. I truly believe the only way to successfully be physically transformed is by first renewing your mind. Those days when you feel like quitting, remind yourself of your why and allow it to consume you. Before you know it, you’re right back on track.
It’s especially important to have a strong support system and/or community which one can rely on for encouragement and motivation, this is where Lift Africa thrives. It’s rare to find an organization that prides itself in being a community of like-minded individuals with the sole purpose of uplifting others through fitness, not only physically but mentally as well. Being of Nigerian descent, I find it refreshing to be affiliated with Lift Africa, a company primarily conceived with the health and well-being of individuals of the African decent. Health, wellness, commitment and growth are not only Lift Africa’s main objectives, they’re also the active ingredients for a progressive lifestyle.
Raising Awareness: February is American Heart Month
Primarily, February is known for being the month for lovers, how Ironic that the nation also observes it as American Heart Month. It’s critical for us as people, specially African-Americans to take the proper steps to minimize our chances of suffering from heart disease. There are several risk factors for heart disease which most of us are aware of including obesity, physical inactivity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and smoking.
The good news is these are all things we can take action on know to minimize our chances of being victims. Simple things such as taking frequent walks, going to the gym for stress relief, regulating your diet (eating cleaner, minimizing processed and fatty foods) and much more. Lift Africa serves to improve overall health and lifestyle while educating on the overall understanding of health management. I strongly encourage others to take advantage of such services which proactively pave the way for healthy living.
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About Uzoma Nwoke
Greetings good people, my name is Uzo Nwoke. As a father, husband and entrepreneur, there’s so much that influences my desired health goals. I’ve always been passionate about physical fitness, but after becoming a parent it became paramount that I make it a lifestyle. With the support of my wife and three awesome kids, I’ve dedicated to constantly educating myself and others about various life experiences and how fitness played and continues to play an essential role in improving them. Fitness is a journey, not a destination. It’s all about dedication and perseverance, there is no easy way.