Hold Yourself Accountable for your own Fitness Success

By John Teng

I love to work out! I can’t imagine a life where I could not get to the gym on a regular basis to keep in shape.  Working out to me is almost as important as breathing oxygen! Several years ago, I decided that I wanted to start competing in amateur bodybuilding so I hired a personal trainer who had experience competing in the sport himself.  I made it clear to him from the beginning that my goal was to use the competition as a fun way to improve my health, but that I was not willing to resort to harmful illegal drugs in order to enhance my performance.  From the beginning, I understood the importance of having a personal trainer. As a newly married man expecting our first child right before the date of my first competition, each competition thereafter has become a more logistically complex undertaking as I now have 4 children who need their parent’s attention! Ever more so now than it did during that first show, proper planning is a prerequisite. That means preparing my business suit, and toiletries, and my food during the night before in order to be in bed early enough and get enough sleep to train hard the next day.

The first thing my trainer would ask me to do in the morning was to check my weight and measure my body fat percentage.  These measurements gave both of us a report on my progress as I advanced towards the date of the competition.  If the numbers did not look good, I knew that I had to make some adjustments in my exercise plan, my food intake, or both in order to get back on track.  This regular habit of “accountability” helped keep me focused and aware of my progress at all times.

I gained an entirely new level of appreciation of supplementing my competition foods with Sunrider products as I trained for my first competition. I had to eat the healthiest food possible to in order have the energy necessary to work out at a high intensity. And I also needed a high nutritional food source that did not include artificial ingredients and empty calories that would prevent me from achieving the lean muscle mass necessary to pose on stage!

Staying motivated and focused for several months at a time building up to a competition date is not easy. Sometimes my kids didn’t want to sleep when I wanted them to, so that meant that no one got to sleep. Maybe a project at work required long hours in the office in order to complete on time. Time zone changes and unfamiliar hotel rooms during my many business trips also tended to disrupt my regular routine. But no matter where I was or what the challenge, I always knew that when I got back to the gym my trainer was going to be waiting there for me to get back on the scale to check my weight and my body fat percentages and to hold me accountable for my progress! With that type of accountability I was almost willing to do pull ups from the hotel shower curtain rods if necessary in order to work out when I was on a business trip! My personal trainer also provided me with valuable encouragement when I felt discouraged with the pace of my progress. Because I knew that my trainer sincerely wanted me to be successful, and that he wanted to help me win the show, part of the motivation that I had to be successful was to do my best to honor my trainer.

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I didn’t take first place in that first body building competition, but in my heart I knew that I had done my best to prepare. And most importantly, the training process had helped me to drastically change my physical appearance for the better, as well as helped me learn how to better care for my body. So even though the destination on competition day was not what I had hoped for, as far as I was concerned, the journey itself was the biggest success!

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John Teng praises the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for their toll free telephone number that provides men, women, and children with a wonderful resource to help them if they are contemplating suicide, or if they want to learn how they can other family members and loved ones who are feeling desperate. Visit http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/