Our actions are like ripples in the water, carrying out into the world around us, and we are the stone.  People have asked me many times how they can “make” someone they care about get healthy, including women who want their husbands to have more energy, men who want their wives to be more fit, parents who want their children to be more active, and many folks who want their elderly parents to stay well.  One thing I have learned throughout my life is that we cannot change other people.  The best thing we can do is be a good example and role model in front of them.

If you know your wife would really like to try personal training, a package of training sessions is a great gift for Mother’s Day.  However, if she hasn’t specifically mentioned that she would like an item or fitness related gift (unless she happens to be a fitness instructor of some sort and you know that she would appreciate some fitness garb), DO NOT buy her a thigh master, or other related items… no telling where it might end up (such as the closet, a garage sale, stuck under the bed).  

If you have someone in your life that you wish was healthier, the first thing I would recommend is offering to partner with them in their health.  Ask them to do healthy things like going for a walk, let them know you are interested in buying a group personal training package and find out if they would like to be your “other,” learn how to cook clean, healthy, great tasting meals and prepare them for your family, or deliver them to your friend that you want to encourage.  The key being ENCOURAGE, be a support system, not a nag.  Offer them education, not ultimatums.  Nothing is more discouraging to someone who is aware that they need to lose weight, bring down their cholesterol, quit smoking, or making any other positive change in his or her life than being criticized. The decision to make changes in our lives, in any format, needs to come from the heart, from a personal motivation.  A person needs to be ready to make a change and then needs to have the resources and support to reach their goals.  Be sure to be positive and let those you care about know progress, not perfection, is a great accomplishment.

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