Circling the Drain

The number one factor in the success of a positive lifestyle change is accountability

Not long ago at friend’s party, I met a really nice lady and we struck up a good conversation about life and business. Although I didn’t ask, I guessed her age to be approximately fifty-five. She explained that she was in the real-estate business and doing very well. She asked what I did for a living and the conversation soon turned from selling homes to how depressed she is for “letting herself go” and being 50 pounds overweight. As she told it to me, “I think my time has passed for being in great shape; I’m too busy with work and family. My doctor tells me I need to start exercising and lose weight. But he can keep writing the prescriptions for my elevated blood pressure and high cholesterol.”

Now I could tell my new friend was not feeling good about herself. I felt like she was “circling the drain” and needed help, and I wanted desperately to help her. But, what I was going to say to her to convince her that getting her health back is possible? What was really going to ignite her to do something for herself? During our initial conversation, I convinced her to meet me at my facility and go through a series of questions that I always ask new clients. This is an example of some of the questions we ask:


In order to make a lifestyle change you have to have a reason. Sit down and write it out. Do you want to be more productive at work? Do you want to live long enough to see your child get married? Do you want to play with your grandkids? Do you want to travel and stay active in the second half of your life? It all starts with why?


Are you interested in making the change or are you desperate?

People that are interested usually stick with a new lifestyle just a few weeks. Desperate people are generally really determined to make a lasting change. WRITE IT DOWN! “I am desperate!”

What are you willing to give up?

Your nightly glass or 2 of wine? Dessert after every meal? Sleeping until 8am or later when you could be exercising at 6am? Socializing with friends you love but you know are bad influences on you? What are you willing to give up? WRITE IT DOWN!

Can you do it on your own?

Most people need help and they’ve tried every diet and gym they possibly knew and have failed. Is it time to seek a professional and are you willing to invest in yourself to pay for it? Let’s be honest, we all hate to waste money, but look at it this way: The average person spends $70/week on habits that make them fat, so why aren’t they willing to invest that same amount in getting healthy? (Our 12-week challenge is less than $60/week). Sometimes investing the money in your health can motivate us more than the doctor! Determine what your health is worth and WRITE IT DOWN!

Who will hold you accountable?

The number one factor in the success of a positive lifestyle change is accountability. As my friend and fitness expert Mike Boyle says, “Nutrition is easy, compliance is hard.” I love that statement because it’s so true. You can read a thousand articles and become an expert on nutrition. But complying with food restrictions and new exercise routines requires compliance, and that only happens with accountability. Who will hold you accountable? WRITE THEIR NAME DOWN (your trainer, your gym, your spouse, etc.)!

What is your biggest obstacle to achieving your goals?

Money? Time? Motivation? We choose what to spend our money on. Do you really need a bigger flat screen TV, a new Lexus or do you need to lose 50 pounds? We also choose how to budget our time. Schedule your workouts on your calendar; make them an important part of your life. Answer these questions because the only one that can truly motivate you is YOU! WRITE IT DOWN!

What phrase will you use to motivate yourself when you don’t want to do it?

I love the phrase “Why not me?” I recently printed a couple of these signs for a few of my athletes that are trying to reach the Olympic Level in swimming and needed more self-confidence, but it applies to all of us. Someone is going to wear a size 10 instead of a size 16, why not you? Someone my age is going to have a great doctor’s appointment in 6-months. WHY NOT ME? Other phrases or mottos like: “Never going to stop,” “Stay after it” “Persistence” “Win the Day!” “For my kids!” You make up your own mantra and WRITE IT DOWN!

If you’re struggling and need help, start with answering these questions and review them often. Then, find a way to make it happen!

I am happy to report that after 2 years, my new friend and client lost those 50 pounds and still going strong. There are lots of stories like hers out there. WHY NOT YOU!? Why not re-write your story in 2015? Don’t resign yourself to “circling the drain!” Invest your time and money into something that will truly improve your life! We only get one shot at life, don’t let yours go down the drain! ϖ

Pam Kamphuis
About Pam Kamphuis 28 Articles
Pam Kamphuis is an editor and writer for Piedmont Virginian Magazine and Piedmont Lifestyle Magazines.

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