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Supporting Your Fitness Goals! 


While the prospect of a healthier you is something amazing to look forward to, living a healthy lifestyle takes a big commitment! Though the reward is worth the commitment it can be exceedingly difficult to stick to the new routine and healthy behaviors long enough to reach your goals. Data shows that only around 19% of January gym goers will stay active past the three-month mark. As the odds of success are low for a new year, new me, we are here to help you BREAK THE CYCLE!  

There are five stages of change along the continuum toward positive change. Below each stage you will find strategies to help for the category you find yourself in: 

1. Precontemplation: Not even considering change. May have tried several times unsuccessfully and given up, or unaware of the importance. 

  • Education on risks versus benefits and positive outcomes related to change 

2. Contemplation: Has mixed feelings about changing. Weighing the benefits versus our barriers such as lack of support time, expense, fatigue, worry about getting hurt, or self-consciousness (refer to the Gym Fear Blog). 

  • Identify barriers and misconceptions 
  • Address concerns 
  • Identify support systems 

3. Preparation: Prepared and experimenting with change. 

  • Develop realistic goals and timeline for change (SMART GOALS) 
  • Positive reinforcement (support system) 

4. Action: Taking definite action to change behavior. 

  • Positive reinforcement (support system) 

5. Maintenance and Relapse Prevention: Strives to maintain the new behavior over time. 

  • Provide encouragement and support 


As you can see, A LOT must happen before any changes are even made! My point is first to encourage you. It is not your fault that this is all so hard, and it’s not just you. Creating and sticking to new healthy habits is hard! 

As you read this, you can see a before and after photo of me to the right. Part of why I struggled for over a decade is that I gained and lost 100 pounds not once but twice. Yes, you may have to fight this battle more than once to win it but when you do, and you will, there is no greater feeling. I am here to tell you that if I can do it so can you!  

The good news is that you do not have to do it alone. Take another look at the strategies listed above. What they all have in common is support and encouragement. Having people that you value in your corner makes a significant difference. A good support system is a network of peers, friends, and family who care about you and encourage your new behaviors. There will always be people around you that do not support your goals by having a negative opinion or giving you a tough time when you avoid certain foods. If possible, lean towards those that live a positive and or healthy lifestyle themselves. With a healthy and encouraging support system you will have: 

  • Healthier lifestyle: A dependable support system you will live a longer happier life. They will help through stressful times and will often notice that you are starting to wane before you do.  

  • Positive outlook: Supportive people add positivity to your life. You cannot make positive changes from a negative mindset! This battle will mostly be fought in the mind.  

  • Information and education: Encouraging supporters will be ready to give guidance and helpful advice.  

  • Tangible support: If you choose to engage in workouts with likeminded people, you will have precious accountability.  

  • Motivation: Motivation comes and goes! I don’t even use the word anymore. Persistence (firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action despite difficulty or opposition) is what it will take to sustain your healthy behavior.  

If you truly do not have anyone in your circle whom you feel comfortable leaning on, your Y community is a wonderful place to start! At least you know they are also working towards healthy behaviors themselves. Be encouraged friends, the time and effort you put towards healthy behavior is never wasted. Here’s to a Healthier You in 2023!


Amber Cornist, Armbrust YMCA Health & Wellness Director 

Category: Health & Wellness
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Meet Amber Cornist:

I got certified to become a personal trainer in 2014 after struggling with my weight for over a decade. I had developed a passion for helping others take charge of their health and knew the Y is where is wanted to do that. I've been training at the Armbrust YMCA ever since! Over the years I have added more certifications to my tool bag including a second PT certification, Small Group Fitness, Fitness Nutrition, and some of my favorite YMCA programs including Y Weight Loss, and LIVESTRONG at the YMCA. As a Health and Wellness Director I am looking forward to many more years of cultivating health and physical activity in our community!