It's no secret that we are an overweight nation. It's obvious everywhere we look. There is no escaping it and we are aware of how unhappy we are in our own bodies.
So we look for something - anything - to help fix this unpleasant reality and we want to experience the results no later than yesterday!

Does this sound familiar?

So we look for products that guarantee instant weight-loss. We comb the internet and classified ads for nutrition specialists and personal trainers to help guide us in the right direction toward reaching our goals. We sign up for fitness classes and diet plans and we feel confident that we will finally have an opportunity to look in the mirror and see the image of ourselves we have been longing to see. BUT there is just one tiny overlooked aspect to all of this – and that is…

Does anyone think about exercise safety?

From the research I have done, it doesn’t look like it. While the majority of people are concerned about their appearance and of course, their health, what ends up being ignored are certain safety protocols that deserve attention.

Some common things to inquire about when looking to begin a safe and structured exercise program are:

• Where your personal trainer was educated and are they qualified to train you?
• What does your family’s medical history look like?
• Do you understand what ‘proper progression’ means?
• What exercises may be contraindicated if pregnant?
• What is an AED (automated external defibrillator) and does your gym have one?
• Why you should never exercise with anything in your mouth?
• What is the difference between ‘good and bad’ exercise pain?
• Why warming-up and cooling-down are so important?
• Who are you taking (or purchasing) nutrition advice from and are they qualified to dispense it?

How We Make Our Decisions

I know what it’s like to feel out of place in my own body. Having suffered from multiple eating disorders that resulted in my weight climbing to over 200 pounds, I understand how painful it is to be fat. I can also relate to the feeling of intense desperation to lose the weight as quickly as possible. All “common sense” gets thrown out the window in exchange for the promise of a quick fix.
Unfortunately what often accompanies this type of weight-loss mentality is a carelessness that can easily lead to injury and death. When our self-worth is low, desperation takes over. We don’t think about how to ensure our safety in a lifestyle otherwise designed to bring us joy and wellness.

Instead, we are focused on running away from who we currently are – looking backwards and not seeing the giant tree we are about to run into…

we focus on how much we detest the result rather than identifying the cause of our upset.

So How Do We Change This?

Identifying how we arrived at our present state of misery enables a sense of being on purpose. It involves asking the question “who am I”? Consciousness then awakens and this is where the miracles happen!

When it’s understood that our thoughts and feelings about ourselves and the world we live in are the contributing factors to the weight we wish to release, we open ourselves up to genuine healing. We decide that what we are really looking for is well-being. We understand that caring about ourselves and our happiness is what matters most because these are the foundations that can support a life that consists of bliss.

We would never think about doing anything to harm ourselves and we become aware of our choices in regard to healthy-living. We ask questions, do our research and realize that our bodies follow the guidance of the mind. We are in no hurry because we feel inspired by the journey itself. We get to know ourselves and respond to our past with gratitude over the fact that we now know who we are not!

Putting It All Together

Once the desire for a fit and healthy lifestyle becomes one born out of optimism and hope, the chances of following along with the current trends without questioning their accuracy become slim. We are no longer in a hurry. Our quest for reliable and accurate knowledge on how to heal our bodies takes on momentum and we make choices that reflect this mindset.

We screen the personal trainers and fitness facilities more carefully. We second guess the miracle products that promise us the happiness that constantly eluded us in the past. We are free of those pesky goals and resolutions that led us to despise ourselves even more because we couldn’t see how we created the very thing we were running from and therefore, ended up right back where we started.

And we accept and forgive ourselves once and for all!

This is what I did. I no longer suffer from eating disorders and I have released the weight I carried with me for so many years. I attended a well-respected school for fitness that educated me about exercise science which inspired me to write the book "A Simple Guide to Exercise Safety (What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You)" because I was made aware of the mishaps that can take place in an industry otherwise designed to bring us optimal health.

I took responsibility for the thoughts and perceptions that created my past - a place I feel gratitude toward now instead of resentment.

I am awake, aware and conscious and no longer a victim of my body.

And I don't chew gum during my workouts ;)

Author's Bio: 

Creator of I Choose Awareness.com and author of the book "A Simple Guide to Exercise Safety - (What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You)", Dana Gore completed the curriculum at Fitness Institute International, Inc. as an outstanding graduate in 2009.

Having suffered from eating disorders in the past which caused her weight to balloon to over 200 pounds, Dana realized it was time for a major lifestyle overhaul. Once she discovered Fitness Institute, her life took on new meaning.

Armed with credible information about Exercise Science, Dana aims to bring guidance to the public about how to achieve optimal health in a safe and structured manner. She believes that the body follows the guidance and instruction of the mind and spirit. She inspires her readers to seek inner-peace as a means to well-being in all areas of life.