Panelist for The International Health and Fitness Symposium and Trainer for NBC’s The Biggest Loser, Kim Lyons, Talks about Changing Your Mindset toward Diet and Exercise

Our society is sicker and fatter than ever before in the history of our modern civilization. Toxic exposure from chemicals all around us, a lack of proper nutrition, a society that encourages a “couch potato” lifestyle, and stress created by our jobs and daily living all contribute to our ill health. Add fad diets, weight loss supplements, and exercise gadgets that just don’t work into the mix, and you have the makings of a crisis.

The problem is exacerbated by an overwhelming amount of misinformation related to health and fitness. Millions of diets, gurus, books, and websites all claim to have the solutions, but we, as a society, just keep getting sicker and fatter.
The International Health & Fitness Symposium

Craig Pepin-Donat, The Fit Advocate, author and international fitness expert along with a group of top experts recently got together to make a positive change in the way the world views health, fitness and nutrition. The International Health and Fitness Symposium brings together, in one composition called The People’s Guide to Health, Happiness and Longevity, what it would take the average person years to research and discover alone. (Learn more at

Kim Lyons, trainer for NBC’s Biggest Loser, is just one of the many experts who participated in the IHFS. Here, she weighs in with Symposium host Craig Pepin-Donat on negative attitudes toward nutrition and exercise and how people can break through those destructive thought patterns to create a healthier lifestyle. (Learn more about Kim Lyons at

Destructive Attitudes toward Diet and Exercise

Lyons: People’s general attitude towards exercise and proper nutrition is so incredibly negative, she says. I do a lot of public speaking, and the first thing I do when I go into a room is say, Tell me the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word diet. Everyone responds with "plain," "boring," or "hungry," and you never hear "fun" or "feel good."

I tell people that when you start eating healthy, you should start focusing on the positive. Realize how good you feel after you eat healthy. You order the side salad instead of French fries and your friends say, "Are you kidding me? Why are you ordering a salad? What, are you getting healthy?"

Tell them, Yes, I’m eating healthy, and I feel so good. I dropped a pant size, and I feel so good about myself. All of a sudden people are going to say, oh, I want to do that, too. It’s contagious.

Going to the gym is another thing people have negative thoughts about. I’ll say, okay, now, let’s talk about workout. They think about sweat, misery, pain, and soreness with the gym, and they say they don’t have time. There’s something you can do in the tiny bit of space in your living room, and you can incorporate everything from cardio to resistance training.

Resistance training is absolutely crucial. You have to do it, but you don’t have to do it with metal, and you definitely don’t have to do it in the gym. There are resistance bands and so many other pieces of equipment; you can even use your own body weight.

You have to make it fun. Go back to your childhood when you played kickball, softball, and soccer. All that is working out; that’s exercise.

Thinking Like a Fit Person
Lyons: Doing abs, doing push-ups; there are so many things you can do. I call it, "Thinking like a fit person." What that means is there are no more escalators in your life; there are no more elevators in your life. Little things like having an ab ball to sit on at your desk or sitting next to your couch, so that when you are watching TV, you’re going to be more prone to grab that thing. Even if you’re just stretching out or sitting on it, you’re improving your posture.

I encourage people to have a jump rope on their coffee table. That’s always incredibly entertaining, because it’s pretty tough for somebody to look at a jump rope and not try it. Even if you put it on your desk at work, somebody will pick it up and start jump-roping. Little things like that all add up over time and help you burn calories and get you in shape.

It’s a matter of just throwing out all those old habits and consciously finding a way to replace them with things that you like. Of course, it’s easier said than done. It does take about three weeks for it to become a habit. It is funny when you start taking note of all the things that you do and then finding things to replace them. It’s really not that tough. But, it does take time, and it does take effort.

Author's Bio: 

Craig Pepin-Donat is uniquely qualified to speak on issues of health and fitness. With over a quarter century of experience, Craig led several high profile fitness organizations as president and as executive vice president for the world's largest fitness organization, 24 Hour Fitness. He has operated more than 450 fitness clubs in 11 countries and has visited over 30 countries while studying health and fitness trends worldwide. He has researched and purchased millions of dollars worth of fitness equipment, dietary supplements and other health and fitness related products.

Craig is the founder, chairman and host of The International Health and Fitness Symposium with a mission of delivering professional, unbiased and often suppressed information needed to make healthy lifestyle changes.

The International Health and Fitness Symposium experts are “united to improve and extend lives” through an advanced program called The People’s Guide to Health, Happiness and Longevity.

You can learn more about Craig Pepin-Donat at or at