Fit at Last

The book Fit at Last by Ken Blanchard provides understanding and guidance for those wanting to lose weight.(NOTE: I normally write about activities that grandmothers can do with grandchildren to build strong relationships. This post is different. This is for grandmas.)

Did you set New Year’s Resolutions? How are they coming along?

A vast majority of people resolve to lose weight. They generally do good for the first part of January. But, by this time of year, their enthusiasm fizzles out and progress on their resolutions is either minimal or non-existent.

Sound familiar?

That’s the way it was for Ken Blanchard, author of The One Minute Manager. Over the years, he gained weight and was sporadic in his efforts to get — and stay — in shape. When he turned 70, he decided once and for all that he was going to get fit. And stay fit.

He teamed up with a physical fitness coach that he had worked with over the years. Together, they wrote a book called Fit at Last: Look and Feel Better Once and for All that told about their combined experience to help Ken get into shape.

In the beginning of his book, Ken applied his situational leadership concepts to weight loss. Even though I absolutely love books about business and leadership, I was very skeptical about how business principles could help people lose weight.

As I read about the leadership concepts, my eyes glazed over and my mind wandered. But, I plugged along in my reading.

About one-third of the way through the book, things started to click in place. I understood how those leadership concepts could work in a weight loss program. That’s when it really sunk into my thick skull.

He equated his situational leadership styles to the different types of ‘styles’ of a people trying to lose weight. There are 4 types:

  1. The enthusiastic beginner. You are excited to start losing weight but you don’t know much about how to go about it.
  2. The disillusioned learner. You know just enough about weight loss to know it won’t be easy. You might get overwhelmed or might think occasionally about quitting.
  3. The capable but caution performer. You received enough support to get over the toughest part of the learning process and now you only need occasional encouragement to keep motivated.
  4. The self-reliant achiever. You are highly motivated ad have accomplished your weight loss goal.

Knowing what type you are will help you understand what type of support system you need in your weight loss journey. You will know if you need to get more information (about nutrition, exercise, rest, etc.) and know what type of support system you will need (lots of checking up or just a weekly reporting in).

There were several good ‘take aways’ from this book for me. One was that for this to be a ‘once and for all’ program, you have to want to lose weight for yourself and not because you want to look good in a swimsuit when you go on vacation in two months or because of an upcoming class reunion.

Your focus is more on acquiring a healthy lifestyle where you eat healthy, nutritious food and where you exercise on a regular basis. You do it because optimal health is your goal not necessarily to change what the scales say. You concentrate on gaining health and not losing weight. Good health is your way of life.

Another take away was that the bigger support system you have the more likely you are to succeed. Blanchard had a fitness coach, a nutritional advisor, a personal physician, friends at Weight Watchers, a flexibility and strength coach, and family members who supported his efforts.

‘Regular’ people might not be able to afford all of those trainers and coaches — but they do have friends and family members who can step in and support them in achieving their goals. The more support system the merrier — and probably the more fit you will become. As Blanchard stated, “Very few people can accomplish a major life change by themselves.”

So, Grandmas, if you’re are not in optimal physical condition, please consider doing something to get fit — at last. Choose good health as the way you want to live your life. Then, you will be able to enjoy doing things with your precious grandchildren for years to come.

If, at the age of 70, Ken Blanchard can get physically fit, so can you!

Disclaimer: I was given an advanced galley of this book to review. It did not in any way influence my opinion of the book.