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Back in the Saddle to Fit

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Fitness, Nutrition Success May be More About Working Through Mental Doubt Than Body Mastery, New Book Says

Daily "mind-readiness" training should complement exercise to increase adherence in second half of year, “Back in the Saddle to Fit” author Darryl Ewing says.

Houston, TX, July 08, 2014 --( If you still haven't lost the weight you resolved to lose in January, there’s hope in the second half of the year – but the struggle most likely is in your mind, an author and fitness consultant says in a new book.

“If we don’t silence the daily negative thoughts that cause us to struggle with or accept poor fitness and nutrition, even the most sophisticated fitness and nutrition plan is doomed to fail,” says Darryl Ewing, author of "Back in the Saddle to Fit: 10 Steps to Reclaiming Athletic Fitness for the Busy Professional." “Fitness professionals spend a lot of time discussing how exercise can build a strong body and heart, but we don’t focus nearly enough on the mind-body connection in achieving results.”

Research from the University of Scranton published this year shows that about 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but about 75 percent are successful in achieving them. "Back in the Saddle to Fit" is part inspirational, part informational to help people push past six months of adherence to exercise by focusing on “mind-readiness” – the internal drive to make a change and stick to it. Mind-readiness involves replacing thoughts of “I’m too old” or “It’s too late” with daily affirmations and daily seeing the goal achieved even as a person is working toward it. It also involves eliminating “do-it it-tomorrow” thinking by taking practical steps like packing the gym bag the night before and not going home after work before hitting the gym.

“There’s a magnetic pull that wants to keep us at home once we get there,” Ewing says. “Mind-readiness is about eliminating the mental and physical distractions that keep us marking time at square one.”

Ewing also recommends:
Visualize your success in the gym: See yourself completing a difficult lift with perfect form and explosive strength, similar to that of an Olympic powerlifter. Much of what happens in learning a sport, for example, is visual learning and repetition, so the images we project in our mind are important.

Replace defeatist thoughts with positive affirmations: Remember that words matter when defeatist thoughts arise, so develop affirmations to replace those thoughts. When you feel tired when doing your cardio, repeat, “Strong and steady wins the race.” When you feel like leaving the gym because you’re comparing yourself to others, tell yourself, “I am running my race, and I’m getting stronger every day in every way.”

Reject exercise myths that cause mental roadblocks: One myth is that people have to exercise for hours every day to achieve results. A healthy body and results can be achieved with a workout plan that’s only 4 percent of the week (one hour, four to five days a week), so keep the time commitment in perspective.

Keep resetting your goal: Goals make exercise and life fun. When we achieve a goal, we simply keep resetting it. If your goal is to get fit enough to run a 5K. Don’t stop there. Once that goal is achieved, set 10K goal. Goals help build mental perseverance.

“There’s an adage that says wherever the mind goes the body will follow,” Ewing says.

About Back in the Saddle to Fit: Back in the Saddle to Fit is a Houston-based fitness coaching initiative designed to inspire permanent exercise and nutritional lifestyle changes among Baby Boomer and Generation-X professionals who have allowed the complexities of life to get them off their fitness game. The book "Back in the Saddle to Fit: 10 Steps to Reclaiming Athletic Fitness for the Busy Professional" (ISBN-13: 978-1478704218; 114 pages) discusses the physiological realities of the 40-something body and the role exercise and better nutrition play in slowing the effects of aging. For more information, visit,

About the Author: Darryl Ewing is a marketing communications professional with more than 20 years of media and corporate public relations experience. He has been certified in personal training by the American Council on Exercise since 2001. As a former reporter with The Associated Press in Dallas and a full-time communications professional with three Fortune 500 companies and teaching journalism at the University of Texas and the University of Houston, Ewing understands the challenges of integrating fitness into a busy schedule. An avid runner since college, Ewing has completed several half marathons, several shorter distance runs and the Tough Mudder fitness challenge. He has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in newspaper journalism from the University of Texas and the Ohio State University, respectively. For more information, visit
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Back in the Saddle to Fit
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