Summer Shape-up

Jenna Wolfe: In a fitness funk? How to make a comeback

May 2, 2012 at 12:47 PM ET

Have your healthiest summer yet! Ease into the dreaded "swimsuit season" with healthy tips from TODAY experts. All throughout May, we'll offer smart do-it-yourself ways to look, eat and feel better. So stop stressing about that swimsuit, and read on.

I was recently talking to a friend of mine who was dragging her feet going back to the gym after a month-long hiatus.  She gave me all the expected lines:

You may know Jenna Wolfe best in her role as a TODAY anchor and reporter, but she's also a personal trainer.

"I’ve already lost all that momentum I had."

"It’s going to be such an uphill battle now."

"I feel like I gained all the weight back."

There may have been a breath or two in between each excuse, but you get the idea.

On one hand, I felt bad. She was clearly letting her fear get the best of her. And that’s really what it is: a mental block, rather than a physical one. She knows she can do the work; it’s the thought of “starting all the way from scratch” that makes the task so daunting.

And that’s her mistake. Fitness isn’t a board game, where if you linger too long at one stop, you’ve got to go back to the beginning and start over. Give your muscles some credit. They’re smart. They remember. It may take a few sessions to get your cardio back up to speed, but again, you’re not starting over from the very beginning.

The other reason people have such a difficult time returning to fitness is because they’re looking down the road at the finish line. The fear is, “Well, now it’ll take me so much longer to lose all this weight or to get back in shape." Stop thinking that way. There is no finish line in fitness. You may have a weight loss goal, but it doesn’t mean you stop working out once you’ve hit it. This, like anything else in life, is a process. One day at a time. The first few days may seem tedious, but once you start seeing results, it becomes more of a lifestyle routine than a chore.

Life moves fast. It doesn’t stop to coddle us when we’re lazy or cradle us when we’re scared. No more excuses. Today’s the day. Finish this article, get up, put on sneakers and go do something. Anything. Start right now. There’s no better time. If you’re home, do as many jumping jacks as you can. If you’re at work, go take a brief walk. I don’t care how long or short you make it -- just do something. That will signal the start. And the start means you’re back.

P.S. My friend and I are walking the 6-mile central park loop after work today. That’s her “something." What’s yours?

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