by Neil Anderson

The pursuit of health and fitness is a peculiar game.  I say "game" because it is to some.  At least it appears that way when you take into consideration the actual lack of effort they put in to such an undertaking.  We have observed that many (the uninitiated) begin this process with little to no thought about what it will take to be successful.  I mean, I have personally witnessed games of Pictionary played with more forethought and planning than many people put into getting healthy.  It's weird.  But it happens.  OFTEN.  It is little wonder why most fail to meet their healthy objectives.  

Gaining health and fitness is a ROUGH process, to say the least.  An unrelenting, frustratingly ROUGH process that grants success only to those who possess the will to succeed, the bravery to endure and the humility to change.  To think you might forge your way though this process without walking through the refiner's fire is a farce.  In this day and age (it is 2012 for Hell sakes), if you still believe "easy" and "optimally healthy" belong in the same sentence - you watch too much T.V. 

To be successful at regaining your health and fitness you'll need to become VERY clear on what exactly you are willing to sacrifice.  Will you give up your comfort, your convenience, your entitlement?  

You'll also need to become VERY deliberate on how you are going to go about becoming healthy.  Winston Churchill said, "Failure to plan is planning to fail."  If you don't have a working schedule (workout, rest, family time, meal plan, etc) that you are trying to follow to the letter, it is time to get with a trainer - STAT!

These are basic steps.  Steps you know all too well, but let me ask you this:

Have you got any skin in the game?  

Have you ever wondered why the bank makes you put money “down” on big loans?  It is simple.  They want you to have some “skin in the game.”  You are less likely to walk away from your commitment to them if you have some flesh on the table.  Something that will hurt A LOT if you walk away from it.  They have figured out that you are more apt to pay them back when you have contributed (invested) something very valuable to the process of borrowing money from them.  It is interesting to note, in the process of negotiating with a bank for financing a home, many are willing to contribute all they have.  

So the question NOW is ..., Do you have skin in THIS game?  More specifically, what is it that you have contributed to this process of getting healthy and fit that you CANNOT walk away from without some REAL pain?  Have you considered it?  What have you got to lose if you walk away?  

You should know, if your answer is much less than EVERYTHING - it should be no surprise to you that you may be struggling to see results.  Truth is, until you put that which you truly value on the line, you haven't shown enough faith in yourself to BE successful.  Yet ...


There are things we value in life above all others.  When we learn what these are (family, money, time, appreciation) they become even more valuable.  Some of us are well aware what these are.  Others have not discovered them yet.  In part II, I have joined forces with renowned Clinical Social Worker - Louis Naegle to expand on the concept of "Putting Skin In the Game."  We have also created an exercise to help you discover what is most valuable to you and what you might use as leverage to put it "all on the line" to become more healthy.