The new book, Fit at Last - Look and Feel Better Once and for All, co-authored by Ken Blanchard and Tim Kearin traces business author Blanchard's weight-loss journey with fitness expert Kearin, and how finally at the age of 73, Ken dropped over thirty pounds in the course of a single year.
In each chapter, Ken shares the personal ups and downs of his story, relating how anyone can use his Situational Leadership approach to determine their developmental level in each of the fitness areas outlined by Tim. From there, it can be decided what type of leadership someone needs to move to the next level.
Fit at Last isn't strictly about fitness -- it's about commitment. Given the proper tools, anyone can move from a superficial interest in fitness to creating and maintaining long-term devotion to personal health
Tim recently shared more about the book with me:
Question: What was the most rewarding thing for you as you helped Ken make his impressive transformation?
- Tim: While several things come to mind, the most rewarding was seeing Ken want to get fit for the right reasons. He had attempted fitness so many times before and would make good progress but because he was doing it for someone else or for some short-lived reason, the commitment would disappear and he would resume his old habits. This time, he finally realized he must do it for himself. With the right purpose, all the elements of Ken’s program not only worked, but led to Ken continuing his health and fitness progress today—over three years later—with no end in sight.
Question: After a business person has worked with a trainer or coach and made their weight loss/transformation, what are the key things that person must do to not regain the weight and resume bad habits?
- Tim: First of all, they must remember that they had likely gained weight because of poor eating habits and little or ineffective exercise. In order to maintain their transformation, they must be willing to accept this new routine as a lifestyle change. The most important item at this point is support. This should come from someone who genuinely cares about them and should also include an occasional meeting with a trainer or coach for accountability.
Question: Thirty years ago, martini business lunches were common, and there was somewhat of a negative stigma associated with business people who embraced fitness and exercising. What caused the change to where we are today?
- Tim: Back in the day, the general thought was that exercise was something only athletes did. If you wanted to study sports science in college, you learned Physical Education. Then the fitness revolution began. Running became popular for the recreational athlete and health clubs were popping up everywhere. Professional sports teams were hiring strength and conditioning coaches and fitness trainers began making a living. Along with this, media coverage and general education have heightened public awareness of the benefits of healthy eating and proper exercise.
Question: Why is willpower so difficult for so many people?
- Tim: Willpower is one of the most powerful elements of personal character, but human nature leads us to taking the easy way out. Since personal improvements require a great deal of willpower and effort, we need to have compelling reasons and a distinct purpose. We are creatures of habit and habits are difficult to change. For example, I've never met a smoker who didn't know smoking was harmful and that they should quit, but it's easier to tell yourself you will work on it later. The same is true with improving your health and fitness. Ken and I both feel there’s no time like the present to commit to your commitment!
Question: If a person can't hire a trainer or coach, but wants to make a transformation to become leaner, more fit, and more healthy, what do you recommend they do?
- Tim: Ensuring success involves several steps. First, people need to have a distinct purpose around making the change. Then they should get a medical check and educate themselves about general health and fitness in the areas in which they feel they need help. The next steps are to establish realistic, trackable goals, and gather together people in their life who will act as a strong support system. And if possible, it’s best if people can at least start off with a consultation with a fitness professional—someone who can help them create a personalized plan and then periodically check their progress.
Question: What do you hope the "Fit at Last" reader will do after they have finished reading your book?
- Tim: If readers are inspired by the book and decide to make a change in their fitness level, I hope they put the principles to work and finally make a commitment to their commitment. I also hope they pass the book along to someone else who is interested in improving their fitness but has had difficulty making a commitment. I would love it if readers would share their success stories with me by emailing me at email@example.com or contacting me through my website.