The (Surprising) First Step to Getting Fit

By , SparkPeople Blogger
NFL star Terrell Owens recently wrote a book on fitness, which was published by Simon & Schuster. Here is a guest blog post about taking the first step toward getting fit from "T.O.ís Finding Fitness."

Changing your thinking about what it takes to be fit is more important than the whys, whens, and wheres of how youíre going to do it. Here, how to get started and stay motivated.

Everything starts with the mind. Everything! If you set your mind on high things, youíll achieve high goals. Of course, the opposite is true as well. Lack of ambition and negative thoughts will delivery negative results in every area of your life.

Once you overcome your mental weaknesses, affirm that your body can do remarkable things, and tap into the spirit within yourself, you will be one step closer to making a complete transformation that will lead you to a lifestyle of fitness forever.

Steps to Finding Fitness

  1. Identify which mental challenges have been holding you back from discovering your true path to fitness.
  2. Write them down and use them as your mental playbook for conquering your fitness goals.
  3. Spend ten days before you begin a new program mentally preparing yourself for your workout.
  4. Make the decision that no matter where you start, you will make the commitment to stay with your program for at least two weeks straight.
  5. Allow your body to dictate your progress. Do not focus on what others doing. Stay the course, maintain your own flow. This is about your lifestyle, and it will take time to create.
  6. Lose the rules. Fitness shouldnít be about rules; it should be about using your natural tools (mind, body, and spirit) to create the energy and space in which you want to live. When you can truly say youíre comfortable in your own skin and with yourself, you have succeeded in finding fitness.
  7. Create an atmosphere of confidence. Take time to really get to know what you like and dislike about working out. Some people enjoy working out at the gym. Others prefer to stay home and work out alone. For some, a one-on-one program with a trainer may be best. There is no right or wrong; you can and will get results lifting weights, doing pilates at home, or using my personal gym system. What you do and where you do it is determined by your schedule, your current lifestyle, your strengths and weaknesses, and your goals.

Itís more important for you to change your mind and your thinking about what is takes to be fit than to focus on the hows, whys, whens, and wheres of how youíre going to do it. Making the decision to live a lifestyle geared to fitness is the most important step you will take toward achieving your goals.

Now that youíre mentally strong, letís get down to whatís real. No matter where you start or stop, youíre already a winner.

One final thought: I want you to understand that the reason my body can withstand the damage that can be done in the NFL, and the reason Iíve managed to come back from what other people would consider career-ending injuries, is that I believe in focusing in strengthening and developing the core -- that is, working muscles from the inside out rather than focusing on the superficial (surface) muscles. My antics on and off the field are often followed by catchy phrases like Getcha Popcorn Ready or I Loves Me Some Me that keeps me motivated. As you begin these workouts, think of your own catchphrases and make them yours; theyíll work as affirmation that will keep you pumped.

Let loose, and prepare to entertain your body. Itís game day, baby; see you in the endzone!

Get more fitness tips with T.O.ís Finding Fitness by Terrell Owens.

Take a look inside the book.

About the Author
Terrell Owens is a perennial all-pro wide receiver. In 2005 he became only the sixth receiver in NFL history with 100 touchdown receptions. His reality series, "The T.O. Show," airs on VH1. Terrell currently plays for Buffalo Bills.

Buy the book "T.O.ís Finding Fitness.Ē

When you started your healthy living journey, did you use any of these tips? What helped motivate you to get fit?

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Right! Its all in the mind! Report
I agree . Mindsets can make or break us. Guess we all have our own barriers to overcome. We just have to keep getting back out there. Good attitude. Report
Reading this blog, it seems that T.O. has changed his attitude since he was playing in Philly. I believe he had this work and workout ethic while he was in Philly but not the right attitude. I do agree with a previous comment that the Media caused a lot of his problems here, but he was the ultimate person with the responsibility. I am glad that he is able to improve and change and hopefully it will help others, although I believe most of us on SP already follow the principles he mentioned, it is important to hear them again. I just will not be able personally to buy or read his book. (DH will not allow book in house also). All this being said - more power to him and hope it does help people. Report
This is good stuff. TO's reputation leaves a lot to be desired, but this blog helps me to understand that he really knows what he is talking about. I'm rather impressed with his helpful hints and tips.

Gotta Love that is one Philly native sorry to have seen him go Report
It tool me a long time to understand this process, but I think I am getting the hang of it!!! It really is a way of life!!! Report
Oh, YEAH! Good blog, good ideas. (And GREAT picture!) Report
what a great way to look at things. I'm going to try it on something that has been eluding me for a long time. Report
I've seen his show on VH1. There was one episode where he was in the pool running. His focus was intense. You could tell he works hard and is serious about his fitness. I had so much respect for him as a person when I saw that.

I absolutely agree with the no rules for fitness. My spark was recently re-ignited for exercising and I believe that dropping in on a class when the mood hits has helped me stay motivated. I really looking forward to exercising and seeing that foxy, fit, and fabulous me :-) Report
Mind over matter definately works! Love it! Report
After reading over this article these are basically the same rules or pointers Sparkpeople have given us. I am really committed into becoming more health conficent and getting those around me involved. Report
I love the saying of working his muscles from the inside out. That really strikes a cord in me.
I've applied steps 1,4,5,6 &7. I tried rules at first but found following my own flow and letting my body dictate was the best way.
I'd like to read this book and I really like that cover picture:-D!LOL Report
While it is true that his message is not new, as one poster says, it still may come at just the right time to help someone. Heck, SparkPeople's message isn't new either. I'd tried several online and IRL diet programs without success. SP came to me at the time when I was ready to make the changes so I've embraced things I already knew as if they were new. Most of it is just logic and common sense. That doesn't mean the messenger is worthless. Report
Thanks for this. I like the part about working from within. It's so true. Report
this is super. i started off with a bang and then fizzled out several times before i made the mind set to continue by starting slow and building up. sure wish this was around three years ago. Report
Reunions originally helped motivate me to get fit this summer. I loved the reactions of people who hadn't seen me for a few months, b/c I was quick to lose the first 20 lbs, although during the process it seemed really slow. Now I'm just maintaing, but wouldn't mind losing another 10 either;) Report
I love motivating catchphrases! It's so cheesy, but I love it! There's a fitness trainer at my gym who is always saying things like, "Punch it!" and "Churn that butter!" ... I like to repeat them in my head when I'm working out and pretend that she's talking to me. I'm adding "Getcha popcorn ready" to my inner monologue.... teehee! Report
I agree, MAKINACHANGE4ME - #6 hits home for me, especially the part about "feeling comfortable in your own skin." Report
Weeeeeeeeee - I'm so glad that someone else (especially a man in the spotlight) admits to silly phrases they use to get through workouts! I was given a couple (like a marine told me "pain is weakness going out) and they were ok, but once I made my own little phrases up it REALLY helped motivate me. I even use little sing-songs to help me keep pace on the elliptical (1, 2, 3, 4, you know you want to do some more, 5, 6, 7, 8, suck in that gut and back is straight, 9, 10, 11, 12, etc. etc.). And, of course (don't tell the spinning class leaders) I run a few through my mind when they are pushing us to our limits like "hurry up, faster pace, oh I wanna slap her face" ...hopefully I don't ever slip and say those out loud!! Report

I am a Gemini, too, and I am in 100% agreement with you!
Every small step is a giant leap toward a healthier lifestyle. Some people get overwhelmed doing it "all at once". If you move more, that's a great thing. Incorporating small steps each day turns into big ones eventually and forms good habits along the way. Report
Ding! Ding! Ding! Somebody call the firehouse and hose me down.....what a hot bod he has....who knew? Phew! Report
I have to say, I'm really impressed with T.O.'s attitude and outlook on fitness! I like the idea of preparing yourself, and especially of the attitude that fitness is a personal thing, that you shouldn't hold yourself to someone else's standard. I probably won't buy the book, but I did appreciate the tips. Report
Come on, folks! Let's lighten up - he looks amazing, he's telling it like it is - so what if it's not new? Judging by the state of Americans' lack of fitness, people still need to hear these lines repeated, clearly. Report
Love the blog Stephanie. Thanks for bringing this book to our attention. Those T.O. tips are great. Report
This info is not new. Of course fitness and healthy living start in your mind! Of course positive thinking will help you reach your goals! At least half (if not more) of the battle is in your mind. As I was reading this, I just felt like this is just that happy-horse-sh** that all the celebs are pushing like it's new and amazing breakthroughs! Anything to make a buck. Report
Terrell has gotten such a bad rap that folks don't see past that...I'm sure he has made mistakes and has learned from him...his last team will come to find out that he shouldn't have been cut...he was not the all...they kept the "problems" on the team.....

But his body is WONDERFUL...and these are some great tips that he provided..I hope he is successful with this book... Report
Wow, is that what is beneath my winterized figure? I must tell folks (mentally) get your popcorn ready...I am going to get ripped doing the dance steps on wii active. ;*) I am ready to do some poitive self talk! Report
He's been on a few teams. Mine being one of them. However, all the bad publicity was from media more than anything else. He's gotten a bad rap. I hope his book does well. He is a good person. Report
I like it, I like him, his body is a true endorsement to what he is saying and selling. Go Terrel Go! Report
I think my boyfriend would love this--but I would have to keep the cover! :o) Report
He's a physical specimen. Mentally, not so much. Report
People always say half the battle is what you tell yourself! I THINK THAT IS TRUE! Report
Jeez Louise! That picture of him is like...whoah! must.not. stare. Report
I like his attitude on this - too bad I don't love his attitude on the field :)
My Sisters family is HUGE Cowboys fan family - their son's name is "Dallas" Report
Now who would have ever thought that the mental approach would be the correct path to take? lol...Cup half full?... Love this approach! Report
I love his attitude about working out! Report
I let my body tell me how much to do! I didn't push it to the point of pain like I have during other programs I've tried to put myself on. Report
I have realized that my brain is ready to quit before my body is - in pushing past the "I'm tired, I've been going so long, I'm thirsty" chatter in my head, I have done things that I believed I never, ever could. This past spring I ran 2 different 5k races with only 3 week training by myself. This was huge since I always believed that I could not run. Now I know that I can do anything that I am willing to work towards. Although I am not a fan of T.O. he does make good points about the mind/body connection in fitness. Report
I like #6. That's the right attitude Report
I agree the Number 1 challenge is to overcome all the mental garbage we have floating around that we believe is the truth. I had to overcome my own stinking thinking. I have said it over and over again this journey is as much about retraining our brains as it is learning how to eat. Report
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