It’s All About Accountability

Berries at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market

By Johnny Guerra

Let’s be honest. Most of us find it difficult to be accountable for what we eat, how often we go to the gym
and how well we maintain the willpower to accomplish our goal. We have the initial plan to want desire to change and feel better about ourselves, yet things come up and we leave it all behind. We hope for the best. Our last resort is to buy the latest workout equipment that will tighten those abs. Been there, done that — I took part in the trend as well.

Growing up in Northern California gave me a lot of opportunities to show my creative skills and talents,
but outdoor activities wasn’t part of it. It was from junior high to earning my bachelor’s degree that yo-
yo dieting was a big part of my life. I never took time to research about health and fitness. All I wanted
was a quick fix for that upcoming family event. I’d lose the pounds and gain it back. But it wasn’t until
late 2007 that was on the edge of a heart attack. I was obese at 321 lbs with a 50 waist size. At the start
of 2008 I was going to the local gym, had a trainer and began my journey. By 2010 I had lost over 120
lbs and was the talk of the gym; a success story. I learned to accept myself, keep accountable and make
healthier choices. Even Venezuelan actor Alejandro Chaban learned about my transformation! But I’m
here to tell you that you can keep a healthy lifestyle by changing your habits at home. It starts with
YOU! Create your new Zen life today!

Accept Yourself As You Are:

Most of us go into diet plans and exercise programs with unrealistic goals, expectations and high hopes.
We want to look like the ideal bodies that are portrayed in film, magazines and the media. In order to
accept yourself as you are, you need to understand that everyone is built different in shape, size and
genetics. Create a positive self-image in your mind and work towards it. Only you can change yourself,
so why not do it the healthy way. Feel good about yourself and add more years to your life!

Off the Record! Write It All Down:

It’s important to keep a journal when you start your health journey because it’s a key ingredient to your
success. Write your meal plans, workout logs, measurements and any extra notes on how you’re feeling
about the journey. Not only will it keep you inspired, but you will keep accountable and see fantastic
results. Looking back at your records will only enhance your healthy living.

It’s All About Size Portions:

Stop right there! Going for seconds will only add extra calories to your hard work. Here’s a tip. Eat at
least six times a day: Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner and snack (instead of desert). You will not
gain weight. On the contrary, it will help you burn calories (if you continue to exercise). Also, drink a lot
of water (around 6-8 glasses a day and before eating dinner) as it will keep you full and will help control
your size portions.

Enhance Your Fitness Experience:

Find a local gym, get a membership and if you can, a fitness trainer. But you can also take a friend along
to encourage each other and keep accountable on eating healthy and working out. Make sure to discuss
any health issues with your Doctor first before anything.

Surf the Wave of Social Media:

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are some of the few new media sites that gives the opportunity to
create communities and interact with other like-minded people. Follow friends, celebrities and health
enthusiasts to keep you inspired! You can encourage and motivate others by adding posts of your own
from healthy meal plans, exercises and healthy tips.

The Power of the Vision Board:

The purpose of the vision board is to help you achieve your goals and inspire you to live a healthy
lifestyle. Collect pictures that will motivate you to keep towards your goal such as quotes, healthy living
and fitness. Be creative! The human imagination can do amazing things.

Everything listed here is what I’ve done ever since I started my journey with healthier, fitter lifestyle.
To accept the reality I had put myself into was one of the hardest things I had ever done, but
one of the most rewarding. I went from being negative and anti-social to joyful and confident. I hope
this helps, inspires and motivates you to become even more of who you want to be.

John Guerra is a freelance graphic designer located in Northern California. He is working on a feature
film with director John Fasano and writing a trilogy novel.