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Get Fit Installment #13: Going Forward

Posted Dec 17, 2013

For those who have taken part in the UnitedHealthcare Get Fit! initiative this season, Bucs LB Dekoda Watson offers some words of encouragement for those seeking to make their lifestyle changes permanent

[Editor's Note: Throughout the 2013 NFL season, a rotating panel of experts associated with the Buccaneers have been providing advice to those who have taken the UnitedHealthcare Get Fit! Pledge.  Buccaneers veteran linebacker Dekoda Watson has previously offered assistance with nutritional changes and staying motivated while establishing a workout regimen.  Now, as the season and the Get Fit! Initiative near their ends, Watson returns with some parting words to encourage those who have made significant lifestyle changes to continue reaping the benefits of those changes for years to come.  Watson's supportive sendoff will be the final expert column, as the Get Fit! program concludes next week with a summary of all the advice offered by the panel during the season. Visit the UnitedHealthcare Get Fit! Iniative page for more information on how you can get involved and potentially win game tickets and other prizes.]

Hey, Get Fit! participants, I'm told I get the privilege of talking to you last this season, and that's great because I want to tell you exactly what you can take out of this program if you do it right: A long, healthy life!

Many of you out there have accomplished what you wanted to accomplish during this season.  You worked hard for it and you beat the odds, because you really are fighting a difficult battle when you try to make major changes in your life.  It's hard to change, but it's worth it.  And it will only really be worth it if you can make those changes last.  I want you to know that you can do it.

You see, I'm not here to tell you that you have to live the rest of your life on a diet, or that you have to work out five days a week for the rest of your life.  You can just live your life, and incorporate into it these new habits that you have formed.  You don't have to be perfect – you won't be perfect – but you can be healthy.  You've proved it to yourself over the last three months.

-- LB D. Watson wants Get Fit! participants to feel good about their lifestyle changes and make them into lasting habits
Just make what you've learned a way of life.  Watch what you eat as much as possible, keep on top of your exercise program…make it a habit.  You'll come to realize that you're not forcing yourself to do anything.  You're not even giving it a second thought.  You'll be ordering food at a restaurant or buying it at the grocery store and you'll know exactly what you want.  You'll get in a rhythm with the way that you are living your life.

Here's the thing, though: It's easy to go back.  It's easy to fall back into eating whatever and whenever you want and exercising without any plan or consistency.  The key is not to beat yourself up over one bad day or one indulgence.  It's going to happen, and it's not the end of the world.  In fact, you should enjoy the foods you really like from time to time, and you should take a break from your exercise from time to time.  I know the Bucs' great trainer, Todd Toriscelli, told you exactly that last week.  Just don't treat it like it's the end of your program.  If you've made a lasting change to your lifestyle, you'll be able to treat yourself without it becoming a habit.  You've got new habits now!

Let me say it again: You don't have to be perfect.  Just continue to live this new healthy lifestyle you've adopted, and continue to feel good about yourself.  Don't compare yourself to anybody else, don't measure your success by what somebody else is doing.  You've already succeeded.  Now take that success and make it pay off for the rest of your life.

Good luck and go Bucs!

- Buccaneers LB Dekoda Watson

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