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Staying Motivated

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Your overall, far-reaching goal may be to morph your body from sweat suit–comfy to summer dress–ready; unfortunately, it’s not going to happen overnight.

dec-4.jpgSo instead of getting discouraged and heading for the nearest ice cream parlor, try to focus on what you have achieved. In the end, it’s the small accomplishments that add up to a big chunk of success. Take a step back and objectively assess how you’ve been doing:

1. Have you made it to the gym four times this week? Pat yourself on the back.

2. Have you turned down cake at a party? Give yourself a thumbs-up.

3. Were you able to fit into your jeans without having to do any squats or lunges? Celebrate!

In all seriousness, the key to staying motivated is to set yourself up for success. Too often, our unrealistic expectations leave us disappointed. Instead, gauge your progress in small steps. Focus on what you can control—improving your behaviors—and the body you want is sure to follow.

I’m tired all the time, but with summer here, I really want to have some outdoor fun. I have heard that B12 boosts energy. What is it and what is it supposed to do? Please help me regain my energy.

Steve Richter

Hi, Steve,
I’m so glad you asked this question. There are tons of products on the market that claim to increase energy levels. Some are effective and others aren’t. Too often, people take supplements as a quick fix, without first identifying and correcting what’s causing the initial problem.

Common energy zappers include dehydration, stress, sleep deprivation, being overweight, getting too little exercise and skipping meals through the day. First, be sure you’re not guilty of any of these causes of fatigue.

If you’ve got all these covered, then yes, try supplementing with B12. There is some evidence that vitamin B12—particularly twice-weekly intramuscular injections—may improve a person’s general well-being and happiness. B12 might enhance your energy levels, but consult your physician before taking any supplements.