Dear No-This-Isn’t-About-You,

I’ve been thinking a lot about you. Worrying, in fact, and trying to figure out how I can make a big impact on your fitness and your wellness in the limited amount of time we have together. Truthfully, I feel like a friggin’ failure at the end of some of our sessions. Do I give you more cardio? More strength? What can I do? How can we make this happen? And what, exactly, is it that we trying to make happen, anyway?

And then I did some math, and I’m going to put some (a lot) of that worry back on your shoulders. Because here’s the thing: if you give me .6 percent effort, I can’t give you 100 percent results. I can’t even give you 50 percent results. Don’t get me wrong, I can do a heckuva lot for you in a half-hour session, and I can reinforce it in a second half-hour session. But that’s a grand total of 1 hour of working out a week, out of 168 hours. That’s less than .6 percent of your time. Your body needs more attention than that.

(Parenthetically, it’s also .6 percent of my week, not including the time I spend worrying about what to do with you.)

So please, on at least a few of the 5 days we’re not together, go for a walk. Do some crunches, squats, or lunges. Get on the elliptical. Stop eating whoopie pies and drinking Monster all day. I don’t think it’s all that funny when you half-jokingly outline to me all the sins of the past week as your skin gets grayer and scarier-looking during the workout. Pleeeeeaaaaaase.

We can argue about it all you want, but the reality is, I didn’t make the rules. I’m not the person who designed a body made to move. I didn’t create the constructs of our sedentary/crappy-food-laden society. Just like you, I am forced to live within these boundaries, and occasionally I struggle with them, too.  As Dr. Phil would say, it’s time to get real, and I’m more than willing to help you come up with solutions to help you integrate fitness and wellness into your life.

But you’ve got to help yourself.

So please, go for a 15- to 30-minute walk — or SOMETHING!!! — a few days a week, when you can’t get to the gym. And eat some vegetables while you’re at it.

thank you!