Reason – a fact, condition, or situation that makes it proper or appropriate to do something, feel something, etc.
Excuse – an explanation that you give to justify improper behavior

One excuse I hear all the time – “I am so busy with work and running around with my kids that I don’t have time to focus on weight loss and exercise.”

Reality – I will rely on the brilliant people at the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) for the answer to this one. Before every commercial flight, during the safety presentation, we are instructed that in the case of an emergency we should secure our oxygen mask first and then secure our children’s.

My message is the same. You cannot take care of your family in the best way possible if you do not first take care of yourself. We are all guilty of it, for most of us it’s human nature. There is something noble in self-sacrifice. In the long term, however, you are short changing yourself and your loved ones.

First – your productivity, energy level, sleep, health, mood, appearance, confidence, and performance all suffer without regular exercise and proper nutrition.

Second – What kind of example are you setting for your children? Remember, poor diet and lack of exercise contribute to a host of debilitating health conditions such as: low self-esteem, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, high blood pressure, insomnia, and high cholesterol…to name a few.

EASILY REMEDIED – Try this simple positive change and see how much better you feel.  Successful weight loss and exercise are as much a product of organization as they are of effort.
This weekend set aside 30-60 minutes and cook up your food for the week. Sound crazy? I’ll use myself as the example for today’s lesson.
While watching the Packers demolish both the Eagles and my diminishing hopes that Mark Sanchez could shake the Jets out of his system (I’m a long suffering Jets fan), I chopped up zucchini, squash, mushrooms and peppers and tossed them into 2 pans with olive oil. While they were cooking I threw pork chops, salmon, and flank steak in 2 other pans (the salmon went in after the pork chops were done).
When the veggies were done I boiled up 2 cups of jasmine rice.
No recipes. No fancy technique. Just a cutting board, a stove top, and plenty of tupperware.
I now have 2 healthy meals for each of the next 5 days. I can add spinach and arugula to any of the proteins for a healthy salad. (I choose to add walnuts, pomegranate, and some of my cooked veggies). The steak, pork chop, and salmon with veggies are delicious all by themselves.

Total cooking time: 50 minutes. You can take them to work with you, heat them up in minutes and be the envy of everyone in your office. There is nothing like a delicious homemade meal to keep you healthy and perk up your day!
I feel good about taking care of myself and setting a good example for my kids.
For more tips on nutrition, exercise, and getting the most out of life – please visit


-Michael Shaw is the owner of New York Personal Training in NYC. His greatest pursuit is to provide this example for his children to follow… “I know who I am and who I can be. And I love them both.”