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When Working Out Isn't Working Out:
A Mind/Body Guide to Conquering Unidentified Fitness Obstacles

by Michael Gerrish
1999

When a diet and exercise regime doesn't work out as expected, where do you put the blame? When Working Out Isn't Working Out may offer you some very surprising answers. For example, the failure may not be due to laziness or lack of discipline. It could be due to ADD, sleep apnea or even low-grade depression. Your exercise program could be wrong for your body type. You may be eating the wrong foods at the wrong time, or weight training improperly. Many things that hold a person back from achieving optimal health can be corrected in ways that have little or nothing to do directly with diet or exercise. Michael Gerrish's book addresses the mind-body connection in fitness, emphasizing that even when focusing primarily on the physical, the human psyche comes into play.

Gerrish is perhaps unique in being able to address these issues - not only is he a trainer and an exercise physiologist, but he is also a counseling psychotherapist. In addition, he's suffered from the same low-self esteem and many of the psychological blocks that he examines. The blocks that keep you from achieving optimum fitness are called Unidentified Fitness Obstacles (UFOs), and Gerrish suggests ways to overcome them in a light, and often funny, writing style. The book is sprinkled with self-diagnostic tests that can indicate whether you suffer from a particular UFO, and practical solutions are offered.

This is an incredibly useful book if you are having difficultly getting motivated to pursue a fitness lifestyle, or if you aren't getting the desired results, no matter what you try. Gerrish takes on psychological issues like perfectionism, biological issues such as sleep debt, physical issues such as drug side effects, and nutritional issues. While much of what he has to say is firmly grounded in science, he'll occasionally delve into the world of self-help books and give advice about food combining or thought-field therapy. You can take or leave these parts as you please; overall this book offers many excellent solutions to overcome the fitness blocks in your life.

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