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New columnist says you can change your lifestyle

<p>Carla Linder-Mayer grew up in Naperville. She and her husband, Mark, have been married since 1977 and raised their three children here. She owns Reality Fitness, 39 1Ú2 W. Jefferson Ave. in Naperville. Contact her at 630-357-7087.</p>

Carla Linder-Mayer grew up in Naperville. She and her husband, Mark, have been married since 1977 and raised their three children here. She owns Reality Fitness, 39 1Ú2 W. Jefferson Ave. in Naperville. Contact her at 630-357-7087.

Editor’s Note: The Sun welcomes longtime Naperville resident Carla Linder-Mayer as a fitness columnist in the Mind & Body section. She will write about local trends and people making real changes in their lives.

My weight has always been “my struggle.” I have lost hundreds of pounds in my life. In fact, I have lost more than 100 pounds three different times.

Each time I lost the weight, I was sure that I would never regain that weight. But as what happens with many of us, I got cocky and thought that I had conquered this weight thing and slowly but surely regained all of it back.

Seven years ago, I lost the weight for the last time. I have kept he pounds off by taking ownership of my relationship with food and learning new strategies and food choices.

I have also come to love how I feel when I am done exercising. Notice, I said that I love how I feel “when I’m done” exercising. I still have times that I don’t want to eat healthy or exercise, but I don’t let those times turn into days, weeks or months of being off track. I have the opportunity at any point in my day to take control back by changing my attitude and choices.

The benefits of being in control of my life are endless! As a wife, mother and recent grandmother, I love my new energy. I love wearing fun clothes. I love bike rides. I love hiking. I love all the things “I can” do because I choose to be responsible for my choices.

“I can” is the new mantra that I use in my everyday life. It is also the mantra that I want you, the community of Naperville to begin to use when contemplating how to fit better health and wellness into your own lives.

We all spend a lot of time thinking about what we can’t do.

“I can’t get to the weight that the charts say I should weigh.”

“I can’t exercise because my knees hurt.”

“I can’t eat healthy because of my work schedule.”

“I don’t have time to eat healthy because I’m always on the fly.”

You get the picture.

What if instead of focusing on what we can’t do, we focus on what we can do?

“I can focus on losing my first 5 pounds.”

“I can do upper body exercise.”

“I can plan ahead to make sure I have options at my desk to choose from when I don’t have time to get out of the office.”

“I can become familiar with the local fast-food restaurant menus so that I have ‘go-to’ options when I am in a hurry that I know are healthy choices.’

It feels so much better to take our power back instead of remaining a victim to our lives.

I became a personal trainer after learning how to control my weight. I enjoy supporting others who would like to experience the same joys that I experienced when I took control back of my own life.

My desire to help others became a “reality” when I had the opportunity to purchase Reality Fitness from Nicki Anderson almost two years ago.

Nicki owned Reality Fitness for 20 years and was ready to create a new “reality” for herself. Nicki was contemplating just closing the doors of the business, but thought if she could find someone who was as passionate about helping others become their best, she would be willing to sell it. Thankfully, she thought of me.

I no longer consider my weight to be “my struggle.” A struggle implies that there is a violent effort to get free from something.

I am already free. Free to choose my health with every bite I take and every activity I participate in. Good or bad, the choices are mine and the consequences are mine to manage. I “can” manage my health by managing my choices.

As a new columnist for The Naperville Sun’s Mind & Body section, I look forward to sharing with readers motivational, practical and local opportunities that will inspire you to become the best person you can be!

Carla Linder-Mayer grew up in Naperville. She and her husband, Mark, have been married since 1977 and raised their three children here. She owns Reality Fitness, 39 ½ W. Jefferson Ave. in Naperville. Contact her at 630-357-7087.

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