San Diego � Americans spend billions of dollars every year on weight loss products and services while $93 billion per year goes to treat the heath problems of people who are overweight. With a large percentage of all Americans overweight or obese, a leading health and fitness expert is urging Americans to GET REAL.

�When I began studying weight management, I had always assumed anyone could lose or maintain weight with enough exercise and appropriate diet. I was working off a strict �calories-in/calories burned� model. But my clients often just �weight cycled,� quickly regaining the pounds they�d lost and more. It finally struck me that something was missing and that the key lies in lifestyle issues,� says Daniel Kosich, PhD.

The realization of the powerful link between emotional health and body weight gave birth to Dr. Kosich�s groundbreaking book, GET REAL: A Personal Guide to Real-Life Weight Management. While most weight management books focus on diet and, to a lesser degree, exercise, GET REAL�s central tenet is that successful weight management begins with attitude � not self-defeating attitudes like denial, frustration and despair, but self-acceptance, self-esteem and a positive body image.

�Think of regular activity, healthy eating and positive attitude as the legs of a three-legged stool,� says Dr. Kosich. �If one leg is longer or shorter than the others, the stool doesn�t balance. And if one leg is missing, the entire stool topples over. But if you can consistently balance these three healthy activities, you can win the weight management battle for life.�

GET REAL: A Personal Guide to Real-Life Weight Management is published by IDEA Health & Fitness Association, the world's leading membership organization fitness professionals, and serves as a weight management program for the YMCA of the USA.

The GET REAL philosophy also emphasizes what Dr. Kosich terms the �80/20 Principle.� Eat what you know you should 80% of the time and leave 20% for acknowledging and accepting that you are not perfect. That way you won�t set yourself up for feeling guilty or testing your willpower against cravings for foods you don�t need much of.

�People, especially young women, become obsessed with a certain body image, weight goal or dress size,� says Dr. Kosich. �But what�s most important is that a person determine and reach a weight that�s healthy for them. Not a number from a simplistic height/weight chart. Not something they�ve read in a magazine. But a healthy weight they can achieve and maintain.�


Dr. Kosich recommends weight-conscious individuals keep these thoughts in mind:

� You might be at your healthy weight right now!

� You should focus on taking care of yourself today, not achieving some future weight goal.

� There�s no rush. Maximum effective weight loss is about one pound a week.

� Develop a positive body image and achieve a healthy self-esteem.

� Make informed nutritional choices and eat sensibly and intelligently.

�Think about where you want to be in 10 years. It�s not what you do for the next 10 weeks, or even 10 months, that determines where you�ll be in 10 years. It�s what you do for the next 10 years that counts,� Dr. Kosich says.

GET REAL: A Personal Guide To Real-Life Management can be purchased by calling IDEA at (800) 999-4332, ext. 7. Or it may be purchased online at GET REAL includes a series of question and answer exercises that focus on strengthening self-image and clarifying personal values in order to set a strong foundation for change. GET REAL is also available with a companion Teacher's Guide which provides more than 50 key lesson points, 10 sample sessions for one-to-one use, plus a six-week syllabus for working with a group weight management class.

IDEA is the world's leading membership organization of health and fitness professionals with more than 23,000 members in over 80 countries. Since 1982, IDEA has provided health and fitness professionals with pertinent information, educational opportunities, career development programs and industry leadership while helping them enhance the quality of life worldwide through safe, effective fitness and healthy lifestyle programs. For more information on IDEA events, publications, educational products, member services or other activities, visit the IDEA Web site at: