Hi there, folks. I'm here for the sole purpose of helping you get your mind and body (typically in that order) in top condition. It isn't all Xs and Os, because if reading a manual full of exercises was all you needed, everyone would be in shape and I'd be panhandling. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Hi there, folks. Trainer X here, and I'm here for the sole purpose of helping you get your mind and body (typically in that order) in top condition. It isn't all Xs and Os, because if reading a manual full of exercises was all you needed, everyone would be in shape and I'd be panhandling. Not that there's anything wrong with that.


I needed to put that first paragraph in because I sometimes need to perform a little "checkup from the neck up" on people. You see, there is one little three-letter word that gets in the way all the time while I attempt to ply my trade: ego.


Now mind you, I don't mean ego in the sense that someone thinks they're the best at something, rather people cannot get over the fact that they might not know themselves better than someone else does. That someone is me.


Why do people hire me and then argue with me about what I tell them? Truly, it befuddles me on a daily basis.


I approach questions with only logic and objective thinking as my tools, and I give answers that remove all emotional nonsense toward the agreed-upon goal. Do you argue with a mechanic that you contract to repair your car? Do you tell your accountant that she doesn't know what she's talking about? Why is it that people blindly accept help on rudimentary subjects as engineering and mathematics and yet battle to the death regarding psychology and physiology?


Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the one question I cannot answer.


"What have you been eating lately?" I ask this ALL the time, and at least once a day I hear, "Oh, you don't want to know!"


Yes, the personal fitness coach you hired to help you shed body fat and gain muscle is asking you about your nutrition, but it is really part of a gargantuan, sinister plot where I don't want to know. People: Don't waste time with silly little machinations that are designed to make a boy think you're cute on the playground. Write down what you eat, stay away from the foods you know to be your downfall, and listen to reason.


I am not here to tell you that I don't make poor choices or skip workouts (I rarely do, but you get the point). What I am trying to say is that when I tell my daughter Emily that what she did isn't appropriate, I make sure to let her know that she herself is. When I tell you that pizza and beer every weekend is going to derail your progress every time, I still like you; it's the action that I am not a fan of, capice?


Realize that this ship will steer more precisely if we let Lady Logic navigate and we focus on learning. And learning happens best when you stop holding onto your ego.


Darin St. George is a personal fitness coach at Gold's Gym in Natick, Mass. Visit his Web site at www.myspace.com/darinstgeorge.