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Feel Better in Just 6 Hours a Week

Spend just one hour a day for six days focusing on yourself, and you can solve your problems of overfat and unfit forever. Here’s how, from motivational speaker and New York Times bestselling author Susan Powter’s book The Politics of Stupid: The Cure for Obesity

Time, like motivation, is something you’ve been looking for everywhere… more of it. Much, much more, because if you could find (same language) the time you would certainly start doing a whole lot of things you know you should be doing… if only you could find the time. Time and looking for more of it is another one of those very well planned detours. A detour that has millions of people looking for something that doesn’t exist. More time in your own life, for your life.

Listen to the language, ladies. Time management. Unabashed in the language that describes what you are looking for. Time management… as if there is such a thing! My peers in the motivational-speaker world would have you believing that time can be managed. I’m here to tell you it can’t. Time management is a misnomer. You cannot manage time. We all have the same twenty-four hours in a day, and you’d think with your life being made so convenient for you, you would have nothing but extra time. Not true. Not true at all. What is true is, most women are buried alive in their lives, looking everywhere for more time and killing themselves waiting to find it. Your finding the time in your life, for your life, is not happening and never will … because you can’t manage time. You can’t manage time, but you can manage you.

Managing your life, your needs, your body, within the same twenty-four hours we all have, is a solution for much and absolutely connected to how you do, or don’t, look and feel. I had to admit back in my overfat and unfit day that there were: people who had children, and exercised, lean, strong women who had idiots for ex-husbands. There were one or two people living in Garland who ate well, and guess what, they looked good. A whole lot better than I was looking and feeling. There was one major difference between me and them and it wasn’t that they had more than twenty-four hours in the day. The difference was that they were doing a few things, no matter what the circumstances of their life, that I wasn’t. It dawned (lightning-bolt moment) on me that life wasn’t going anywhere … until it went. And many days, most days, sometimes years of days, were hell. Living is hard, but it’s still the best bet. Enough said; living was for me. I realized in that moment that doing a few things for myself, while life goes on, those things make life:

  • easier
  • leaner (synonymous)
  • stronger (synonymous)
  • better

I’ve been fit and I have been fat… and fit is better. Waking up every day with a foundation of wellness makes life a lot easier, and you, waiting to find the time to do the very few simple things that you must do in order to make your life a whole lot easier is nuts. You can’t manage time. It is a management matter, but not anything close to what the experts in the field of time management insist it is.

The fact of the as-much-time-as-you-need-to-change the- way-you-look-and-feel-forever matter is: How you manage you daily, your life, definitely the eat, breathe, move, and think of your life, is how you are going to have plenty of extra time. Motivation happens in the process of doing, and more time is the result. You managing your life? Your life’s priorities. You doing the managing of your life, yourself within the same twenty-four hours we all have is how you:

  • change your body
  • change your health
  • get all the time you need to lose as much weight as you want to lose

Starting with a few basic changes in your use of time, the first being to stop asking for more time. First, there isn’t any more time — take that from me, fifty years old, three kids and a life later, I can promise you I haven’t found more time. Second, who are you asking? Finding the time to  ___________ (fill in the blank) Krazy Glues millions into not doing a thing. It’s one of the big reasons why you just can’t get a grip on this weight thing. “When I find the time, I will.” “As soon as I have the time, I’m going to…” I said it, you say it, millions are saying it right now. At 260 pounds, I said it. After I work the three jobs I’m working, take care of my elderly parents, be a friend, lover, wife, and mother to the world, I’ll carve out some time for me… after I find it, that is. And… it never happens.

It never happens for a couple of reasons. You’ve been sent (again) looking for something that is not there, and trying to find more time to tack life-changing lifestyle habits onto everything you are already doing is impossible. Overwhelmed is overwhelmed, and millions are. And the reason you are is that you are on the wrong end of an endless list. Step one in time management: Something’s gotta go and it’s about to… actually, a whole lot of somethings. Time management, the misnomer in a discussion that goes way beyond tacking yourself onto the endless list of all the things you have to do … no, no, that was my mother — not me and not you. Dead at fifty-two, did I mention?

You’ll have plenty of time to work on your body because you are about to do a whole lot more than carve a minute or two for yourself… you are about to carve a good chunk of time out for yourself every day. You are going to take one hour a day. Yep, one whole, to-yourself hour a day. Figure it out, it’s only an hour… you’ve got another twenty-three to do whatever you want with. One hour a day, six days a week. Grab the smelling salts for millions of women — I know what a reaction that statement creates. Six hours a week for you, in your life —  impossible! All you need to do is reread what I just said in order to understand everything I’m talking about. Gasp at the suggestion of spending six hours a week all you want, but this is what you get:

  • looking and feeling better than you have in years
  • giving your body what it needs to live
  • solving the problems of overfat and unfit forever…

And a whole lot more… point being…

Six hours… I want you for one hour a day, six days a week, for three months. If at the end of those three months, you don’t like what you see, go back to your old ways. Not too much to ask; after all, it’s your life. Added to the list? Not anymore. You are about to do something much worse than that… you are about to sin. And you are about to sin big, and mortally if you are a woman. You are about to put you first, for three months, no need to get the flogging gear out, not yet anyway.

For the next three months of your life, before anyone or anything, comes you. If you want to reclaim your body, your health, and a whole lot more, that’s exactly what you have to do. Make your body, your health, and your life the top priority. Work the project, like you work all the other projects. Take care of yourself like you take care of … how many people? If someone you love is unwell, what do you do? Yeah. That’s the point, and I don’t even have to type it, you know it… Put the same energy into you, you first… horror, you selfish woman, you!

Now, about that time you can’t seem to find. Step one: Stop looking for it. Step two: X-change selfless for selfish.

Full of self. Why the hell not, literally… and not rhetorically… I mean why the hell not? Full of self while you heal and restore your self back to yourself… it makes perfect sense. Your life, your needs, your health, your body, your brain, you. First. Three months, you and me at No more looking for, asking, squeezing in time for you. Demand the time in your life, for your life, and you’ll find a lot more than time.

Fact: You’ve got twenty-four hours in a day. What you do within those twenty-four hours is going to give you the energy and strength you need to do all the other things you are doing in those twenty-four hours. Full of self is as far from unloving as you could possibly get, even though it’s been presented ass-backward. The most loving thing you can do for you is you, and the most loving thing you can do for everyone is you. Love being interconnected — everything is — and love being an action, and it is. What’s gotta go is you throwing away your time on everything and everybody else but you first. The truth is, it’s you who’s been wasting very precious time if you are overfat and unfit.

Fitness is dangerous; that’s been established. You managing you is extremely dangerous because you start to love it, and you start to consider your time (especially time away from you) precious. What a thought… millions of women taking their energy and time seriously; God knows what will happen when that does. What happened to me, what has happened to every woman I’ve ever taught in every class — and that’s one hell of a market-research statistic — is, I started to love that hour for me. You have no idea how dangerous (and how much opportunity) six hours a week to yourself can be until you do it.

Very soon into oxygenating your body, you will start to love the way you feel when your body is oxygen-rich. The minute your body builds an ounce of strength, you are going to love feeling stronger. Burning fat, shrinking, is one of the most exciting things on earth. Call me “surfacey,” go right ahead, I still clearly remember the landmark shrinking stages as I burned the fat off my body … and it’s been years. I said it in the first infomercial: One of the best days of my life happened at a mall. Double stroller (that was back in the day when nobody was having babies, now?), double diaper bag, exhausted, strolling the kids around because I had nothing else to do, and I was losing my mind (and oh, what a thrill a mall is for me) when it dawned on me that for the first time in forever, my thighs were not rubbing together. Remember when I ducked my head and looked between my legs on national TV … because I did. To this day, I remember when my belly went from three rolls to one! Oh my God, stunning. Oh, I absolutely remember when there wasn’t even enough fat to grab, just the last bit of fat to burn before a tight, flat stomach. Thrilling, and I loved it. I still do. As will you. You will love getting well, and very soon into your program, you won’t like it when your time is taken away from you. Not at all. After all, I’m only talking about six hours a week, and it’s easily found when you take a gander at how much time you waste:

  • talking to people you can’t stand ’cause you can’t say no
  • helping the world because you think you should
  • supporting ___________ (fill in that blank).

All of it is fine if that’s what you want to do, somebody’s got to… but not until you are well. Fair enough. When you are strong enough to carry the weight of the bloody world, go right ahead. When you’ve dumped the extra weight hanging from your body, you can pick up as much “atmospheric” weight as you’d like, but until then it’s killing you. I mean this literally. Knock yourself out in being kind to others when you are healthy and well … you’ll be far more effective then anyway, and you’ll love the way you look and feel while you are doing it, social work by, “Susan Powter.”

The politics of selfish women… oh my God. A whole lot changes when women stop running around accommodating everything and everybody, and one of the biggest changes is that you’ll find some of the time you’ve been looking for and you will never give it up again.

Your new life can begin the minute you know your energy, strength, and time will no longer be spent looking for things that are not out there (because, they aren’t). Then you take the actions (love is an action word) and do the things that give you back… your body, your brain, and your life… and you’ll have more energy and strength to live your life. Certainly, a better use of time than looking for it.


Susan Powter, the New York Times bestselling author Politics of Stupid: The Cure for Obesity (Copyright © 2002 by Susan Powter), is also the author of Stop the Insanity!; The Pocket Powter; C’Mon America, Let’s Eat!; and Hey, Mom! I’m Hungry! For many years she has been inspiring audiences worldwide with her books, audios, videos, and record-breaking life-changing seminars. Visit her online at




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