In America today, one of the most talked about topics is the epidemic proportion of obesity amongst the population, and with it, the actual health of the nation. In CNN Presents, there is even a whole section called 'Fat Chance'

Although there is a whole industry dedicated to diet control, weight loss programs, exercise programs, this is really like putting the cart before the horse.

Most people know how difficult it is to start - let alone maintain - a different, almost alien, style of existence, even though they fully understand the dangers that being overweight will bring them. Heart problems, diabetes, damage to the body joints through carrying excess baggage everywhere, are just a few of the many problems generated - let alone the associated millions spent in extra health care repairing this damage.

In fact although much aligned for being 'false' people very rarely see many successful Hollywood style actors carrying tremendous amounts of fat, unless it is deliberate.

Why they should be maligned, it is difficult to know, as they should be treated as role models for many of us. But they don't just magically get these lean, muscular looking bodies - there is a price to pay, and that price is discipline.

Discipline not only in their dietary habits, but also in how they 'sculpt' their bodies. How do you think that actors may appear as skinny runts in one epic film, and then in the next, have a completely different body shape? Contrary to popular belief, it's not down to the makeup studio, but by darned hard work, and a dedication to meet targets, change habits, and have a goal that they are aiming for, which is usually a monetary one (although egos may have just a little bit of influence here).

Whether you are a man or a woman, many of us carry around in our heads, that image of a perfectly shaped body, lean and muscularly toned, and with very little evidence of layers of blubber. It is a fact that every person has a 'six pack' - it's just very difficult to see it when the equivalent of a Wal*Mart shopping bag full of sloppy fat effectively smothers it (although normally full of the best value shopping).

Unfortunately, unless the average person introduced to some kind of disciplined routine, this image remains what it is - just an image, and will die with them if they never get out of the outwardly fatty existence they have chosen for themselves.


Now, one of the biggest and most lucrative businesses to be in at the moment would seem to be weight control, and unfortunately, like everything else, the worried would-be weight watcher can lose their shirt by trying this solution, then that solution, then the next best thing solution. Because the one major thing missing in all of these is the discipline, the self control, the monitoring of what is going on. So many people jump from what may well be a good solution to the next as they see no perceptible results.

One person who seems to have got this disciple nailed down to a fine art is a chap from the Mid West called Ryan Joyce. Ryan did a lot research on weight lifting and body sculpting some five years ago, and what he found was actually both logical and obvious.

Contrary to what every fast-buck-company claims about their so-called, "dieting secrets", "miracle weight loss pills", "super supplements", "special issue muscle magazines" and other "schemes", at this hour the majority of people trying to get fit and build the body of their dreams are simply not getting it done.

What was missing was a comprehensive control of what people were doing. They would start off with the best of intentions, but after a couple of weeks with no appreciable success - well - they just gave up and then it would be off to find the next potential panacea to their fat problem.

Ryan's approach was different. He spent a long time creating a solution for his own body, and actually reduced his body fat by over 57% in just over 12 weeks. This was a combination of exercise, diet control, the use of some supplements, and one heck of a lot of discipline.

He then tried this program on a number of people, by creating a 12 week day by day diary of events, and found that he could reproduce results on others, as long as they strictly followed his program. His web site (Warning) has a massive following from natural body builders and fitness models, and aspiring actors who need to have the latest 'Ripped' or 'Shredded' look. (For those of you not in the know - Ripped refers to ripping off the fat and baring the muscles, Shredded refers to the highly defined definitions of major muscle groups like biceps). It is a testament to what a balanced program of exercise, weight loss and discipline, should look like - it also shows he's human. Yes, he actually shares his thoughts with you, and enables you to empathize with his efforts. This identification with what he went though is a key to the many success stories he has inspired.

A lot of the success of this sort of approach is the 'Peer Pressure' it invokes. Once you have achieved the body of your dreams, you are not going to want to fill it up with cheap processed and fried food any more that are high in salt and other artificial additives. In short, it has now become the temple you were craving for. And we all know that peer pressure is far more powerful than any Doctors warning about the danger we face while wobbling around with our fatty, cholesterol clogged arteries, putting undue weight loads on our joints and backs.

So - Get Ripped, or Get Shredded, or whatever term you want to use - but turn your body back into the temple it is, give it your full respect, and maybe uncover the 6 pack that's been hidden fro years. You only ever have one, and you know what happens to buildings that get neglected over the years. Warning