Let's face it. If I had a dollar for every time I said I was going to start working out, exercising and trying to get in shape, I could almost buy my own gym so I could have the place to myself and actually do it.

It's difficult walking in to a gym by yourself and watching a group of people who look like expert bodybuilders effortlessly using these machines that look like they were built on Jupiter. After one or two tries, I give up.

I have an elliptical at home that I've been using for years, but that only gives you half the workout you need ("cardio"). You need to incorporate weight training, too--or so I am told. See the above second paragraph. Diet is another story, and December and the holidays are the worst time to start working on that, but I'll keep you posted.

The other problem is cost. Do I want to pay a monthly fee to drag myself to this other planet, a place I will probably only go to once or twice and quit because it feels too intimidating? No.

What I've done recently is "hire" a fitness coach. There's a cost involved there, too, obviously, but the thing is, there's also motivation, education and accountability on the table. This 214-lb. tub of lard might actually get into a program that sticks and also get over the fear and intimidation, with the help of somebody there to oversee my endeavors. The best case scenario is I will learn enough to feel comfortable doing it myself.

My health is worth it, especially how I've been feeling lately (not good). But, I'm on the right track.

I'm also very open to your tips to stay motivated, so feel free to share them in the comments.