Happy New Year everyone! Attention to my blog has been (admittedly) lacking lately due to the obvious busy holiday season. I am happy to say, however, that this past Christmas was the most enjoyable one I have had in many years, and I was able to keep the usual stress associated with the season to a minimum. Overall, I consider that a success!
Now that we’ve made it past the holiday rush and the new year has ushered in, I’m sure many of you are being bombarded with the many advertisements discussing resolutions, weight loss, and how to “Make this your year.” I’m not gonna lie, it’s annoying. Like really annoying. Personally, I prefer to set an intention for my year, and improve different areas of my life over the months. The year on the calendar does not change my outlook. Obviously I am very interested in my health and fitness, therefore many of my intentions revolve around that area of my life. Instead of pressuring myself to make a resolution, I decided on three things I want from my fitness/health in 2015: To run faster, get stronger, and train smarter. Simple. None of those three items stress me out, and since I am interested in each one, I don’t see them as duties.
For many of you though, the extra eggnog and holiday gatherings likely have you making resolutions for some sort of weight loss. Whether it’s 5 pounds or 50, many people approach New Year weight loss resolutions with full intentions to attack their bad habits, throw out all of the “bad” food, and finally get things right. But when January comes to a close and the weight hasn’t gone as quickly as you’d hoped, feelings of failed resolutions start to creep back. How do you respond? I’d like to offer a few “Do’s” and “Don’ts” to help.
My Top 5 “Do’s”
Give Yourself Time: Change will most definitely not happen overnight. It may take a few weeks to see changes and that’s completely fine. It’s important to remember that you did not gain weight from one meal or one day, and therefore it will not leave as quickly either. Stay the course, remember WHY you are doing this, and keep pushing on.
Accept What You Cannot Change: Many people fall into a battle with food and believe they will only see changes if they cut out all of the “bad foods” they enjoy (ie. chips, cookies, pop, sweets, etc). This is so far from the truth. I believe it is important to accept yourself for favoring salty foods or sweets, and incorporate them into your diet. It’s highly unlikely you will stop eating them for the rest of your life, therefore you must find a way to enjoy them in moderation while also keeping your health goals mind.
Find Your Fit: Hate running? Don’t run! Find activities you truly enjoy and use them to your advantage. Enjoy dancing? Maybe sign up for lessons, or create a playlist of favorite dance music and rock out each day to that (bonus points for looking like a fool!). Exercise should not be a chore or duty, but rather something you look forward to. Find what you deeply like and start there. You may even end up falling in love with something completely different!
Change Your Frame of Mind: I’ve noticed a lot of “Challenges” popping up and can’t help but think that they instill the mentality that healthy eating is hard to do. A lot of people approach healthy living/weight loss with the attitude that it’s going to be a dreadful journey and extremely difficult to achieve. Though you may hit points of low motivation, it’s important to keep your head straight and view it as a chance to become something better. Eating is not hard, and eating healthy doesn’t have to be either.
Celebrate Your Achievements: Let’s say you planned to lose 25 pounds in 4 months, and when those 4 months were complete you only lost 15 pounds. Instead of nagging yourself for falling short of your goal, celebrate the progress you DID make! Change is change, and slow change is great (if not more desirable and easier to maintain). Pat yourself on the back, adjust your sails, and move forward.
My Top 5 “Don’ts”
Focus On The Long Road: From the start line, your end goal may seem like a mere dot, but you must take that first step. Start small and focus on the present. What can you do today to better your health? Don’t worry about the weekend or next month. Making a small change each day will add up to a whole lot of changes in just 10 days, and you’ll be that much closer to your goal!
Follow Trends: Obviously the promises of drinking of a certain tea or shake 3 times a day for 30 days and losing 15 pounds in a month SOUNDS good, but do you really believe that’s healthy? This is the time of year most companies thrive on because people are more vulnerable about losing weight and getting fast results. Be cautious about your health and well being, and stick with the “traditional” way of better food choices and regular activity.
Set Unrealistic Goals: If it’s been 10 years since you last worked out and you have 50 pounds to shed, do not expect it to fall off in 30 days! Embrace the new road you are traveling and make a plan. Find a friend/partner to share your journey and take it slow. Maybe focus on better food choices first, then incorporate exercise, and before you know it you’ll be wondering why you thought it was so hard to do before!
Get Stuck In A Rut: You may be a veteran at the gym and have been eating healthier foods for quite some time, yet there are a few things you still want to change. This is where reflection is important. It may be time to find a new workout and challenge yourself in a different way. I like to switch my training every 4-6 weeks depending on what I’m doing. Maybe cut back on cardio for a while and increase your strength sessions. Keep your body guessing and find new hobbies!
Stop Believing: It may sound cliche (cue Journey’s hit) but you MUST trust the process and yourself! There is no other person who can work out for you (it’d be nice though, I know!) and therefore you need to reinforce in your mind why you started down this road, what you want out of it, and believe you can make it happen.
I wish you all much happiness for 2015!
We are all a work in progress and everyday is a chance to make ourselves better!
Stay positive my friends, and shoot for the stars!