By Kristi Romero
January 1st is right around the corner. Have you made your New Year’s Resolution? Is it the same resolution as last year? And the year before that? Does it have something to do with losing weight or getting in shape?
If you answered yes, you are definitely not alone.
Why is it that you are making this same resolution, once again?
Why is it that so many of us are wanting to shed the pounds and get healthier, come January first, even though this same goal has been set in the past?
Year after year weight loss resolutions keep coming around. Let’s break the cycle once and for all and figure out why so we can move forward definitively and consistently.
If beginning your weight loss plan includes any of the following, you may want to rethink your strategy:
– going to the gym 2x / day
– working out for more than 1.5 hours / day
– eliminating any food groups from your diet
– eliminating any types of foods or favorite foods from your diet
– kissing your social life goodbye
For most of us, these are all examples of extreme measures, but are commonly used when contemplating “getting in shape.
If your plan to lose weight includes something similar to what’s written above, it is highly likely that the longevity of your plan will be short-lived, along with the progress you’ve made. If you cannot see yourself exercising a certain way or eating a certain way for the rest of your life, find a different way. It’s easy and to some, even appealing to be extreme.
For some it’s easy to follow a diet of only a short list of allowed foods for a few weeks. Even swearing off sugar or dairy or gluten for a couple weeks. We all want results and we want them yesterday, however, if you are going to go this route, prepare for those great, fast results to be gone even faster.
Here’s a prime example I have heard too many times to count:“I want to do Atkins because it worked for me in the past.”
Actually, no it did not work.
It worked. But did it really work if you are back again where you started or maybe even a few pounds heavier than to begin with? No, it did not work. It was a quick fix as so many trendy diets are. If the diet or program you are beginning to embark on does not look like something you could maintain every day for the rest of your life, then your goal will not be met. I take that back, sure it can be met, but it will not be sustained. If you cannot see yourself never eating dairy, or gluten, or sugar, or carbs, then you have the wrong plan. Create a plan that works for you. It probably won’t be the same plan as someone else’s, but as long as it’s doable and realistic for you, the greater your chance for long term success.
CONSISTENCY AND PERSISTENCE
I bet if you asked those that have had long term weight loss success what their secret was, a common answer would be developing healthier habits. New habits are formed with consistency and persistence. This is key to achieving pretty much anything you want in life. Habits form by making small lifestyle changes and constantly working on them. Small changes add up, and most of the time these small changes you are working on daily don’t provide immediate visual results. This is where persistence comes in, because it is these little habits that are repeated every day, every week, every month that when added up over time, provide the most lasting results.
Just when you want to give up
Of course you are not going to see your dream body in the mirror after your first session in the gym, or even after your first week in the gym. You may not even see any noticeable differences for several weeks, but they are happening. More importantly is the repetition of you getting in your workouts a few times a week which has now turned into a healthy habit not only for vanity reasons, but for relieving stress, improving bone and heart health, and a plethora of other benefits. Thus it is so important to have a plan that is realistic for you to maintain consistency.
RESOLUTION DOES NOT MEAN ABSOLUTION
With those new healthy habits in place, there will still be those days. After all, just because it is a resolution does not mean absolution. Despite making healthier lifestyle changes, there probably will be days that you eat ice cream, and way too much of it straight out of the container. There probably will be nights where chips and salsa seem like the perfect dinner. There will probably be an afternoon where you drive to the gym, stop, and then turn around and drive right home without even getting out of the car. And this is OK. It is going to happen. It happens to everyone. You are human, welcome to the club.
JUST MOVE ON AND DO THE NEXT RIGHT THING
The best way to handle these types of situations is to learn from them and move on. If it is related to overeating, try and think about why you ate more than you knew was enough and identify a possible trigger, and learn from it for the next time. The worst thing you can do is let yourself feel guilty. Guilt should not be associated with any food or any missed workout and should not lead you to an early morning cardio session or missed meals the next day. What had been done on Tuesday is left on Tuesday. Start fresh on Wednesday. Forget about it, and move on.
When creating your plan of attack to lose weight or get healthier, keep it simple and realistic. It can be tempting to jump into a program that boasts: “lose 20 pounds in 4 weeks” or “get your dream body in just 12 weeks.” Sure those statements may be true, but if the effort you made to get there wasn’t something you can maintain forever, your results will be very short lived and you’ll be right back to where you started. Make 2015 the last year this happens. Take it slow. Stay consistent; and forgive yourself when you slip up.
Cheers to Your Last Weight-loss New Year’s Resolution!
Kristi has been active in the health and fitness industry for over 10 years. She excels as a personal trainer, fitness competitor, nutritionist, and health coach. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Health Promotion and certifications with ACE and NASM. As a new mom, her passion for health and wellness has grown to specialize in women and children.
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