It’s the New Year – Hooray!! Motivation is high for weight loss. Health club memberships soar, at least for a few weeks, before so many energized exercisers give up their overambitious goals. Commercials for weight loss products and programs lure many new and seasoned participants, all ready to clean up their act by dramatically slashing calories.
Discipline – that’s what Americans have in ample supply as January rolls around, on the heels of our guilty pleasures and overeating sprees. “I will bring this weight down, once and for all!” the nation screams in a panic, as pants won’t button and muffin tops roll over waistbands.
If you cannot maintain the lifestyle you force on January 1, or any day of the year for that matter, what good is it really? I think lifestyle is everything. So, I urge you to seriously consider the question above: What does your most realistic improved lifestyle look like? Today. Not next June, or last September, but now, the only time that really counts.
Yes, I want you to improve your health habits. Please start to move a little if you have been sedentary all your life. Of course I would love to have everyone gather momentum toward better eating habits.
So, I recommend sitting down during a non-panic moment, relaxing, and being very honest about what your most realistic IMPROVED lifestyle would look like. Would you have some limits on chocolate – again, realistic ones – and would you add a vegetable at least once a day if you are now eating none?
Your current lifestyle – the one that is a big picture look at how you live – corresponds to your current body. Any short term changes will be small blips in the pattern. It just stands to reason that if you improve your lifestyle, even in small ways, the changes will show up in your body – how it feels, how it performs, and how it looks. Anything else is just senseless. It won’t last.
Let your year start out in a new way. Keep a keen eye on an improved lifestyle, identifying definite goals that will help you get there. Listen to your body, and modify the plan as needed. Use any tools that help. That is to say that eating plans and workout routines can be quite helpful, but they must feel right, and they must be realistic.
If you try something and it doesn’t work as well as you would like, keep trying. Don’t be afraid to fall. The successes you gain will be real, and they will truly be yours – and they will be sustainable. Happy New Year! Stay Healthy!!