It’s February, which means that we’re over a month into 2012 and hopefully many of you are already on your way to having a healthy, productive year and working to meet your resolutions. It’s true that we all make New Year’s resolutions in regards to health and fitness and rarely follow them for more than a month. But even if you have already slipped up, remember that this year has the possibility to be different! To help out, I have a few recommendations to make sure you continue to work towards your goals past the first month of the year.
1) Don’t expect changes over night.
After personal training for 6 years, I find this to be one of the most frustrating things for my clients. Changes do not happen quickly and if they do, it is usually do to unhealthy methods, such as crash dieting. These methods will only hurt you in the long run and leave you frustrated. Eat healthy, work out, and give it time. Results will come.
2) When devising a plan to make changes to your body, start everything in moderation.
Some might disagree with this but I think that small changes in your lifestyle are the key to getting, maintaining, and enjoying a healthy body and lifestyle. Don’t just pick a random diet and start dieting,especially if you know you aren’t good at sticking to a diet. Start with making simple changes to your everyday eating habits. After all, forming new HABITS is the ultimate goal. Eat a turkey sandwich for lunch instead of pasta or a burger. After a couple weeks, cut something out. Order food with no sauce or cheese or choose wheat bread instead of white bread. By doing this, you are eliminating so many extra, unneeded calories! And by starting out slow, your body is sure to respond. You body responds to changes in your diet and when it gets used to a certain amount of calories it will plateau and stop dropping weight. By starting slow and making tiny adjustments, you will be starting at a high number of calories and then slowly be working your way to a lower number of calories and healthier forms of calories. And the best part… you don’t have to fear the pressure of dieting and the rebound weight that comes from quitting a diet! Make living a healthier lifestyle your goal and the weight loss will follow.
3) Use this same slow approach with your workouts.
If you started day one with an hour of cardio and a total body workout that left you sore for a week, take it back a couple steps. Start slow and enjoy it. Your body responds the same way to working out as it does to eating. If you are burning more calories than you usually do, you will drop weight. If you start with difficult long workouts, you will have no where to go when your body gets used to it and plateaus. Which leads me to my fourth suggestion…
4) Rethink the way you view your workouts.
This is big one, and when people get this down their results tend to accelerate because their efforts are much more consistent. Don’t think of it as something you have to do. Think of it as a stress reliever, a break from work and your phone. Think of it as your personal time that you need in order to stay sane. After a good workout, think about how you feel and how that carries over throughout the rest of your day with your attitude and overall feeling of well being. Focus on the positive. It changes everything!!! Don’t allow yourself to be negative. Get a friend and make a pact with each other to tell one another when either person says something negative, not just regarding fitness, but in all areas of your life. It may sound simple or even silly, but this really does help make you a happier and more productive person. A couple of my close friends did this very thing. I was so impressed by how positive and happy they had become that I asked them how they do it, and they told me exactly what I’m telling you. In essence… be more positive about everything. And help others when you see them getting down on themselves or being negative.
I know this may sound pretty cheesy, but I did just this when I was preparing for a show after not placing well in a previous show. I felt hopeless, scared, and kept questioning what the point of all this was if I’m going to lose anyways. I was making myself miserable! Then I tried being positive 100% of the time and told myself that if I made the decision to do it, then I was going to do it and not make it my problem or anyone else’s problem. From then on I began to actually enjoy the hard work and the journey to the competition, not just the day of. It made all the difference in the way I trained, which in turn, helped me qualify for the Olympia at the show I was training for. My attitude change was the thing that made the difference!
So if you’re getting lax with your new year’s resolutions or you’ve already forgotten all about them… just remember: be patient with your body, start focusing on living a healthier life style and the changes to your body will follow, and lastly and most importantly, STAY POSITIVE! =)