Being Resolute About NOT Making New Year Resolutions
WHEN I decided to write a piece about New Year’s Resolutions, I thought I should probably share tips on how to keep them, but personally I am not a fan. January is invariably the busiest month in the fitness industry as hoards of over-indulgers (ie most of us!) try to turn over a New Year’s leaf and start on yet another health kick journey. By week three, half of the new members have disappeared never to be seen or heard from again and the remaining half are miserable and falling by the wayside one by one. The fact is that if we hate exercising, or watching what we eat, making a New Year’s resolution is not going to miraculously change us into reformed characters. The clue’s in the word. Simply saying we are going to get fit rolls off the tongue a whole lot easier than the fat rolls off our bodies. My advice to you all would be steer clear of making resolutions! Let's face it, any waking up we do on January 1st will most likely be accompanied by a mighty food and drink-induced hangover, but if you are still as determined by week two by all means start making changes, but do it in a considered way. Don't sign up for a Zumba package if you have two left feet and no rhythm, you will leave feeling inadequate and miserable, never to return. Think of something you think you might enjoy, sign up for a trial and then you can buy a package. Making resolutions sets us up to fail and then that gives us a million and one excuses to bin those good intentions completely. Firstly set yourself small milestones and gradually build on them.
With each success you will grow in confidence and because workouts are accompanied by a great release of the feel good hormones endorphins, you might even surprise yourself and really begin to enjoy the challenge you have set! As for losing weight post-festivities (and at the risk of sending my nutritionist colleagues running for the hills in despair) this is my quick fix for when I have been a bit naughty (yes even most of us trainers are human!) and cannot fit into a favourite outfit.
Kick-starting a new healthy eating regime with a 3-day disciplined approach does the trick for me. My diet of the moment is the Military Diet. Look it up. Three days of controlled eating, and as its name implies it requires discipline, big time; but it really works and you can see results very quickly. A strictly no snacking, three meals a day plan, it largely boasts boiled eggs, tuna, cottage cheese and a daily cup of vanilla ice cream (yes really!) with the odd slice of bread thrown in for good measure. I don't recommend you use it as an excuse to yo-yo diet; make it a kick start to healthier eating habits. I generally use quick fixes to break a bad cycle, it's so much easier to make the lasting changes when you have already seen an improvement.
Remember, muscle and fat weigh the same, but muscle is leaner and so if you are working out you may see little difference on the scales, but reductions in your measurements. Talking of scales, if you are desperate to make a New Year resolution, make it about obsessing less about what the scales say; put them away and instead use a tape measure or better still an item of clothing that’s currently too tight - the euphoria you will feel when you get into it will be all you need to keep you focussed and it’s far more tangible.