January 5, 2010

Plan for New Year's Resolution Success!

Happy New Year!
By this time you have probably made a few resolutions. Perhaps you want to eat more vegetables, get more sleep, or spend more quality time with the family. For most, however, it is the usual loosing weight that is filling up the gyms and recreation centres across the country.

Unfortunately, within the next 2 months (although researchers suggest over the next 6 months - but I have yet to see it last this long)all those people lining up to cross-train will be back to their old habits. Is it chronic laziness? Is it lack of motivation? Is it the fault of the novice exerciser? No. It's sad that many people will fall back into their overstuffed couch thinking they have failed, yet again or don't have "what it takes" to make exercise stick.
I would suggest that many people do not achieve life long success due to lack of planning and self exploration BEFORE hitting the gym. For change to take, one must ask themselves a few questions before beginning. I suggest grabbing a notepad or a journal and starting off with a few from the list below.

1. What is my belief about being "fat" and being "thin"?
This question may bring out any socio-cultural beliefs such societies belief that "fat" people are lazy, uneducated, and not valueable to society. Conversely, it could be the belief that you will find true love or keep the love you have by loosing that final 10 pounds. If those are included in your beliefs, I would suggest doing more self exploration before beginning on a fitness program.

2. What do I believe exercise will do for me?
If you believe that certain exercises will reap certain benefits, be sure to confirm such claims before embarking on the new regime. Too many programs, machines, trainers, and gyms promise desirable results if you participate and/or use their products only leaving the consumer feeling ripped off and extremely dissapointed in the end. If you believe that adding exercise will help you loose weight, be sure that you include an examination of your diet. It is only through the combination of healthy nutrition and exercise that you will attain weight loss. Please note, if you do not enjoy your exercise program and your new healthy eating regime, your success may be limited to a few months.

3. Why do you want to add exercise to your life?
Like the above question, if you choose exercises you don't enjoy but feel they will be the best way to loose fat, the chances of success will go down. Why? Imagine this...you get on the stairmonster; something you hate but know that if you do it for 20 - -30 minutes, five times a week you will shed those pounds by summer. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, you continue. By Friday you examine yourself in the full length mirror a little closure expecting to see a slight change. I mean, my God, you worked your ass off for five days on a machine that tried to kill you...but you see nothing. A few more weeks go by and nothing. Sometimes you will not see a change for 6 - 12 weeks. For some this change takes much longer. So what do you think you would do or feel about the lack of visible results? I believe the average person would get pissed off and yell "Screw this!" at the top of their well conditioned lungs.

Be clear about why you want to exercise. For life long change (to continue exercising into your 60s, 70s, and even 80s and 90s) one must not only pay attention to exercises that are safe, but also focus on health and not fat loss. With a focus on health, there is no lack of results. You just FEEL better after exercise. Going for a walk around the block is a great example of this. You will go home after the gym feeling more strong, more energetic, more ...fabulous!

Just three questions. Take some time to journal them. Write them down and brainstorm what and why you want what you want. If you were deciding on changing occupations, would you just quit your job and start looking in the paper for a new one? No. You would plan ahead. If you wanted to retire early would you just pack up and move to Miami at 55? No. You would plan ahead. What is so different when it comes to changing your health?

Think about it. Although I probably have yet to have one person read this, if you do read it and would like more information on the above points, please do not hesitate to comment.

I'll be back with more questions to consider later.

Here's to successful healthy changes!


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