Are you ready? It’s that time again: when the calendar page turns and the motivation to make this year the one where you lose fat and gain health.
We all know the myriad risks associated with being overweight and obese: heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, to name a few.
We all know that there are many benefits to exercising - resistance training and interval training are the darlings of the field - due to the benefits seen in the research, and in the mirror.
If there is a facsimile of the fountain of youth out there, it’s likely to be gaining, and then preserving, lean body mass into old age, eating foods we are well-adapted to eat, and avoiding the foods we are not (see: the aisles of the grocery stores!).
Yet most of us fall off the wagon: reportedly 9-out-of-10 people will not succeed in achieving our New Year’s Resolution. If we know how important these things our in our lives, why do we fail so often?
How we improve our success rate? By doing things because we value them, not just out of necessity, but because we truly care about ourselves and for those around us who care about us as well.
By having a structured plan and support system in place. A structured plan will get you through the year by looking at both the short-term and the long-term. The journey of a thousand miles (or 365 days), begins with one step (or one day). And many “plans” out there are unrealistic quick-fixes of powders, potions, or pills promising the world and delivering squat.
The support and accountability is critical as well. Being held accountable and being supported by someone other than yourself can get you through the rough patches. Where so many fall off, you will stay on track with a little guidance and coaching, and belief in yourself.
From a health perspective, it’s a combination of principles that will get you to your goals in 2013: a combination of weight-bearing exercise, a proper nutrition plan, and accountability. Basically, having a program and support system in place where you have the tools and blueprint to succeed eliminates any excuses you may have now or in the future that get in the way of you and your results in 2013.
Below are some great articles and links to help motivate, educate, inspire, and perhaps give you a little nudge toward the realization that as health professionals, we can’t want your results more than you: it has to come from within, and then it’s our responsibility to help guide you on your journey and get you to your destination.
21 Simple Things to Do to Prepare for a Successful 2013 | Mark Sisson
Mark’s tips are based around ancestral principles: getting adequate sleep, sunlight, exercise, using your brain, and avoiding harmful things including stress and modern processed foods. There are additional motivating tips, one in particular caught my eye since we get many testimonials, or success stories, at our studios. This is an exercise we will suggest for our clients:
“Start drafting a Friday “Success Story” to submit: Write the first paragraph in which you give your background, your experience hitherto, your justification for wanting to do it all better. Then, finish the story in 2013 – and make it a good one.”
52 Ways to Leave Your Blubber | Los Angeles Times
This article provides a year worth of tips for making the small steps towards your 2013 goals.
One very simple but extremely effective way to lose some excess fat?
“Don't drink your calories. Reach for water instead of sugary drinks.”
Sugar-sweetened beverages may likely be the worst offenders in terms of putting on fat because of the contents in the drink (fructose, which researchers refer to as the most lipogenic, i.e., “fat-creating,” carbohydrate --- combined with glucose, which raises blood sugar, raises insulin, and increases fat storage and decreases fat-burning).
Many of our clients report giving up soda, fruit juices, and other liquid sugar beverages as one of the most effective ways they moved the scale in 2012.
Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail | Underground Wellness
The author notes that statistics show only 8 percent of us actually succeed in achieving our resolutions. Why the abysmal success rate? People aren’t setting goals that are in alignment with what they value in life
Going to the gym out of honest self-love, you’re going to get long-term beneficial effects. If you feel like you’re obligated to go to the gym four days a week, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Especially when you are faced with the ‘task’ of repeating this process another 51 times in 2013.
If you dedicate yourself TO yourself in 2013, and decide that health and fat loss is something that you truly desire and value, you are going to be much more likely to succeed: you are going to enjoy the process and the journey on your path to transformation.
Which brings us into a great 5-minute interview with health expert Paul Chek talking about this very topic:
Paul Chek Interview | youtube with Underground Wellness
Chek discusses how it’s about valuing yourself, and what you are trying to achieve, that’s going to promote a healthy lifestyle in the long-run.
How to Keep New Year’s Resolutions | Mark Sisson
The author talks about how February can be the cruelest month because this is when many fall off the wagon of their health resolutions. One of the reverberating themes in being successful is being a little selfish: making yourself a priority because you deserve to be healthy and your friends and family will also value and respect this tremendously.
“Where we get into trouble the most, some say, is when we refuse to accept responsibility for our own trajectories, however straight, skewed, and circular they might appear. Can we look into the heart of our lapses and see what’s really staring back at us (that would be, well, us) or do we see a myriad of circumstances all conveniently beyond our power of self-determination? “Excuses, excuses,” our mothers might say. Potential “self-handicapping” some experts would suggest. Self-handicappers, in fact, block their own success right out of the gate by lowering expectations for themselves typically in an effort to shield their egos from failure. In their minds, experts, say, it’s easier to accept a limited life than the menacing prospect that they might truly “fail” despite their best efforts. For these folks, it’s less a dearth of actual ability than a constant crisis of confidence and even self-worth. To accept, let alone pursue, a life of health and vitality, you first have to believe that you deserve it.”
Hold yourself accountable to the feeling you have right now: how much you want this for yourself and for your family. Commit to a program that will get you long-term results and provide the support system that will help you through the journey and the destination is not far from reach.
Bob Kaplan holds advance degrees in exercise physiology and business, an undergraduate degree in nutrition, is a nationally certified personal trainer, and owns six Get In Shape For Women locations in Bedford, Wayland, Wellesley, Westford, Weston, and Winchester.
For more information about Kaplan's services at Get in Shape For Women in Westford, please call 978-589-0927 or visit at 142 Littleton Rd, Westford, MA 01886, or online at www.getinshapeforwomen.com for a New Year, New You Jumpstart: 13 sessions, including 2 nutrition consultations, for $149.