Happy New Year! The start of a new calendar year brings lots of new things — a new beginning, renewed hope, a renewed drive to meet last year’s unmet goals.
But it can also bring new failures as we place more pressure on ourselves to succeed. About 45 percent of Americans usually make New Year’s resolutions in an attempt to be better. Only about 8 percent of those resolutions are achieved. All types of goals are set throughout the country, but about 38 percent of all resolutions are focused around losing weight, eating right, exercising and just becoming a healthier human being.
Unfortunately, media hits us daily with new “quick fixes” on how to find success fast. In some areas of life, short-term satisfaction works great. However, when it comes to your health, quick fixes like crash diets and crazy workout programs may bring short-term satisfaction, but until you really resolve to make healthy lifestyle changes, those results will not be long-term.
I’m here to tell you with the right mindset, your weight loss and nutrition goals are very possible. But in order to be successful, you have to promise yourself a few things:
• Be patient with your body. Did you know that in ancient Greece, young boys were taken from their family and trained throughout their teens before they were allowed to fight in the military? Similar to how NFL and MLB teams have training camps weeks before the season starts, this is done because our bodies do not change overnight. Building muscle takes time and you may not see any results for three to six weeks, at which point results may still be minimal. Do not get discouraged. Whether you see it or not, your body is changing. Keep at it, a little every day, and you will be able to look back one year from today amazed at how far you have come.
• Do not compare. Did you start a workout program with a friend? Remember that he or she may see different results at a different pace than you do. Don’t compare yourself to your friend. Your bodies are incredibly different machines that are both beautiful and amazing in their own ways. Be happy for your friend’s success and proud of yourself.
• Keep an open mind. Trying new things is scary, especially when it involves being around others who are seasoned. You will probably drop the weights at least once, have trouble starting the treadmill and fall flat while doing squats. It’s OK. Everyone at the gym is or has been there. Do not be afraid to try new things, for with new attempts comes new successes.
• Practice forgiveness. I’m going to tell you now, you will have days where you feel like a failure. You will eat half of a birthday cake, an entire plate of fries and five hamburgers in one sitting. It’s OK. You will be surprised to find the world did not end, and CNN is not reporting your binge. Instead of beating yourself up, forgive yourself, eat some vegetables and try again. With every mistake, you will learn how to combat similar situations to be more successful.
Remember these four things, and you will see your body grow and change in amazing ways. Be patient, forgive and, most importantly, love yourself.
Information provided by Julia Steggerda, Fitness World 24 – Downtown, 418 Sixth Ave., Suite 110, 288-1111.