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Set up yourself up for success in 2014

Posted December 18, 2013 in Advice Column, Downtown

It’s pretty much inevitable at this time of year; we are inundated with information on how to survive holiday parties and how to prepare for a better, and more successful 2014.

Eat lots of fiber and protein throughout the day so you don’t feel the need to stock up on cookies. Count your calories. Set your gym clothes out and pack your bag the night before so when your alarm goes off, you are ready and have no excuses. All of these tips are excellent. But what happens when you have a crazy sweet tooth and can’t focus on the conversation at hand because all you can think about is the cookies? Or when discouragement overrides patience and you feel no matter what you do, you’ll never reach your goals?

Living a healthy lifestyle can be draining, time consuming and overwhelming especially at the beginning. There are rules upon rules of what to do to lose belly fat or beat temptation. Ever heard the saying: “Fail to plan or plan to fail?” That’s true… except when Sunday comes around and you go to church and come home to football and then the game goes into three overtimes and then it’s 9:30 p.m. and “Oh my gosh, I didn’t get my food prepared, this week is going to be a disaster. So why even go to the gym?”

Well, let’s clear a few things up!

First, this is your life; you have to live it and enjoy it. If you like cookies, eat the cookie. Have a salad with dressing on the side for lunch, and eat the cookie.

Second, drink water. People always complain about this one, but there is no excuse. Your body actually needs water to live. So if you want to live, you have to drink water. If you don’t like the taste of water (seriously?), throw in some fruit like a lemon slice or berries. Don’t add Crystal Light packets, don’t tell yourself coffee or pop will do. Just drink the water.

Third, introduce yourself to someone at the gym. He or she will appreciate it, and you’ll appreciate knowing someone who says “hi” whenever you go. If you don’t know anyone there, you won’t get any joy out of going.

Third, set a goal in line with your lifestyle. If you want to try the Paleo Diet, but you love bread, you are setting yourself up for failure. Whenever anyone tries to change his or her life in a drastic way, it is unlikely he or she will succeed. Learn to live healthfully in a way that allows you to enjoy food and exercise.

Fourth, and last, know you are not alone. Celebrate the small successes, and find a buddy to vent to. You will find encouragement everywhere you look.

Information provided by Julia Steggerda, Fitness World 24 – Downtown, 418 Sixth Ave., #110, 288-1111.

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