DIET & EXERCISE {Sticking to Your Resolutions}

At the beginning of every year the gym becomes a madhouse.  SO many people join with good intentions of losing weight and becoming healthy in the coming year.  I can tell you that it’s pretty exciting as a fitness instructor to have so many new faces in my classes who seem so eager to better themselves and start a healthy life.  I just wish it would last.

We have a running joke at the gym that we tell people who are aggravated by the unavailable cardio machines and full exercise classes….”Give it a month or two and half of them will be gone.”  Unfortunately, it’s SO TRUE!!  According to ACSM, most new exercisers quit within 3 months.  Sticking to a healthy diet and exercise plan is one of the hardest things to do unless you completely commit to making it on of your top priorities.  Which brings us to my own resolutions.

I have the palate of a 10 year old.  I love bread, cheese, chicken nuggets, and sweets….no veggies or fruits here.  I also eat like a 14 boy going through puberty; there is no such thing as being full.  If I like it, i’m eating it.  All of it.  Obviously this mind set has to change because I am not getting any younger over here!!  My health and fitness goals for 2012 are to have the healthiest year of my life, finally feel confident about my appearance {10 ish lbs lighter}, and choose varied exercises that are going to improve my body…not break it down {too much high impact cardio=knee/back/foot issues!!}.  Basically, I want to look like this {in my dreams, right?}:

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In order to achieve these goals, I am going to try to:
– Eat at least one fruit and vegetable a day {how bad does that sound?!}
– Try new foods whenever I have the opportunity
– Keep the desserts to once or twice a week {and I WONT be keeping them in the house}
– Exercise 5-6 times a week…cardio 4 days, weights 3 days, yoga/pilates 1 day
– Take the stairs at work
-Cook a few healthy dinners one or two nights a week so that I eat healthy even when I’m slam busy
-Keep a food and workout journal for extra accountability…and no cheating!!
-and finally/most importantly ***STOP COMPARING MYSELF TO OTHERS!!***

By telling you guys, I am hoping to have some sort of accountability here…because if a fitness instructor/personal trainer can’t be dedicated enough to get healthy, who can?!  In order to help us alllll follow through with our resolutions, i’ve come up with a few tips for sticking to your guns this year.

The following are actual psychological steps {taken from} that should be taken to keep at those exercise resolutions {it’s the same with quitting smoking and all other hard to reach goals}.

Stage 1: On your mark (precontemplative)

At this stage you’re not even thinking about making a change. You may have gained weight over the years but haven’t yet decided to do something about it.

Mindset makeover strategy: Surround yourself with supportive friends and family who tell you “you can do this.” Gather information about ways to get started. Research local clubs, gyms and sports that may be of interest to you. Write out the pros and cons of not changing to help you realize the importance of making a change.

Stage 2: Get ready (contemplation)

You may be considering a change now. You’ve gone from “I could never do that” to “maybe I can.”

Mindset makeover strategy: Start small by planning short, 10-minute exercise goals. Look for a motivated friend or join a local tennis team with other players at your level. Think of short activities you can do for part of that time instead of sitting on the couch watching TV.

Stage 3: Get set (preparation)

You’ve figured out what may work for you and are almost ready to get started.

Mindset makeover strategy:  Start planning ways to overcome potential issues. Even before you go ahead, it is highly advised that you check out this weblink to keep you mentally and physically prepared. Find a nearby gym or exercise class to avoid long travel time and look at other ways to overcome self-imposed obstacles: For example, find a gym that provides child care or buy a jogging stroller and exercise with your child.

Stage 4: Go! (action)

You’ve been exercising steadily for three to six months but have not yet made a permanent lifestyle change.

Mindset makeover strategy: Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day or two. Be proud of yourself for what you’ve already accomplished. Be prepared for relapses; accept them and move on. Realize you’re making a lifelong commitment. Start a blog or diary of your progress.

Stage 5: Game on! (maintenance)

The initial novelty of the new program may have lost its bloom, but you’ve stuck with it for six months.

Mindset makeover strategy: Add variety and new challenges to your exercise program. If you relapse, ask yourself what happened and plan for what you can do the next time the same situation occurs. Revisit your original list of pros and cons periodically and you’ll realize how far you’ve come!

And for those with DIET GOALS here are some tips to help you stick to it:
* Drink more water.  It will make you feel fuller, will clean out your system, and is even shown to reduce cellulite (holler.).
* Take one or two days a week to cook healthy meals so that you won’t be tempted to eat something quick and unhealthy during the busy work week.  After all you don’t want to waste the money you spent making the food…you HAVE to eat it ;)
* Pack healthy snacks to take with you to work…and empty out that junk food drawer!!  I am the most tempted to eat crappy food when I’m sitting at my desk working away.
* Completely cut out the problem foods for 2-3 weeks.  It takes that long to break an addiction…and yes, food is an addiction.
* Keep a diet journal.  By writing down exactly what you eat (including the quantities & calories) on a daily basis, you’re holding yourself accountable for every little thing you indulge in.  If you screw up, start over the next day…it’s ok!!!
* Once you’ve broken the food addictions you can give yourself one day a week to “splurge.”  I’m not encouraging you to binge on as much as you can…chill back a little and choose one thing to splurge on.  After all, life is no fun when you have to eat celery and fat free yogurt all day….

Now, i’m gonna leave you guys with some quotes that i found on my beloved Pinterest.  If you look at the top of this screen you will see a link to SBD’s pinterest page, including our fitness pins!!

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And my favorite:

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