Tag Archives: opinion

Nothing is for Everyone

6 Apr

As you may have read in my previous blog posts, I have been on the Paleo Diet for Lent this year.  I did so because many friends, clients & family members have asked me about it and want to know “Is this a good diet?” and “Should I go on this?”  My answers came from a limited knowledge base, and the more I heard about the buzz of the Paleo Diet, the more I wanted to see about it for myself.  It has been nearly 40 days (the duration of Lent) and I can honestly say that I have never felt better.  It did take a LOT of research, reading, digging, and self-teaching before I realized exactly how this “diet” would work for me.  I learned that the Paleo Diet is simply a blueprint or outline of a lifestyle that aims to mimic that of our caveman (and cavewoman) ancestors.  Just exactly HOW closely each person follows the blueprint is up for their own deciding.  Depending on what a person’s fitness/health goals are, different foods may be included or excluded in their diet.  It took me about a week and a half to get my personal blueprint just right.  Within 2 weeks I’d shed 5lbs [body fat, NOT muscle] and felt leaner, stronger, faster & tighter than ever before.  I was eating nutrient rich foods and felt full even though I was consuming food less often.  My experimentation with the Paleo Diet coincided with the start of my triathlon training.  I was initially somewhat concerned that without starchy carbohydrates I wouldn’t have enough energy to get through my long workouts.  But this was not the case at all.  I simply consumed enough lean animal protein, healthy fats, and fruits/veg that I was fueled up enough to do whatever my workout required.  Another great thing about the Paleo Diet is that I managed to cut WAY down on my caffeine intake.  Instead of 2 cups at home in the morning plus a Starbucks run or two while at work, I have cut down to my 2 cups before I leave the house.  If I get a craving to take a field trip to Starbucks, I get myself a decaf tea.  I discovered that for me, it was more about the routine of taking a break and going to Starbucks than it was actually about getting some more caffeine in my body.  Subsequently, I have been sleeping better.  My body is appropriately tired at the end of my long days and I am able to get to bed at a reasonable hour.  I am getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night which seems to be exactly what my body needs.  On the odd night I get 6-6.5 hours of sleep, I definitely feel it the next day, so I make every effort to avoid this.  I also have become very specific about my alcohol intake.  I do not normally drink a lot at all, but I decided to narrow my choices to tequila (because it comes from the agave plant) and wine (because it comes from grapes).  I have cut out beer (with the exception of my Colorado trip) and all other types of alcohol.  I don’t drink with much regularity, especially now during triathlon training, but I opt for the Paleo friendly choices when I do have a drink.

All in all, I am VERY satisfied with the Paleo Diet.  I plan on continuing this lifestyle even after Lent is over.  For me, it has worked great.  I can honestly say that I feel the fittest, strongest, and BEST I have in my life.  My skin is clear, my energy is up, my workouts are stellar & I’m ready to take on the challenge of triathlon season!!  Now, let me say that the key parts of the above sentence are the words “For me”.  I know that the Paleo Diet works for me because I have tried it and have felt the results.  That being said, I still stand by the notion that nothing is for everyone.  No single workout, diet, approach, plan or lifestyle will work for everybody.  It just won’t.  While the Paleo Diet has been a tremendous success for me, it has turned out to be just the opposite for others.  

My sister, Jessie, has found this out the hard way.  With her sister and boyfriend totally immersed in the Paleo Lifestyle, Jessie gladly jumped on board and tried experimental dinners, snacks, and other Paleo recipes.  She made the switch from skim milk to almond milk, started eating more nuts and fruits for snack, cut back on cereal and bread & was always up for Paleo pizza as a Friday night treat.  What also happened during this time was that Jessie was having stomach issues which grew in severity.  She originally thought she ate something at a party that disagreed with her but the symptoms lingered a little too long.  She couldn’t figure it out; she was hydrated, eating all the same foods I ate, and took her daily vitamins and probiotic pills.  The symptoms continued for a month or so, sometimes getting a bit better but worsening at other times.  Finally, Jessie went to the doctor and had a CT scan of her stomach.  She was diagnosed with Diverticulosis.  Her doctor told her that she must avoid nuts and nut butters [SO much of Paleo Diet has to do with these things] and eat a high-fiber, low-fat diet.  Turns out the Paleo Diet was making her sick; she is a perfect example of someone who does NOT do well on this particular diet.

There are many exceptions such as this for any fitness program, diet or workout there is out there.  Just because it works for your friends, colleagues, family members or the folks you see on TV, does NOT mean it will work similarly for you.  When starting something new- diet, exercise or otherwise- make sure to read, research and educate yourself on it as much as possible.  Talk to your doctor about the changes you are considering, especially if you have a medical history that is significant of anything which might be affected.  When you DO make significant changes to your workout and/or diet, be aware of how your body reacts.  Do you feel ill, run down, bloated, uncomfortable, sluggish, or unfocused?  Or do you feel energetic, strong, and healthy?  Are you able to sleep? Is your skin clear or blemished?  Your body has many ways of telling you whether or not you’re putting the right things into it.  Pay close attention.  And remember: nothing is for everybody; find the blueprint that is right for YOU!

“It’s not where you are, but who you’re with that matters”

20 Mar

 

This quote has always been a great reminder of all the wonderful people I have surrounding me in life on an everyday basis.  I don’t need to be on a tropical beach with perfect weather to be happy (though that’d be great!) & I could be caught in the rain on a crummy day instead and be perfectly content.  The difference is in the folks I have surrounding me.  The tropical beach would suck if I were with cranky, mean, selfish people.  But the rainstorm would end up being a fun adventure full of laughter if I were with friends or family members whom I love.  I’ve always tried to keep this quote at the forefront of my mind, so that when I find myself in a less-than-desirable situation, I can still find the positive in it.

This morning I came along a quote that struck a similar chord:

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. When you are seeking to bring big plans to fruition, it is important with whom you regularly associate. Hang out with friends who are like-minded and who are also designing purpose-filled lives. Similarly, be that kind of a friend for your friends.”
– Mark Twain

I read the quote a few times and realized what a deep connection it has to achieving goals of everyday life.  Whether the goals are related to fitness, healthy living, career, relationships, hobbies or anything else, this quote absolutely applies.  I think we all, at times, underestimate or disregard how much influence those around us have on our everyday decisions and goal achievement.  At first thought, you might think your friends’ unhealthy eating habits, frequent partying or disregard to their career won’t affect you and your journey.  You may have the willpower and resolve to politely decline invitations to party or hit up happy hour after work in favor of putting in extra time at the office or getting to the gym.  But, truthfully, how long can that endure?  When you DO see these friends, will you have much to talk about?  I believe that friends truly bond through shared experience.  Some of my best friends are such because we have shared many funny/scary/crazy/difficult experiences together. Additionally, will the peer pressure eventually wear you down and encourage you to make decisions that counter the progress made toward your goals?  Will you forever be able to say “no, thank you” to a table full of nachos, beer, and buffalo wings every time you go out?  Or will you eventually give in?  Will you take smart risks in your career which may involve travel, relocating, or spending many more hours at work to get ahead when you’re surrounded by folks who aren’t career-driven and have no interest in becoming successful?

Most importantly, the people in my life (friends, family, colleagues) offer me support that helps me on the days I’m just not feelin’ it.  My friends are there to remind me that I need to keep taking steps toward my career goals, personal goals, and more.  They do so by exhibiting the same drive, persistence and positive mindset I try to maintain every day.  When one of us is feeling down, the others are there in support.  I can not imagine my life without my friends and family being there for me.  They also do so by applauding me in my successes and helping me to see the lessons in the setbacks.  Simply being in their presence helps me to stay focused, driven and on track with my goals.

Mark Twain was onto something BIG when he said that quote….I think one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves is the presence of amazing people in our lives.  Family, friends, co-workers, colleagues, teammates; each person you associate with should bring a bit of positive energy into your life.  So go ahead, read Mark Twain’s quote a few more times and let it sink in.  Think about the people you have the most face-time with: are they supportive and motivating?

I took the Paleo Plunge!!!

5 Mar

If you read my last blog, you know that I decided to take the “Paleo Plunge” for Lent this year.  I committed to adhering to the Paleo Diet for 40 days and am doing so for several reasons. 

[If you are unfamilliar with what the Paleo Diet entails, here it is in a nutshell: omit dairy, legumes, grains, processed foods from the diet.  Eat lean meats and fish, veggies, fruits and nuts.  The pyramid picture above gives a basic visual idea.  For more detailed info about the Paleo Diet, click on the link !]

Many friends and clients have asked me about The Paleo Diet, and what I think about this approach to food.  I have been able to answer them in a limited fashion, based on what I have read about it and what I have experienced second-hand from other folks on this diet.  I wanted to get a deeper understanding of what, exactly, it meant to “go Paleo” and learn more about how it would affect my body.  Another reason I decided to try the Paleo diet is because it was Lent time and I needed a challenge that would not be detrimental to my health/wellness/fitness, as well as something that I might decide to stick with even after Easter Sunday.  Going Paleo seemed like a great idea, so I started my research and as of Ash Wednesday (nearly two weeks ago), I have been Paleo.

I plan on doing regular blog posts which document my progress and journey; I hope that it will spark discussion, answer questions, & create new questions and thoughts.  Whether you are for or against the Paleo diet, have no idea what it entails, or are on the diet yourself, I encourage you to leave your thoughts, ideas and comments below!

My First 2 Weeks on the Paleo Diet

Week 1 on the Paleo Diet was very interesting, to say the least.  While my pre-paleo diet did not differ drastically from what I’m consuming now, I got a lot of education on what IS and ISN’T paleo.  The major changes I’ve made are omitting dairy [skim milk and Greek yoghurt], grains [Ezekiel bread and any crackers, quinoa, pasta, rice] & legumes [beans, hummus].  It might sound like a big adjustment, but truthfully I eat a LOT of the same foods each week and most of them are Paleo-friendly.  What I found to be the most valuable and interesting part of my first week was trying to educate myself on what “is Paleo” and what “isn’t Paleo”.  It seemed that the more articles I read, the more people I spoke with, and the more I dug for information, the more I realized that there was not one straightforward answer. 

At first, it frustrated me because I wanted to make sure I was doing it “right”.  I am a very competitive person and when I commit to something, I want to make sure I do it perfectly.  But I couldn’t figure out whether or not I was “allowed” to have sweet potato, Kombucha, honey, or a small serving of Greek yoghurt.  I had heard of some people who included these things into their Paleo Diet for different reasons.  But on the other hand, others staunchly said NO! 

What I finally learned was that there is not one simple Paleo Blueprint or Bible to follow.  Instead, it’s all about understanding and following the principles of the Paleo Diet as closely as possible and tailoring it to fit your lifestyle.  One thing that stuck with me, which I heard in an interview was “Don’t get caught up in the minutiae.”  This set me at ease because all I need to remember is that sometimes a situation will be out of my total control and all I can do is make the BEST decision possible in the moment.  Since hearing that, my stress about what exactly is on/off-limits for me has decreased tremendously.  I make most of my meals for the week, so I’m able to use the ingredients of my choosing.  But when I dine out, I no longer freak out if my steak tips were cooked in an oil that is not Paleo friendly. 

There have been noticeable changes in my weight.  Within the first week alone, and almost through to the 2nd week, I have had consistent weight loss.  I generally weigh in somewhere between 138-141lbs.  After one week of Paleo, I was down to 131-133.  This scared me a bit, as I wondered if I was losing muscle mass and questioned whether or not I was getting enough of the proper nutrients.  I have been keeping very close track of my weight (I usually don’t weigh myself every day, but am now monitoring it) as well as making sure I am taking in enough protein and healthy fats throughout the day.  I have kept my normal workout regimen [and will start Triathlon training this week, YAY!] and it seems that my strength is still there.  I think that as long as my weight stays where it is now- 132/133lbs- and my strength remains the same, I find that acceptable. 

I do feel more lean, cut and much less bloated in my stomach.  I am never overly hungry; I eat when I feel hungry, and stop once I feel satiated.  I have removed protein drinks from my post-workout regimen and have started eating regular food instead.  I think that overall, I’m eating LESS food; I’m eating things that fill me up, so I don’t need to eat as often.  I have also cut back on the amount of caffeine I’m drinking.  I have limited myself to 2 cups of coffee on the Keurig machine in the morning, and then for the rest of the day its tea and water. 

It’s been an interesting journey so far…  Nearly 2 weeks in, and I feel great.  I am certainly learning a lot and am looking forward to reading/learning even more!  I welcome your feedback, questions, and comments!

Lent: to “give up” or not?

21 Feb

A client of mine asked for my input on what she could give up for Lent this year and I told her I’d write a blog post with my response.

Much like New Year’s resolutions, Lent is a very popular time of year for many folks to make big adjustments/resolutions/changes to their lives, and often, their health.  A huge part of the Christian Lenten season is fasting or giving something up for the 40 days duration.  The meaning behind this is a significant one in the Christian faith and goes beyond the scope of this blog.  My focus is on how anyone (religious or not) can use this Wednesday- February 22nd- as a starting point for change in their lives.  I believe it does not have to be limited to abstinence of a single thing; sometimes adding something enriching is just as great.

Here are some helpful tips and things to consider:

1) Think about your overall goals and what you want to accomplish in general.  Then, try to find one small part on which you can focus your Lenten promise.  It is impossible to try to cover everything, so pick a part that is important to you.   For example, if you are aiming to rid your diet of all processed foods and move toward a more clean way of eating, choose ONE food to omit during Lent.

2) Choose to give up OR add something that you will try to maintain even after Lent is over.  Consider which choices are most beneficial to your health and well-being in the long haul, not just 40 days.  For example, don’t give up alcohol for 40 days while stockpiling 6-packs of your favorite beer so you can binge on day 41.  Instead, try making the promise to reduce your alcohol intake from X drinks per week to Y drinks per week, and stick with that beyond Easter Sunday.

3) If you can’t think of something to give up, then DON’T!  I know many folks that struggle with thinking of what to omit from their lives when they actually could benefit a tremendous amount from adding something in.  For example, you could promise to add 1 hour of sleep per night if you feel you’re not getting enough.  Or you could add more water, fruits, veggies, exercise, etc into your daily routine.

4) Do NOT, by any means, give up something good or beneficial for you!!! It is mostly in jest, but people have told me they plan on giving up exercise, fruits or veggies for Lent.  This is an opportunity to build in healthy habits, not get rid of them!!

5) Do not set yourself up for failure.  I’ll give a personal example here: I am a very busy person and need a little caffeine to get through my long days.  While I HAVE successfully given up coffee several times for Lent in previous years, I have never gone so far as to give up caffeine completely.  Without coffee, I turned to green and black tea for my caffeine and consumed these things in small amounts.  I know that trying to give up caffeine, in totality, is probably not a likely option for me.

6) Lastly, here are some of the best Lenten promises I have made in the past, for you to use as inspiration:

Gave up: coffee, swearing, biting my nails, beer, peanut butter (this led to my love affair with almond butter!)

Added: more sleep, more water every day, taking 20 mins each day to write, read more books for pleasure (non school related), call family at least 1x/wk, keep in touch with old friends/colleagues

And this year I am going to start a special Lenten promise: I am going to incorporate the Paleo Diet into my life!  I will be blogging weekly about how this goes, so you can all follow along and ask questions.

I’d love to hear your comments on what you think about “giving up” things for Lent and what you choose to do this year!

Vitamins and Supplements 101

20 Feb

Vitamins A, B, C, D, Zinc, Magnesium, Iron, Calcium and Omega-3’s.  Are any of these things familiar to you?  Many of my friends and clients have asked me about Vitamins/minerals and what the “right” amount is.  Should all vitamin/minerals come from food and beverage intake?  Are supplements necessary in order for my body to get enough vitamins/minerals?  Is it possible to ingest too much of one thing? Can too much be toxic?

food supplements

These questions are all excellent, and are only a fraction of those that I hear on a regular basis.  In this post I will try to answer questions in a generalized sense, and based on MY opinion unless otherwise noted.  But PLEASE understand that there is a LOT to know about vitamins/minerals and specific questions should be saved for a qualified professional [talk with your doctor, dietitian, or nutritionist].

First off, here are some quick facts about Vitamins (source: www.fda.gov. A full PDF download is available!)

Vitamin Facts

Your body uses vitamins for a variety of biological processes, including growth, digestion, and nerve function. There are 13 vitamins that the body absolutely needs: vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate). AAFP cites two categories of vitamins.

  • Water-soluble vitamins are easily absorbed by the body, which doesn’t store large amounts. The kidneys remove those vitamins that are not needed.
  • Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed into the body with the use of bile acids, which are fluids used to absorb fat. The body stores these for use as needed.

As a personal trainer and someone who strongly believes in eating a clean diet full of whole, real, natural, organic foods, I believe that a person’s primary source of vitamins and minerals should come from real foods themselves.  Eating fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean proteins such as chicken, grass-fed beef, and fish will give you a fantastic amount of vitamins, minerals and necessary nutrients.  However, instances such as having certain health conditions, eating a vegetarian or vegan diet, or being pregnant/breast-feeding can warrant necessity of supplements.  There is also a lot of research that supports supplementation of calcium, iron, and Omega-3 fatty acids for women.

I know folks who are intolerant of dairy and take supplements for Calcium and Vitamin D.  Others turn to leafy greens, nuts and legumes to get their share of Calcium.  Some people take Iron supplements due to the fact that their diet is void of any meats.  And still, there are others who find other whole, real foods high in Iron to eat instead.  As you can see, there is no single prescription for which supplements to take.  Depending on a person’s individual diet, their supplement requirements will vary; talking to a doctor or nutritionist about specific supplements is best.

For more guidance on this topic, I check with my go-to dietitian Ashley Bade, RD, LDN, CNSD at Modern Mom Nutrition.  Ashley shared with me an article on the topic of supplementation and whether or not to take vitamins.  Ashley believes in “trying to get nutrients from foods first- versus supplementing, but understand that it can be hard to work it all into some people’s days. I do tend to supplement Vitamin D often with my patients b/c many are obese and we all live above Atlanta which are two factors that can set you up for a D deficiency. I do think some people can benefit from Omega supplements as many people tend to not have a variety of good sources in the diet.”

Vitamins and minerals provide essential nutrients and every person should be aware of which they are receiving in their diet & which, perhaps, need to be supplemented.  If you have specific questions about your nutrition, make a list and be sure to discuss it with your doctor at your next appointment!

Diet Soda- friend or foe??

3 Feb

Recently, a Lucky13’er asked me to blog about diet soda… she wanted to know whether its “good or bad”.  I thought it was a great idea for a blog post because many people have this question and I do not think the answer is as cut and dry as”good or bad”.

Much literature has been published about the pros and cons of diet soda with eye-catching headlines about everything from the damage it does to the life-saver it can be.  Depending on whom you ask, you can get many different opinions on diet sodas.  I have read much of this literature and have come to the following conclusion: like just about everything else, it’s all relative.  Let me explain…

One of the biggest arguments against diet soda is that it is composed primarily of human-made chemicals, additives, flavorings, colors, etc., and that these substances can be hazardous to your health.  Some studies have linked consumption of diet soda to increased risk of heart attack, stroke, etc.  I DO agree with this point.  As a huge advocate of eating natural, whole, unprocessed foods, I truly believe that consuming made-in-a-lab “stuff” can have negative and damaging side effects.  Once upon a time, I was the Diet Coke queen; I thought it was harmless to drink 5 cans a day because it had no calories and wouldn’t expand my waistline.  I have learned much since then, and have now cut all soda out of my beverage repertoire.  I stick to drinking as much water as possible, and change it up by drinking other calorie-free things such as flavored seltzer, water with lemon, or water with natural flavors such as Vitamin Water Zero.   In an ideal world, I would encourage everyone to do the same.  If it’s not possible to give up diet soda entirely, I would encourage cutting back as much as possible.

However, I don’t think diet soda is always the enemy.  For many folks who are just starting to make changes to their eating/drinking habits and who may be trying to break some lifelong habits, diet soda might serve as a form of “harm reduction” from the full-sugar soda they’re used to.  If a person is used to drinking several cans of regular soda per day, a first step toward making changes might be to switch to a few cans of diet soda per day.  Though the taste is different, the behavior [drinking cans of soda] is the same.  In time, this same person could then take a next step and decrease the overall number of cans per day, or switch to drinking a few cans of flavored seltzer per day.  But the initial switch from regular soda to diet soda per day can save someone 140 calories and 40 grams of sugar PER CAN!!!! [these numbers are based on a 12oz can of Coca Cola].  This equates to a major calorie/sugar cut and hopefully, in turn, weight loss.  For someone used to drinking lots and lots of soda, a diet option could be very significant on the path toward healthy change.

So, in my opinion, diet soda can’t be placed entirely in the “All good” or “All bad” column.  Much like everything else in life, it is all relative.  Nothing is perfect and no single thing or method works for everyone.  The key is to make the most healthy choice possible at every given moment.  What’s your opinion on diet soda? Friend or foe? I’d be interested to hear some feedback!

You Made the Resolution….Now What??

24 Jan

goal setting

 

About 3 weeks ago, we all rang in the New Year with a renewed energy, promises of committing (or re-committing) to goals &  a gung-ho, “HELL YEAH!” attitude toward it all.  Well, “they” say it takes approximately 3 weeks to make a behavior (or lack of behavior) a habit.  So by now, everyone should be well on their way to achieving their New Years Resolutions, right?!?!?!  If it were only that simple.

I have talked to friends, family members and clients that have already fallen off their plan and away from their goals.  We aren’t even into the month of February and people are already saying “I just don’t have as much time as I thought I would”; “I’m going to start fresh next month, I’m just too busy this month”; “It got so COLD and by the time I get home from work I’m so tired and I don’t want to go back out”; “Nobody really keeps their New Years Resolutions anyway!”; and the most defeatist of all “There’s always next year!”.  What gives?  WHY are people just giving up and walking away?  Why don’t people believe that they can achieve their goals and then some!?  Here’s my guess…

TOP 5 REASONS PEOPLE DON’T ACHIEVE THEIR NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS:

1) They aren’t serious when they make the resolution in the first place.  It has become something that everyone does and talks about during the holidays.  I would guess that more than 70% of people who list resolutions actually do not have any serious intention on MAKING it happen.

2) They do not put measures in place to GET IT DONE.  Anyone can think up a resolution or goal.  Anyone can tell their family and friends their resolution(s)…New Years Resolutions are almost taken with a grain of salt by others.  But how many folks actually sit down to write them out and then plan the roadmap on HOW to get there.  Saying you want to lose 10 pounds or be able to run an 8 minute mile is one thing.  Figuring out how to CHANGE your current schedule to fit in time to make it happen is quite another.

3) Their goals are not S.M.A.R.T.  (This is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely).  Goals/resolutions can’t be vague, and without specific measurable components.  In order to be achieved they must have some sense of realness to them, or they will be an automatic setup for failure.

4) They follow the crowd when choosing a goal.  Many folks do not stop and take a little time to think about what THEY want to personally/professionally achieve in the upcoming year.  Instead of thinking back and reviewing what has happened in their own lives, they follow what the masses are after.  I want to lose 10 lbs; I want to eat better; I want to be more fit; I want to tone up…the list goes on and on.  Not only are these vague but they are without personal connection.  A Huuuuuge part of staying on track toward goal achievement is constantly reminding yourself WHY you want it.

5) They do not truly BELIEVE they can change their lives.  In order to achieve a goal- ANY goal- you must first have total, 100% belief in yourself.  You must be able to close your eyes and envision yourself achieving this goal.  You must SEE it in your mind’s eye, feel it in your bones, and want it with every fiber of your being.  You must mentally make it a non-negotiable; You don’t stop until its yours.  Having others around to support and motivate you can be an enormous help, but if you don’t believe in yourself their words will be meaningless.

If you relate with any (or all) of the above 5 points, fear not, there’s still time to turn it all around!  Here are some suggestions on how you can get back on track and move toward your goals/resolutions.

FIVE TIPS TO GET BACK ON TRACK TOWARD YOUR GOALS/RESOLUTIONS

1)  Make sure your goal is something you WANT.  Do not jump on board with your roommate, best friend, partner, or sibling just because.  Take some time to sit down and figure out what change(s) you’d like to see in your life.  Derive your goals from there.

2)  Make your goals S.M.A.R.T.  Remember the acronym from above: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.  Do not make a vague goal such as “I want to lose weight” or “I want to tone up”.  Instead have a goal of “I want to lose 1 lb a week for 10 weeks by exercising for X mins a day for X days per week,  eating more fruits, veggies, lean proteins & cutting out soda and fried food”….Or “I want to be able to do 10 push ups on the floor by May…I will do so by signing up with a personal trainer at my gym and getting a personalized strength training program made for me”

3)  Make room for changes.  Some of the best advice I’ve ever received is “Nothing changes if nothing changes”.  It couldn’t be more true.  If you do not make changes in your daily routine, food intake, exercise regimen, interactions with people, etc… then you can’t expect any changes to happen to the bottom line.  Your day-to-day will need to feel a bit different, because it will need to BE a bit different.

4)  Believe you can get it done.  Think about the goal you want so badly that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to get there.  Close your eyes and picture getting it done.  Picture being there, at the “finish line”.  Think about how you feel both physically and mentally.  Channel those thoughts and that energy into your efforts in the journey.  You must truly believe in your ability to get to the finish.

5)  WRITE IT DOWN.  This point definitely gets wrapped up in a few other points above, but deserves its own.  I can not emphasize enough the power of the written word.  It doesn’t take much to think about or even talk about doing something.  But it takes a higher level of dedication to sit and write it out on paper.  It makes it more real, it puts it right there in front of your face.  Write down your goal (In INK or MARKER) and hang it somewhere you can see it.  Also write down WHY you want to achieve the goal.  Seeing these statements day in and day out will keep it fresh in your brain.  It will help to keep your fire burning!

 

So what now?  Go. Get. It. Done.  If you’ve fallen off the Resolution wagon, review these points and get back on!!!! If you’re chugging along full force but know someone who could use a hand, send them this blog post and offer to help them out.  There’s no reason an entire year of hopeful change should be sacrificed before the first month is over.  Dream it then DO it!