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Fitness Update - Jan 7

Fitness Update, January 7, 2013

I will be the first to admit that it takes me a while to get going on a new fitness plan. And when I say fitness, I really mean eating. This year is no different and it might be the same for you. We set good goals of the beginning of the year and get discouraged quickly when we can stick to our lofty ideals. No chocolate.

No dairy. No cheese, no sweets, no sugar, no fat, no fun, no food.

We all set goals that we will not meet. We set goals we can never meet. So what do we do when the 7th rolls around and we’ve had ice cream, we ate an extra cookie, we decimated a bag of Hershey’s chocolates, and the scale hasn’t budged.

I will tell you what we do, we keep going. There are 365 days in a year and I will not be deterred because the first seven of them did not go well. Have I made a great choices? No. Have I abandoned the bad habits that ruled my life between Halloween and New Year’s Eve day? No. Have I done any of the things that I said I would do? Not really.

So what? Do not be discouraged because the first week was not the perfect week. It never is. To be perfect is unrealistic; to be perfect is to buy a discouragement, to shoot for perfection is to guarantee failure, discouragement, and misery.

No, the goal is not perfection.  The goal is consistency of improvement. If you did not do well this week do better next week, if you ate too much today eat less tomorrow. If there is a half-eaten bag of chocolate candy in your drawer at work put it in the kitchen where others will eat it for you. If you can’t get skinnier, make others look fatter and you look better by comparison. Do what it takes to get a little bit better every week.

I know I will succeed on a eating plan when I don’t have to think about it too much. If I say no cookies and my daughter makes three batches for her friends and two for us, what am I going to do? I am going to eat a cookie, or two. Does that mean I need to sit down with a glass of milk a TV show and go through eight cookies? No it means I enjoy the cookies and then I brush my teeth and I’m done.

There is a myth about New Year’s resolutions that we are failures if we cannot keep them. This leads to the stereotypical jokes about making them only to have them fail. If we know that goals have built-in failure dates why do we make them? We make them because we know we should do things differently.

So let’s do things differently. I challenge everyone who is reading this post to add one of their goals to the comment section. Make it a goal you want others to know about. A good example would be, “I want to go to the gym three days a week.” Or, I will have two servings of vegetables on my plate and every dinner.” A bad example of a public goal would be, “I will stop embezzling from my company by Friday.” Or, “I will stop smoking so much pot as I fly my passengers across the Atlantic during the winter.” Some goals should be dealt with in private. Please deal with them, but don’t make my travel plans change because of your confession.

In fitness there are many things we can do that have nothing to do with the weight on the scale. Here are a few ideas.

I will drink more water
I will drink less soda (if something is less, it needs to be measured, so write it down)
I will eat less red meat
I will only use butter when necessary
If I cannot taste the cheese in a recipe I will remove it.
I do not need milk with every meal; I will replace it with water, green tea, or a healthy juice.
I will eat higher quality protein
I will eat at fast food restaurants no more than twice a week
Every time I eat fast food I will total all of the calories and the money I spent. (This alone will help change your habits)
I will buy by more fresh fruit.
I will buy less processed food.
I will not eat bologna for breakfast
I will walk more.
I will take the stairs instead of the elevator.
I will buy new walking/running/jogging/cycling shoes to keep my feet healthy.
I will challenge a friend to go to the gym with me.
I will tell my husband/lover/boyfriend/girlfriend/roommate about my goals and ask them to hold me accountable.
I will not get angry when they do it.
I will try a new exercise class.
I will sign up for an activity through my city parks and recreation department.
I will cut back on my alcohol consumption.
I will stop smoking.
I will stop smoking pot.
I will have more sex.
I will not eat meals standing up.
I will not eat in front of the television.
If somebody compliments me about my looks I will smile, and say “thank you.” I will not argue with them or debate the validity of the complement.

You should be able to do something on this list, or add your own; I hope these Monday posts can be helpful.

When I asked you to put a goal in the comment section I want you to feel publicly accountable for making change. Change can be big or small. A dear friend of mine purchased a pedometer and has committed to wearing it throughout the day. She does not need to have a goal as to the number of steps she 3takes; except that she should take more of them next week then she does this week. It is cold where she lives so along with the pedometer I suggest gloves and hat and good walking shoes. Can you walk to work or the grocery store instead of driving? Can I walk around the building before going in?

Small consistent changes are more effective than large changes that fail.

Come change with me and we will make 2013 a healthier and happier year. In the spirit of full disclosure, below you will see a picture or why I will not lose weight today.

On a side note, I did go for a nice long mountain trail run on Saturday.  6 miles in just over an hour, but I’m counting it as under an hour because I stopped to tie my shoe and take pictures.  I also went dancing that night at a friend’s birthday party, so that counts, and I was SORE on Sunday morning.  I’m not sure if it was the running or the dancing, but it felt good to be tired.
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