I’m not a New Year’s Resolution person, I usually don’t make promises to myself of drastic changes to come at the beginning of every new year. I have in the past though, and since it seems “losing weight” is always at the top of many American people’s list, I thought I’d share what I’ve found to be genuinely good reasons to shed the pounds, maybe to help with that resolution you’re about to embark on.
It has to be for you, no really, you alone must want to lose weight… for yourself. In order for you to have the resolve to truly stick to a diet and exercise regimen, you have to have conviction that having excess weight is just not in your best interest.
I know, I know… in our day and age, self acceptance is preached and pounded into our heads at every turn, and it is important to love and accept yourself. This isn’t just about outward appearance – I really am talking about your inner happiness and also health. Fat doesn’t just sit there on you; it actually acts more like an organ of its own – secreting chemicals that cause inflammation. Inflammation damages you from the inside out – it is an immune response that is helpful in small doses when you actually need it, but if its long-term (which is what fat if not removed by diet and exercise ends up being) it causes aging and damage. People who study cancer know that inflammation (long-term) is one of the leading causes cancer… all kinds of cancer.
If you have the goal of weight-loss for your New Year’s resolution, here are some things to think about:
Make a plan that is long-term… longer than the first few weeks or months after New Year’s. Since I believe resolutions are somewhat pointless, I start my intense 90 day workout regimen right after Christmas. I start it up again later in the year, so that 6 months out of the year (spread equally apart) I’m working out almost daily. You really have to think long-term, no diet or exercise will magically keep you in shape and tight & toned without some kind of repeat routine throughout the year, every year.
Take heart – Realize that it isn’t about how fast & hard you work out, rather how ambitious & committed you are to seeing your goal met. Even if it’s just a walking exercise around your apartment community, commitment to your plan & ambition to keep it going and repeat it throughout the year will pay off in great, measurable results! Remember though, it starts with Commitment & Ambition.
Pair exercise with “diet” – Yes, you can lose weight by simply eating clean, however you won’t receive the tone and tight shape that comes with working out. Exercise makes you strong, it makes climbing the stairs easier, picking up your child almost effortless, I love that feeling of being strong, of having a strong healthy body. Eating clean will make you skinny (think Runway Models), but a good exercise program will give you beautiful lean muscles (like Victoria’s Secret models).
Diet is a dirty word – I know I just said to pair exercise with diet, but diet implies you’re depriving yourself of things. To me, diet also implies that once you stop, you will regain the weight lost. Eating clean is a much better description of what really works:
- eating foods that aren’t processed (stay away from fast dinners or box dinners – cook your own food)
- eating lots of fruit & vegetables
- drinking your own green drinks (juicing) with spinach or kale
- eating lots of lean protein (chicken, turkey & fish) and much less empty carbohydrates found in bread and wheat gluten
- eating a small amount of dark chocolate everyday (or even smaller amount of another chocolate if dark is too bitter for you)
Whatever your resolutions, be happy with who you are, love your body & take care of yourself.
(photo of Karolina Kurkova from modelapproved.com)