Baby Steps, Baby StepsTelling yourself that you're going to lose 100 pounds, get six-pack abs, and lower your cholesterol thirty points by March is insane. And when you don't hit those goals, it's depressing. Instead of setting lofty goals that will plague you in the middle of the night and make you obsessed during the day, be realistic. Instead of shooting to lose 30 pounds, aim to lose 5 pounds in a month from now. That's a goal that can be achieved with diet and exercise. If you lose more, congratulations! If you lose less, at least you aren't far from your target and you will stay motivated to keep losing. Take baby steps to get to your goal instead of a massive leap that may actually be dangerous and require unhealthy diet or exercise practices. At a rate of 5 pounds per month, you should be swimsuit-ready by June!
Warm Up, Don't Jump Up
There Is Strength In Numbers!That old adage applies to military strategy as well as exercise success. Working out alone can be easier and more convenient if you're at home. But if you're the kind of person that craves socialization (and you know who you are), then get out to the gym and find a class you like. Or call up some neighbors and make a running group! Or cajole your workmates into taking yoga at lunch! For a lot of people, excessing in a group setting lessens anxiety about working out, increases a little friendly competition to push your boundaries, and psychologically obligates you to stick to the routine and keep working out. By not disappointing your workout buddies, you will stick to your goals and satisfy yourself as well.
You Are What You Eat
Skip the Detox for Now
Avoid the Scale and the MirrorYes, that's what I wrote: avoid them both. A lot of people start an exercise routine and expect magical weight loss overnight. "I did thirty crunches, why don't I look like Brad Pitt?" Weight loss takes time, just like weight gain. The road to better health is not an express lane; it's more of a gradual climb up a mountain to an amazing viewpoint. Looking at the scale or examining yourself in the mirror too early or too frequently can be abusive to your psyche. If the numbers aren't budging or you don't look like Eva Longoria, you may lose inspiration and give up. Don't do that to yourself. Instead, go by how your clothes fit. With diligent persistence in your diet and exercise, you should notice a difference within thirty days or less. Also, unless your scale shows fat percentage and weight, then you're just looking at a total. Which means you could be losing fat and gaining muscle, but your total weight is staying the same. That could frustrate and deter you because you'll think, "All this sweat, and I'm not losing weight!" If the number goes down, you could be losing both fat and muscle, or one and not the other. If the number goes up, you could be adding one or the other. That's why I suggest avoiding the scale for a month and going by how you feel instead. If you have to check that scale, then perhaps now is the year to invest in a better scale that will allow you to know how your numbers (and your body) are shifting.
Be Kind to YourselfFinally, be kind to yourself. Rome wasn't built in a day. Aim for small goals that are realistic and can be achieved in reasonable time. It will save you frustration and help keep you on track to better health and better future. Remember: It's the steady rain that fills the lake!
As with any change in your diet and exercise, if you have concerns about your health then you should consult your physician before going forward. A physical examination may be necessary before undertaking vigorous exercise, and exercise modification may be needed based upon your injury history or medical conditions. If you need further information or are in need of a physical exam to establish baseline health factors, please contact your physician. The treatment team at Sylvan Chiropractic Clinic and Wellness Center is also always available to assist you in achieving your exercise, diet, health, or weight loss goals in order to maximize your body's potential for performance and longevity. Happy 2016!