January is “rush” month - - the month when people rush to gyms nationwide to work on their top New Year’s resolution: weight loss. As a personal trainer and fitness instructor, I know that my fitness classes will be full of new faces the first week of January.
you reason. Wrong!
I have heard of goals such as: “I want to lose 30 pounds,” “I want my waist back,” and “I want a six pack.” People set these goals and have a clear date of when they want to meet them: February. Yes, February. The average fitness novice sets a lofty goal that they expect to meet in one month. While most people will not say, “I’m giving myself one month to – change my life, lose all my excess weight, or eat healthy for the rest of my life,” most “rush” newbies will quit their fitness resolution by February.
Not to repeat a cliché, but how do you expect a new you in one month when it did not take the old you a month to put the weight on? Have you ever heard of creeping obesity?
You gain a pound a year by indulging in the extras: Extra sauce, double meat at the carry out, and by limiting the necessities, such as workouts. Before you know it, you are 30 pounds heavier in your mid-forties than you were in your early thirties. The weight gain “snuck up” on you and you did not realize it until you saw the college pictures of a fellow alum posted on Facebook or you were throwing away items and came across your year book.
“Well, if it sneaked up on me, there is nothing I can do about it, right?,” you reason. Wrong!
You have to start the reversal at some point. However, one of the problems with literally hitting the ground running in January is that people lose momentum because they are not used to working out at all. Burn out becomes inevitable when people do not have the stamina. Try this: Exercise all year long. Even if you commit to working out only twice a week, you are burning the extra calories that would stay in your body if you did nothing at all and you are building endurance in the process.
For a sustainable new you, try this: Divide your weight loss goal into small measurable goals with incentives. Instead of saying “I’m going to lose 30 pounds,” try, “I will lose 5 pounds by February.” Once you have achieved a specific goal, reward yourself with something you want like a pair of shoes or a visit to your favorite restaurant. Incentives often drive progress and when it comes to weight loss, this principle is no exception.
Also, try this: Find an accountability partner. How do you feel when you have scheduled a time to meet friends or a co-worker for drinks and you are running late? You probably do not want them waiting for you too long and you probably would not dare think of cancelling the meeting at the last minute. Apply the same principle to an accountability partner. Find someone who will commit to meeting you at the gym, a fitness class, or wherever you work out. Chances are if someone is waiting for you, you might be less likely to stand them up because you do not want to look and feel bad.
A New Year’s resolution is a course of action that you decide. Once you decide on what you want, resolve not to quit. No one can guarantee a new you by February, but proper goal setting, realistic expectations, and determination can create a new you eventually.
Note: Tucker is also a Z-Go Go instructor.