I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas time with your loved ones. This time of the year is all about catching up on long overdue quality family time and seeing friends. Unfortunately, the only downside to the holidays is that we humans created the custom of attaching festivities to masses amount of food and drinking over the centuries.
Therefore many people will wake up on the morning of December 26th or January 1st feeling sluggish, dozy and potentially miserable. If that sounds like you, read on to find out how to get rid of the guilt and get back on the fitness track asap.
I have been there, punishing myself for being unable to control the situation and letting myself go with the flow, eat the extra portion of pie every day or inhaling amounts of food that could feed at least another person. Not to mention the Christmas drinks.
The truth is, 2, 3 or even 5 days won’t make that much of a difference so long as you catch it now and take back control instead of letting yourself sink into self-pity resulting in eating more and drinking yourself into he new year so then you can make a resolution on starving yourself in January.
Try reflecting on this past week and evaluate your situation. Did you have fun? Have you spent lots of time with people you love? Did you manage to relax and let the steam out? When we feel guilty, we tend to forget about all the good things and focus instead on what we did wrong.
The deeper you sink into it, the more desperate you become. Instead, list all the great experiences you had, appreciate all the positives and accept they came with a baggage of extra calories. That position will empower you to create a plan, out of motivation, not out of desperation that sets you up for success. Here are 3 steps how to get started when you’re ready.
STEP #1 SET REALISTIC GOALS
Whether you are a seasoned fitness geek or you're only about to start your journey, the route to successful weight loss leads through realistic goals. But how do you know what’s realistic? Easy, when you have about 20lbs to lose, you will need to give yourself 3-6 months minimum to achieve that. Sorry to burst your bubble, that 20lbs won't come off and stay off with any sort of 30 day or 12 week challenge.
Provided there is no underlying showstopper, you can lose 1-2 pounds per week so long as your food plan and exercise regime are tailored to suit that goal.
The best practice is to create a list. Where would you like to be in 1 month, 3 months or a year from now? Is your weakness in making it regularly to the gym or on the food front? Focus on that. What actions can you take now to start? Write them all down and schedule time for them. Then just complete those as part of your daily tasks.
STEP #2 START SMALL
Now that you have your list and worked out your priorities, start with the goal that will make the biggest impact on your life once achieved. Break it down to short-term milestones and create a process to measure it regularly so you can track your progress. Small successes will create a sense of achievement which then will motivate you to keep working hard for your fitness.
For instance, losing weight becomes simple once you know how to do it and have the tools and processes in place. The single most important part of it is calorie deficit. It can be created via eating less than your body uses, or exercising more so you burn more calories. But there is only so many calories you can cut without risking your health, and so much exercise you can do without overtraining. The best approach is combining the two.
If exercise or staying active is challenging, but you are ok in the kitchen, start focusing on your workouts first. If your diet is all over the place, whether you are active enough, I’d recommend starting with food planning. Once one is achieved, build on that and move onto the other one.
STEP #3 BEING PERSISTENT AT CONSISTENCY
Once you have your goals and created small weekly actions to hit, there is one more essential thing to do. STAYING CONSISTENT. The small little things that you do every day will accumulate over the weeks, months and years to come and will bring you results you only dreamed of. But only if you stay consistent.
Think about brushing your teeth. Dentists keep advising us to brush our teeth twice a day for 2-3 minutes, every day. While part of it comes with genetics, people who take the advice will have less reasons to visit a dentist over their lifetime than those who don’t.
It’s the same with your health and fitness. If you stick to your daily routine, hit your small milestones every week and you keep doing that for months on end, you will reap the benefits. You just need to listen to the experts and not be distracted by all the flashy marketing of cleanses, supplements and fad diets. Those will never work on the long term.
Three very simple principles: realistic goals, small steps and consistency. That’s all you need to achieve your desired body and health. Feel free to ask me any question about how to start your new year without making any resolutions and still working towards your goal.
I am launching the Get REAL Challenge again on the 15th of January for those who decide to work towards their realistic goals and achieve more in 2018 for a fitter, healthier and leaner body.
I am a wife, mom, grandma & former professional “diet and exercise hopper" who understands the challenges of being 40lb overweight after having children & the damage repeated sense of failure can cause to your confidence and self-esteem.