Monday, February 1, 2010

This is the year!

Each year, we tell ourselves, “This is it! This is the year I finally get back into those ‘skinny jeans’” or “This is the year that I look like that picture again.” Yes, this is the year! Now, how do you get started?

Based on my Google search, fitness or weight loss goals consistently make the top 5, if not the top 3, of New Year resolution lists. I know it was on my list for the last three or four consecutive years. I was finally successful in losing weight and more importantly maintaining my weight loss in 2009, when I entered Tight Curves’ body transformation contest (www.tightcurves.net). Now I’m on the second phase of my fitness plan to reach my competition weight.

As a self-proclaimed fitness enthusiast and/or fitness junkie, I come across the same battles with myself every time I tell myself, “This is the day that I’m going to say ‘no’ to potato chips.” For some reason the thought of telling myself “no” makes me want to do it more and then my mind reacts by going into a panic.

Here are some tips for soothing the mental panic and setting achievable goals:

  1. Accept what you look like now so you can move on. Take a “before” picture. When I was at my peak weight in 2009, I knew I didn’t look my best, but I really didn’t know until I saw my “before” picture. Wow, what a reality check to see my nearly naked cellulited body squeezed into a bikini that was two sizes too small. My muffin top was revealed to me in a light that forced me to accept my current reality. I still have my before pictures posted on the side of my night stand as a reminder of how far I’ve come in my body transformation.
  1. Start incorporating your new habits slowly into your life. It’s tough enough to get yourself off the couch to go to the gym in the first place, so why do you think you can suddenly motivate yourself to go 5 days a week for the next 6 months? You’re likely to burn out. My advice would be to write down your ultimate goal and start breaking down the goals into milestones and then into daily tactics. Example: My ultimate goal is to reach 125lbs by May. My milestones are to reach 130 by the end of February by starting with weight training 3 days a week and cardio 3 days a week. After I am consistent with the 3 days of training and 3 days of cardio, I move onto to cleaning up my diet with cutting out soda or cutting out chips, etc. I see milestones as building blocks. Doing too much can cause a lot of disruption
  1. Tell your friends, your real friends, so they can support you. Weight loss programs such as Weight Watchers are successful because you get a community to support you. You can create your own by sharing your goals with your trusted friends. They will keep you in check because you know every time you see them they’ll ask you how your progress is. And if you derail, your real friends will encourage you to keep going, rather than encourage you to quit.