New Year, New You:
If one of your New Year’s resolutions to better yourself is transforming your body and eating healthier, you are not alone. According to YouGov, in 2019, 48% of people wanted to lose weight, 59% wanted to exercise or workout more, and 54% wanted to eat healthier for their New Year’s resolution in 2019. This is a common goal that so many of us share!
Unfortunately, research also shows that two-thirds of people have found it difficult to lose weight amid coronavirus and the resulting lockdowns. In fact, doctors report that many of their patients have gained an average of 3 to 15 pounds of weight during the lockdown earlier this year.
No doubt, 2020 has brought many challenges for us all, from emotional eating to spending excessive sedentary time at home. The impact of these lifestyle changes has contributed to weight management challenges for even the most disciplined dieters and workout enthusiasts among us.
The first step to achieving a healthy body is to reset your mind
Before you start lifting weights, lift the guilt from your shoulders, and start the new year with a positive approach to your health and wellness goals.
To Trim Down Your Waist, Trim Down Your Goals
If it seems that your goals are too hard to achieve, perhaps they are simply too large to accomplish in a reasonable amount of time. It’s easy to become disappointed and unmotivated if you expect to take giant leaps rather than baby steps.
Instead of envisioning one grand goal for a new you, break your goal down into miniature milestones. Take it slow and steady, and remind yourself that the changes you wish are more likely to become permanent changes when they are realistic and focused.
Examples Of Mini-Milestones For Weight Loss May Include:
- I will lose one pound a week for two months.
- I will lose six pounds a month for the next two months, and I will adjust my goals if they become unattainable for me.
Examples Of Mini-Milestones For Dieting May Include:
- I will have one bowl of salad every day for lunch.
- I will meal-plan three meals a day for the next two months.
Examples Of Mini-Milestones For Disciplined Desserts May Include:
- I will have one dessert a week.
- I will have one small piece of chocolate a day.
- I will have one cheat day a month.
Small changes tend to be more impactful in the long run because they are easier to maintain and are more focused. Don’t be afraid to combine mini-milestones, either.
Attaining three mini-milestones, such as eating one dessert a week, eating a big salad for lunch, and losing one pound a week, is more feasible than one, broad goal of losing 5 pounds a week yet having no direction to accomplish it.
Healthy mind, healthy body
Positivity is the key to a healthy mind, and a healthy mind is the key to a healthy body. Our environments are full of triggers that can cause us to emotionally spiral and lose control of our goals. The first step to gaining control is to change our approach to stress and find healthier ways to cope.
Consider these four values with regards to how you cope with stress:
Commit to the relationships you have with yourself, your loved ones, your job, and your passions. Reduce exterior stressors as best as possible. Do not let what you cannot control affect you.
Life throws curve balls. It doesn’t matter how in-control you think you are. When changes shake your world up, embrace the changes with openness. The more flexible you are, the more you can maintain control over those mini-milestones you’ve set.
Don’t let changes or challenges scare you. At the top of the mountain is a beautiful view that you never thought possible. Though you cannot control what challenges come your way, you can embrace them for the purpose they serve in bettering you.
Connect with yourself through forgiveness when you make mistakes, and connect with others who believe in you no matter what mistakes you make. Be confident. You are here for a reason and you are loved, no matter what shape you are in.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to huff and puff your way through workouts in order to lose weight. What you do need is to be consistent, however.
Find a workout plan that you enjoy and change it up when you become bored. While some enjoy running or biking, some have a blast and see excellent results with Zumba. Explore new exercise activities, and do a different one each night of the week to avoid burnout and keep things fresh.
Here are some workout reminders to help you avoid burning out:
- Start low-impact and work your way up to avoid over-stressing your body.
- Choose exercises that don’t make you roll your eyes.
- Find an “accountability partner” or family member who will work out with you and keep you motivated.
- Take as many breaks as you need at the start, and reduce the number of breaks you take as you build your stamina.
- Rest days are good for you, but if you’re the type who needs to do something every day in order to keep the routine flowing, add yoga or meditation on rest days and use the time to train your mind.
Workout to achieve overall wellness rather than a slim body and you will find that the weight sheds itself. Become more mindful and see greater results.
To attain overall wellness, it is important to find a balance between your mind, body, and soul. Some simple ways to do this are:
- Meditate: meditation helps to improve memory, mood, attention, immunity, sleep, and creativity. Just a few minutes of meditation a day will reward you in immense ways.
- Journal: No need to write a novel or follow any format that doesn’t interest you. Try writing out your goals as if they have already happened, the steps you took to accomplish them, and the way you feel now that you have.
- Get outside: Spending time outside freshens your mood, promotes good sleep, and makes you happy. That’s a fact!
Feed Your Entire Self
Though crash dieting and stress-inducing workouts may achieve temporary results, the effects can devastate your long-term resolutions. By feeding your mind with self-love, meditating, forgiving yourself, and learning discipline, you will enjoy the process of achieving your resolutions and find that the rest takes care of itself.