So, it is that time of year when all the new diets are advertised, training programmes with proven results are reported, there are multiple special offers for diet clubs and claims of foods that will help you lose belly fat …. do I need to go on?
As you reflect on the past year and plan for the coming new year, it can be a really confusing time. Filled with expectations, new year’s resolutions are very daunting and I believe it is really easy to set yourself up for failure.
Often a resolution will include: wanting to lose ‘x’ amount of weight, joining a gym and training 5 times a week or maybe working towards a bottom like Kim Kardashian’s.
Let’s face it – if we do not succeed for example: ‘only’ attend the gym 3 times rather than 5, does this mean failure? No, it does not! it was 3 workouts all contributing to making a difference to fitness levels.
When I worked in the fitness industry, in January my classes were packed with new members but by March this had fizzled out. WHY? When talking to members it is clear that there is a 100% commitment to the intention but the ability to maintain unrealistic expectations was not possible.
How can you commit every week (as a new exerciser, for example) to train 5 times a week? If it slipped the participant felt their new year’s resolution had been broken, they had failed! This sense of failure caused members to stop going at all!
Of course, this is completely wrong. For truly successful changes, I think it is the way you approach it psychologically. This coming year I am planning on 3 lifestyle changes, these are my intentions:
#1 – I would really like to run a marathon – although this is my plan, when it comes to it I may not feel ready and for this reason I have entered a half marathon in March; then providing I am injury free, I will look at entering a full marathon to run in the Autumn.
My lifestyle change will be to train in preparation for a marathon. With this in mind, the completion of 1000 miles is trending for 2019 – I have seriously considered this but realistically I may not achieve this. Instead, I plan on aiming to exceed 500 miles. I know that this is achievable at less than 10 miles a week.
#2 – I am also feeling more concerned about the environment and I have been considering a more vegetarian diet. We eat meat/fish with 99% of our main meals whilst, I do not plan to become a vegetarian (not presently), I plan to make changes. I do not know how this will pan out and whether it will have a negative or positive impact on my training but there is certainly no harm in switching, at least several meals a week, to not include meat. I love to cook and so, I hope it will be an enjoyable experience considering new recipe ideas.
#3 – Finally, I really need to reduce the amount of wine I drink. Friday is ALWAYS wine night and Saturday usually follows suit. Once I open a bottle of wine, I do not put the lid back on and I am not happy with this.
January I will go sober, with the aim to then reducing the number of Fridays that I drink and attending a Saturday morning Yoga class – instead of feeling hungover! I also noticed that mid-week drinking crept in over the years and that, I plan to change. I am not going in with the approach that I will stop drinking next year (except January) but, I realise changes need to be made for the sake of my health and this I can maintain – I hope, otherwise I will be joining AA!
So how will I manage? who knows? but I plan to implement lifestyle changes that are at least achievable. This way I can succeed at winning in 2019!
Happy New Year from Dr Tracey Evans