Tuesday, January 07, 2020 • Oshawa, ON L1H 2P9, CA

So it’s now 2020. This is day 7 of a 365 page book you will write for yourself this year. Just think about that.

What will your book say?

How will the story unfold?

This is the time of year that people typically set their New Years fitness goals and the gyms are teeming with new members rushing for the weights and the treadmills in hopes that this will be the year—the year that their resolutions will finally work. The best advice for success is this: Slow Down!! Like a good book, the story develops over time. We don’t get the whole introduction, plot and conclusion all in the first chapter right?

Ok, so you want to lose weight or build a little muscle or increase your self confidence but first-things- first. Decide on a clear goal and write it down. Your goal should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Stating your goal is to lose weight is too general. Try this statement instead:

“I want to lose 20 pounds in 5 months by watching what I eat and being more active so that I can feel better and move better”

There…you have a specific goal in mind (lose 20 pounds); it’s measurable because you can track your weight, it’s easily attainable by applying some modifications to your eating and activity, it’s realistic and timely because you have set a goal weight and end date that is achievable in that time frame. Write the goal down on a card! Put that card up where you can see it every day! Your goal becomes more real if you write it down—and see it everyday as a reminder.

You’ve decided to lose weight, but how? Going on a diet? Joining a bootcamp and going 7 days a week? This is where the “slow down” advice comes into play. Don’t go all-out at the beginning. This doesn’t have to be complicated and far too often people start out too-fast-too soon only to end up burned out and overwhelmed in the first month.

To start, you don’t have to search out the latest diet “flavours of the month” It all starts by simply eating a little less than you are eating now. Do you eat dessert after every meal? Then start by skipping dessert 2 or 3 times a week. Do you load up your plate at dinner thinking that this might just be the last meal you ever eat so you may as well go out with a bang? Just put a little less of the food you already eat on your plate instead. Use proper portions. A good weight loss to strive for each week is between ½ to 2 pounds. In order to do that, simply cut your calories down by 300-500 a day. It won’t be as hard as you think, and you won’t feel deprived. You can make more modifications to the way you eat later, but for now, small changes only!

So you’ve heard Sally has joined the latest bootcamp or Tabata class and you want in too! Hold up just a second. Are you new to exercise? Is walking to the fridge for a soda the most activity you get? Then you probably want to stay away from such high intensity work for now. Realistically, your body won’t be ready. You may even do fine for the first few classes then, your body says “What the…” and you get injured. Again, start slow!

The truth is, movement is exercise…and exercise is health! Any movement will do so don’t feel pressure to join an organized class or do what everyone else is doing. Enjoy walking? Then go for a walk before work or after dinner-and have the whole family join in too! Maybe you’ve always liked bowling. Then maybe grab a friend and have a bowling night. Like dancing? Then maybe take a dance class or, better yet, just dance in your living room. That way, you don’t even have to leave your house! Remember—MOVEMENT is exercise! And the funny part is, your muscles are kind of dumb. They don’t know the difference between you taking your dog for a walk or you being on a treadmill in front of total strangers in a gym that you may not even want to be in! They only know they are moving, and that’s a good thing.

So let’s sum things up:

  • Write out your goal and post it up somewhere so that you can see it
  • Start by making small changes to the way you eat. Big changes now mean big failures down the road
  • Add some activity into your day. It doesn’t have to be a fitness routine if that’s not where you are yet. Just move!

And finally, to lose weight start by having a calorie deficit of between 300-500 calories a day. You can do this by decreasing what you eat (taking in less calories), adding more activity into your day (burning more calories) or a combination of both.

Here’s hoping that 2020 is your best year yet!


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