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Same Old New Year

Same Old New Year
January 04
09:18 2020

Same Old New Year

By Dr.Abigail Joseph

So the year 2019 has come to a close and let’s be honest – we ate the final days away!!! If you didn’t have to loose a button or two, you weren’t doing it right. Yes, its tradition to eat and then make the vow formally known as a New Year Resolution – where we make great plans on how much weight we want to lose and how better and healthier we are going to be in this new year. Of course there is the complicated crew which plans on making more money and plans on other things that have nothing to do with weight-loss but the truth of the matter is that weight-loss and exercise together make THE MOST POPULAR New Year’s Resolutions. There are many ways people tackle these items on their check list. Some people join a gym and others buy gym equipment. Some people go jogging, and most people just starve and attempt fast diets that make promises of quick weight loss.

Earlier this week I made a WhatsApp group where I added all my cousins and forwarded our new plan of diet and exercise that was to span over the next two months. My younger cousin responded in our chat group by asking – “Is there a way that I can lose weight without the exercise?” I quickly responded to her by saying “yes.” Intrigued by this, she stated, “I’m in, what do I have to do?”

Sarcastically, I told her the only way to lose weight without putting in the work is by going deep into your pocket and paying for the surgery. A tad bit disappointed, she responded by saying – “I’m broke, guess I have to starve my way to sexy.” This is the reality of many. We feel as if though losing weight is a burden and a difficult task. Isn’t it ironic that weight gain seems so effortless, but shaking it off seems like a punishment? Most people want a quick solution to their weight problems because when it comes to putting in work they run out of motivation before they achieve their goals. Quick solutions result in starving yourself, over exerting your bodies and at the end of the day you lose weight but the weight never stays off. Your body is confused and when you do get back to your normal eating habits, what really happens is that your body tries to avoid the state of shock it experienced when you underwent starving. It stores more fat and it becomes harder to lose the weight the next time around. Your body views your starvation technique as a drought.

Sticking to resolutions is hard, especially with all the pressures and hard talks in January by everyone about a healthier and fitter you. Studies show that before the second month of the New Year has come to a close many people would have already given up on their annual commitment to themselves. According to a study conducted by the University of Scranton, only 8 percent of people accomplish their goals. US clinical Psychologist Joseph Luciani states that “unrealistic expectations are a big reason resolutions fail.” Dr. Marcelo Campos from Harvard Medical School states that writing down your resolutions might make you achieve them because it feels like more of a commitment. Campos goes on to explain in a medical blog that tackling 5 questions at the beginning and throughout your resolution can help to keep perspective and motivate you. The questions are:

Why do you want to make changes? Look beyond your need for change and try to find real life benefits. Go deep into your emotions and soul search. Start to imagine a life after your changes have been made to help you feel motivated.

Is your goal concrete and measureable? This goal or goals should be specific, attainable and measureable. It’s important to make goals that are achievable. Lack of success often comes from unrealistic goals that makes us feel discouraged when we don’t “measure up.” Be reminded that long term change takes time and occurs slowly. CHANGE IS A PROCESS, NOT AN EVENT!
What is your plan? I’m certain you have heard the statement – “If you fail to plan, you’ve planned to fail.” After you know what you want, you need a route on how to get there. Write down your new do’s and don’ts. Keep a tracker on your phone or make notes on your calendar. Be specific and keep your plans simple.

Who can support you as you work toward change? Accountability is everything! Ever notice when you attempt your workout routine alone, it’s easy to skip days or even end up quitting faster? It’s because you are doing it alone. “Wanna go fast? Go alone. Wanna go far? Take someone with you!” Tell someone about your goals. Get people involved. Loved ones will hold you accountable, will remind you and will push you.

How will you celebrate your victories? Celebration is important. It’s the basic reward strategy. There must be a reward for work done. This is called training your brain. Now, many of your brains are already trained so by simply reading celebration you’ve already gone to dreaming about beers and party. Not ideal, but taking time out to acknowledge accomplishing your goals is important. It can be buying a new swimsuit or dress. For men it can be taking that new body for a strut on the beach shirtless. There are many actions that can make you feel good about what you’ve accomplished.
It’s ok if your New Year resolution is the same as last year. Please be reminded you don’t need to starve yourself to lose weight. Sure, there are many diets out there to choose from and I’m positive that they all work to a certain extent. My question to you is, will it last?? Most people lose weight for an event. We try to shake off the “Christmas ham.”

We want that Easter body. Summer is almost here and the list of reasons for quick change is unending. However, making lifestyle changes are more effective – healthier choices in groceries, taking time to prepare healthier meals, choosing better snacks for your kids, setting time apart for exercise. Modifying your life is not about throwing away your old lifestyle, but rather tailoring it so that it involves healthy eating, hydration, enough rest and a workout routine. The results over time will impress you more than any quick 14 day scheme. Be patient. You have already planted the seed for success; it is all about changing your mindset now.

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