Healthy New Year!!! (and thereafter, as well)

As the new year approaches many people begin to ponder what they might wish to include in their list of resolutions. Most of us, when considering new year’s resolutions, try to think of those actions, alterations or behaviors which will have a positive impact on our lives and or the lives of those about which we care. They often include a focus on facets of our lives such as health, finance or more quality time spent with loved ones. I suspect many folks are focused on some aspect of health, diet or exercise.

It is common knowledge that health club memberships and personal trainers all see a boom in business around January 1st. If you ever wish to see an exercise facility at its capacity, try visiting at the beginning of a new year. However, return to that same facility in February or March and you will likely find that you no longer have a wait to climb on that elliptical trainer or treadmill.

Unfortunately, the same rings true for diet and weight loss aspirations. Food choices are often incarcerated by the latest in “get-thin quick schemes” and fad-diets. Most of these well-intentioned souls never complete the scheme or fad-diet and the small percentage that do usually are disappointed to find three months later that they have regained all the weight and then some.

I would like to make a suggestion that has been of huge benefit to me and is something I often share with my patients. Most people, I believe, when they finally muster the gumption to tackle a weight or food choice issue start with one of the following statements, “I’m going on a diet” or “I am going to get these extra 30 pounds off.” While well intentioned, when this is one’s starting point, I believe we are setting ourselves up for failure. Why? Because these statements and this mind set imply that there exists an end-point to this process. That the choice is a destination instead of a journey.

When one “goes on a diet” or “gets that 30 pounds off” it implies that once the goal weight is achieved, then you have won and you can go back to doing and eating whatever you wish whenever you want. The reality is, at that point, the party has just begun. Party? Yes, party. More on this in a moment.

I will submit to you that if you dive into this endeavor with the following statement, you will be laying the foundation for success, “I am going to choose to live a healthy lifestyle today.” If you say that today and everyday and begin to educate yourself on healthful dietary choices and exercise habits you cannot help but lose weight. Not just today, next week or next month but everyday, there after. There is no end to it. The “diet” never ends and the exercise never ends because that is the reality of it. This is a journey, not a destination.

Enjoy the journey! I said earlier that this is when the party begins. No, I am not crazy. It IS a party because living a healthy lifestyle really is enjoyable. Healthful diet and exercise habits are exactly that, HABITS. The more we do them, not only does it become easier, but you will begin to miss them if you miss a day or have difficulty finding a healthful food choice on the run.

It feels good to exercise. It feels good when you sit down at a meal and KNOW that the food you are placing in your body is healthful and GOOD for you. I love that feeling of knowing the meal or workout I just completed is really good for me. It IS fun and it will make you feel better in general and better about yourself! You will sleep better, look better and feel better.

So, “choose to live a healthy lifestyle today” and everyday and you will reap the rewards.

Healthy New Year!!!!