Resolutions. I’ve read all the memes lately. One that catches my attention every time is, “One simply does not keep their resolutions.” Because it’s true. Most people don’t even make New Year resolutions because they simply have never adhered to them. But I want to challenge this. I want to get to the WHY our resolutions fail us. Specially I want to deep dive into the resolution of “being healthier.”
Getting healthy is the number one resolution – that shouldn’t be a surprise. It has likely been yours over the years, as I know it used to be mine. Here’s where the problem lies. You set the resolution to be healthier. And that’s it! You don’t define “healthy” and you don’t have a step by step plan to achieve this resolution – aka a goal. That’s all these resolutions are – goals. And if you’ve worked with me before, either individually or in a group, you know how passionate I am about goal setting. The goal, or resolution, is the easy part. It’s glorified. We all want to get healthy in 2018! But what about the work that comes with it? That’s more important than the resolution itself, or else it’s just a dream, that you likely won’t achieve.
So setting a very detailed plan is important. But even more important, in my mind, is defining what healthy is to you. And that’s what this blog post is focused on. This post is written with my opinion and my opinion alone. It is based on my experiences and my beliefs. It does not pass judgement, but I hope to get you thinking. Because I too have been a beginner in health and fitness. I have spent years educating myself, losing my way, trying to new things, failing miserably, succeeding, and most importantly, never giving up. Here’s what I learned.
I am in no means “famous” in the fitness industry, but I do believe I have a lot of education and experience from my time in the gym, my time as a health coach, and my years of amateur body building – both competing and watching others’ journeys. Here’s what I used to envision (literally two years ago) when my goal was to get healthy:
Stick to a strict meal plan – if I deviate, I fail.
Be the leanest I can be. My waist must be so small that my butt looks ginormous.
Do not gain weight. Only lose weight. Oh, but gain muscle.
Work out two times a day for a total of two hours. Never miss a workout (no pain, no gain!).
Squat 350 pounds.
*I cringe writing this*
Here’s what I envision now when setting my health goals:
Eat intuitively with 80% being healthy choices.
Do not weigh myself. When I do, do not get upset over a few pounds of weight gain.
Work out as effectively as I can so that I can spend more time on work and family.
Find exercise I truly enjoy.
Be HAPPY with my body at any stage.
Forgive myself for unhealthy choices and move on.
Incorporate self-care regularly (baths, rest, nature).
Basically, what health means to me now is always treating my body with respect. This means not putting toxic foods into it (regularly) but not saying no to a few Christmas cookies or a birthday cupcake.
To me, being healthier means being more balanced. What does that look like?
It’s unhealthy to be 100 pounds overweight. It’s also unhealthy to weigh yourself every day. It’s unhealthy to base your worth on weight alone.
It’s unhealthy to eat processed foods every day. It’s unhealthy to go out to dinner regularly. It’s also unhealthy to restrict so much that you lose out on really enjoying life, time with family and friends, and amazing foods.
It’s unhealthy to never exercise. In fact, it is recommended to exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Not to look good- but for your health. It’s unhealthy to make excuses to not exercise, but rather sit around and binge watch TV. It’s also unhealthy to skip outings with friends/family to ensure you don’t miss a workout. It’s unhealthy to spend 3 hours in the gym every day. It’s unhealthy to do exercise you truly don’t find enjoyable.
It’s unhealthy to obsess about your body and health alone. Any obsession is unhealthy for overall balance in life. It’s also unhealthy to walk around “not caring” about your body at all. Your body does a lot for you, the best thing you can do is treat it kindly.
I write this post in hopes that you truly do get healthier in 2018. To anyone reading this, I suggest that if you’re opposed to making resolutions, that you do sit down and make some goals for the new year. After each goal, make a list of 3 things (specific and measurable) you plan to do to achieve this goal. It might look like this.
- I want to be more physically active, and exercise at least 30 minutes 5 days a week.
- Join a gym
- Get an accountability partner / health coach (shameless plug!)
- Plan my workouts by putting them in my planner
- I want to make better food choices
- Find 3 new healthy recipes each week that I can try
- Log my food to educate myself on what I am actually consuming
- Get a health coach (shameless plug!)
- I want to find exercise I truly enjoy.
- Try Yoga for a week in January
- Join Kailee’s 5 week bootcamp in February (IT’S ONLINE AND ONLY 30 MIN A DAY!)
- Try exercise classes five times in June-July
Here’s what it shouldn’t look like.
- Lose 50 pounds
- Juice cleanse for 2 months
Health and wellness is a never-ending journey (literally). It will always take on new shape in your life. But you should start somewhere. You owe it to yourself to educate yourself on healthy choices, because in the end, our lifestyles do matter. Yes, you might die tragically after making healthy choices, meaning living healthy didn’t add years to your life. But the truth is, living healthy adds a lot of life to your years. When thinking of your health goals, remember that mental health is just as important as physical health. Do not try to take on too much at once. Do not set unrealistic goals. Do not overexert yourself. Find balance. It has taken me a long time to get here, but I hope that what I have learned helps some of you.
Here’s to a happy, healthy, and balanced 2018!