Everyone is choosing a "Word for the Year" -- everyone except me.
So much can change in your life in one month, one week or even one day, much more over the course of one whole year.
Some words I've seen chosen are: joy, trust, slow, rest, yes, brave, etc. You get the idea the latest fad is to choose a word that represents the type of year you want, and then make decisions based off the word. One major change in your life will sabotage everything, if it all rests on one word. I plan my year for vacations, school schedules and big projects for my business, but for all the other things? Monthly. My approach is more realistic, and healthier. Therefore, instead of adding stress when life goes crazy, I am able to adjust.Flexibility facilitates your wellness journey.
So often we view the month of January as setting the tone for the year. If we are successful with our health in January then we can assume we'll be successful for the rest of the year. I'm sorry but this is faulty thinking. First of all what if January is an incredibly challenging month for you financially, emotionally, or physically? What if you feel "unsuccessful" this month? Does that mean the rest of your year is shot? I sure hope not!
On the flip side of this, what if January is a highly successful month for you? You hit your fitness and nutrition goals you're on your way to your summer body and then reality hits and you find yourself back where you started. Does this mean you need to wait until next year to start over? Of course not! It would be silly to even think that. This is exactly why I enjoy the new year but I don't place too much pressure on myself to make the month of January "perfect."
A key element that is overlooked when it comes to New Year's goals is how to implement new habits to accomplish those goals. Goals are set with good intentions but, without a clear plan, it is likely you will fall short. This can leave you feeling like you failed. The remedy is to develop some new habits.
The greatest success I've seen with creating new habits is planning out and implementing one or two at a time. Focus on those few items and really perform them well for six weeks, at least. Then it will become an organic part of your day. After that, add another new, healthy habit.
For example, let's say this year you want to implement a new exercise routine, cut out all processed foods, get 8 hours of sleep each night and implement a quiet time into your day for reflection. Wow I'm tired just writing all that! That's A LOT of pressure, and too much to handle all at any once.
The key is to choose one or two of these new habits, decide how you're going to implement it and then get to a point where it's second nature. Let's say you choose to focus on getting adequate sleep each night, but you're also eager to start working out. Determine what time you need to go to bed by to get the sleep you need. Then decide what you'll do to ensure that your head hits the pillow at the time and do those things.
To begin your new exercise routine start slowly. Plan to commit to 20 minutes a day to start. Work your way up from there. If you currently don't exercise at all, but set a goal to workout for one hour, 6 days a week, you'll probably revert back to your old ways. It's just too much pressure on the body. Will this take longer than implementing all the goals at once? No it will not, because it will work.
Whatever you do to inspire yourself for the new year I encourage you to remember this, one critical truth:
Taking care of your body is lifelong commitment.
There is no quick fix, trendy diets or fad exercises are never a miracle cure. I encourage you to view good health as a way of life. Adopt that way now and stick with it forever.
It's said that the average person gains 7 to 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That's a significant amount of weight. How accurate these numbers are, and whether this actually starts around Thanksgiving (I personally believe it to start in October with Halloween), the fact is the holidays can present a struggle.
As soon as the weather begins to turn cold our bodies begin to crave more nourishment. Unfortunately, our first thought is not of dark, leafy greens tossed in a vinaigrette. Warm, cozy, comfort foods are a more tempting choice and, during the holidays, they abound. That is not necessarily, however, a bad thing. There are plenty of delicious foods that are great options to eat over the winter. The problem I've seen in my private coaching sessions are the number of events that surround the holidays: office parties, family gatherings, cookie exchanges . . . you get the idea. The trouble all begins with the onslaught of your kid's Halloween candy that bag can be SO tempting!
As the holiday season comes to a close with Christmas and New Year's I'd like to share a few thoughts with you on how to manage the holidays.
Treadmill girl versus squats girl -- I had to laugh.
First of all, aren't we women supposed to empower one another? So why are we posting an image that implies one looks better,is more attractive than the other.? Which one is it? I'm not sure. Each has nice attributes, and one of the things that makes life interesting is not all of us look the same.
Second, I spent years faithfully following a traditional fitness mindset lifting weights (both heavy and light), cardio (including the treadmill) and an occasional yoga or pilates class. While I was certainly strong and had a lot of nice muscle, I still struggled with not being pleased with the way my body looked. The areas that I wanted to get smaller never seemed to, and the areas I wanted to "plump up" never got that way.
When I was in middle school my dad began taking me to our local YMCA. He taught me everything I know about lifting weights. I treasured our time together and to this day am so grateful to him that he did this for me. During this time, my level of confidence grew, I developed a lot of strength in my body and I got to bond with my dad. It was an all around "win win." One of the greatest gifts you can give a growing adolescent is teaching them how to properly care for their body, nutritionally and physically. This grew into my love for fitness that has stayed with me.
Years later, when my oldest daughter was about 2, we were stationed at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. The gym on post didn't offer child care so I was mostly using my jogging stroller to run outside or doing at home exercise videos. Then I met a group of ladies who were doing a crossfit inspired workout and I was invited to join the group. This form of exercise pushed me to my limits and I developed a lot of strength in my body as well as muscle mass. However, I didn't look or feel balanced. It was the same old problem: the parts of my body that I felt were too big were getting bigger. And the parts I wanted to accentuate (namely my small bottom) continued to look smaller. Probably because my upper body kept getting so much bigger!
I didn't realize what was happening until my family went on a summer beach trip. Later, looking at photos, I didn't like what I saw of myself in my bathing suit. How frustrating! Here I was putting in all this effort at the gym and not feeling pleased with the results.
It wasn't until I completely changed the way I thought about exercise that my body really began to change shape and I discovered I did have some level of control over the way I look. One day I accidentally stumbled across a short clip of a Tracy Anderson workout. My first thought was, "Her form is all wrong." Her method of exercise was very different, and even a little bizarre looking. However, I couldn't deny that I was intrigued.
I found her YouTube videos of a 17 minute butt and legs segment. I figured why not? I got down on all fours and began following along. Even with my then high-level of fitness and strong cardio health Tracy's workout challenged me in ways I never thought possible. I felt muscles working that I didn't know existed. I ordered Tracy's program. After 4 years later Tracy's method has changed my body in the positive ways I had never been able to achieve. I have found, too, that her method strengthened my mind-body connection. I feel more balanced overall.
Treadmill or squat -- I'm not going to suggest which you should be. You have to decide that. The point is, if you are diligently working out, and you're feeding your body with whole food nutrition, and you're still not seeing results you want, then try Tracy Anderson's workout.
For me the treadmill wasn't the answer. Squats weren't the answer. I found my answer when I changed the way I thought about exercise in general and took an entirely different approach.
For the record, both Barbies in this graphic are beautiful please stop body shaming.
Note: I do not receive any compensation from Tracy Anderson products, nor have I been compensated by her or anyone else for this blog. This is a testimonial, pure and simple. Tracy Anderson is a copyrighted name and registered trademark.