New years is a time of renewal, a time to start fresh, a time to make changes… right? Well, it could be. But why must you mark the date of changing your lifestyle as January 1st? What is the significance of that day specifically? Shouldn’t each day we be working to be better than we were the last? We think so.
So this is our call out to you. Forget waiting until the 31st to make a change. You know what happens to New Years Resolutions? They fail. 45% of people make New Years Resolutions and 24% of people never succeed on them. Don’t be a statistic.
Your life isn’t going to change in one day. You’re not going to drop 50 pounds in one day… unless you birth a baby. Trying to re-vamp something huge about yourself all at once is just not realistic. Don’t get me wrong, we want you to set goals for yourself but we want you to be realistic. We want you to make changes that will be sustainable for life, not just for a few months.
What happens when you try to make a huge change at once? You restrict tons of food or food categories that you might love and you work out non-stop for two months straight and then you binge on the chocolate you restricted and hang up your gym shoes for the next two months. Does it make sense to keep up this vicious cycle?
We say no.
We also ask- why are you so heavily focused on weight? While it can certainly can be indicative of risk of chronic disease it is not a comprehensive measure of your health. Not only that, but weighing yourself daily in an effort to meet the arbitrary weight goal you have decided can lead to obsession and obsession can lead to eating disorders. This my friends is not a road you want to travel down. So before you set that Resolution to lose 50 lbs throw the scale in the trash. “The scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. That’s it. It cannot measure beauty, talent, purpose, life force, possibility, strength, or love.” -Steve Maraboli
Maybe your body doesn’t need to lose 50 lbs. Or maybe when you start working out more you’ll gain muscle so that 50 lb number doesn’t make sense.When you listen, I mean truly listen, to your hunger and fullness cues, eat real food, stress less, sleep well and move your body your weight will go where it is supposed to. It may not be the number you want it to be but it will be what is best for you. Trust your body.
We’re not saying weight loss isn’t a worthy goal especially for an individual who is overweight or obese and has impairment in their health as a result of their weight. But what we are saying is you are worth more than what the number on the scale says. What really matter is your health and how you feel about yourself. Repeat that quote to yourself daily if you have to.
So back to resolutions, what are resolutions most likely related to? Self improvement, weight related, financial, relationships. Dang. These are lofty goals. If we were coming up on TNG’s birthday of May 25th would you be able to make all those changes on that day? NO! So what makes January 1st seem difference? Change can be overwhelming and can lead us to remaining stagnant. So what is a member of Team Nutrition Genius to do?
First, consider if you’re really ready to change. Is this something you truly want to do or are you just making a step because it is New Years? Changes wont happen until the desire to change is coming from within. Where do you fall on the stages of change?
If you’re ready for action you should start by setting goals. And I don’t mean “I’m going to lose 50 lbs.” It’s important to set SMART goals which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. When you set goals ask yourself if it meets each of those criteria and if it doesn’t make your goal more specific and consider setting mini-goals along the way to get to that long term goal if you have to.
What are some Sassy and Pearl Approved goals? Anything positive! Stop hating your body and acting out of fear and make your goal out of love for your body and life. Identify your motivation. Is it your health? Your kids? A desire to travel? Whatever it is keep it positive.
Journal Daily- This can come in handy especially for those who tend to over eat at night. Before you reach for that snack just before bed stop and think to yourself, what am I really hungry for? Perhaps it is food, but more often than not it is emotional hunger and journaling can be a good way to get your feelings out and help you determine if your hunger is physical or emotional. Journaling can also be a way to start off your day right. Write positive affirmations, things your thankful for, and positive attributes. Loving yourself is an important part of health.
Sleep- We are always preaching the importance of sleep. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep in a dark room. Too much light can keep you awake late at night and early in the morning so make sure you are in a dark area. Make a goal for sleep based on your specific needs and situation. Are you only getting 5 hours of sleep tonight? While you may not be ready to jump to 7 right away try adding 15 minutes for the next week or two and once you see how easy that is go on to an extra 15 after that. Soon enough you’ll be where you need to. Or perhaps your sleep struggle has to do with shutting electronics off at night. Start with logging off at least two hours before bed one day per week and continue to increase days from there.
Exercise- Are you getting any? If not, start with 30 minutes per day 3 days per week and build from there. Start by going for daily walks and when that becomes a routine bump up the intensity. Already hitting 30 minutes per day most days a week? Change it up! If you’re used to doing only cardio it’s important to add in some weight training and high-intensity training for the best health impact.
Stress- Decreasing your stress is imperative to your health and can be attacked in multiple different days. Try one Epsom salt bath per week, daily yoga, connecting with friends or loved ones, petting your dog, going for a walk, deep breathing, getting a massage, creating something artistic or in the kitchen, or reading a book. Think of what helps to calm you and incorporate that as often as is sustainable to start and build on it.
Food- There are so many goals here. From adding bone broth in daily to decreasing daily desserts to increasing the number of vegetables you have per day the possibilities are endless. If you listen to our podcast or read our articles I’m sure you already have an idea of at least ONE food change you can make so do it! Start with the change once weekly or once daily, whatever seems most appropriate and sustainable to you and try to increase from there!
I think the most important thing we want to leave you with is to make the change when you are ready. When you do decide you are ready to change then change that day, don’t wait for the new year to roll around. You’re health shouldn’t have to wait for an arbitrary day.
Cheers to a healthy New Year full of real food, real movement, real connections, and real love. Thank you for being a part of the reason we have to celebrate 2014!