Many people will embark on new diet programs this month. January is the biggest money maker for these programs every single year. Have you noticed the increase in advertising on television lately for Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, gym memberships, etc. Anyone that goes to the gym regularly can tell you January is the month to avoid the place. There’s suddenly an influx of newbies for a few weeks and then things return to normal.
So many of us want to start fresh each year and vow to change our ways. This will be the year I get thin, healthy, rich, you name it we’ve vowed it. Unfortunately, if we don’t make realistic changes, in a few short weeks we will be right back where we started. Most times we blame the program we were using. For example, “Oh the food in Nutrisystem is just disgusting. I couldn’t possibly eat it.”, “Weight Watchers points are too confusing. It just doesn’t work!”, “The gym was just too crowded for me and I don’t like all those muscle heads in there anyway.” You’ve heard them all before and possibly even said a few yourself. But, guess what. The program is not the problem. The problem is us. If we are not true to the program, we lose the right to blame it for not working.
As a Literacy Coach, I used to listen to teachers tell me that Balanced Literacy was horrible, ridiculous and didn’t work. My response was – “But you haven’t even tried it, so how can you say that.” It’s the same with diet programs or health changes. If we change it, cheat, don’t follow it, then we can’t say it didn’t work. We have to be brutally honest with ourselves. We don’t know if it worked or not because we never stuck with it. We need to ask ourselves, Did we follow the plan as outlined? Did we make changes to it that could have impacted our results? Though I am not a fan of programs, I am honest with myself if I try one and get no results.
This month I am trying a 30 day challenge that includes meditation, exercise and clean eating – mind and body. It’s not a drastic change from what I’ve talked about before, but I am going to try for 30 days to eat clean and take care of myself emotionally. As you know, I broke three of my toes on Christmas Eve. I’ve been doing my best to get my workouts in and using the elliptical to keep my conditioning, but I miss my runs. If I’m not careful I could put on weight rather quickly. It’s just a fact of life that it takes six months to lose ten pounds, but one to two weeks to put them back on. That’s just how my body works. Coming out of the holiday eating frenzy, I’ve decided to detox my mind and body. 30 days of meditation, clean eating and reflecting on my goals. Decluttering my life by moving away from any negative influences. I just don’t need them, nor want them around. Focusing on what I do want in my life. I want to be happy, healthy and excited. I want to run that darn marathon this year and finish it smiling. I want to be fierce!
In order to accomplish these goals, I have to get my health in order. I need to clean up my act a bit and be truer to the idea that 80% of health results are based on what we put into our body. For far too long, I’ve relied on exercise to burn off the things I want to eat or drink. That’s fine but it doesn’t burn off the physical effect that stuff has on my body. Wine is just not good for me. Yes, I can have a glass every now and then, but I can’t have it every night. It’s just a fact. It doesn’t matter if I have only 4 oz as the experts recommend. It just doesn’t work for my body. Similarly, if I don’t eat enough vegetables or fruit, I’m depriving my mind and body of the fuel it needs to be strong. It’s not alright to skip it every day and think it doesn’t matter. It matters immensely. Protein matters, yes, but alone it’s not the answer. It needs the balance of the rest of that darn pyramid. Balance is key.
I’ve worked with a nutritionist through my last training cycle. I wanted to learn how to fuel my body for better running performance. I listened and learned, but then did what I wanted to do. I made changes and substitutions and told myself it’s alright because I will just run it off. I never blamed her for the fact that I can’t sleep at night, or that I am having hot flashes again. I know it’s what I’ve been eating and drinking and stressing over. I know that skipping lunch and eating junk instead at the office is not good. So, I will once again refocus my energy and clean up my act. I will be one of those January people starting over.
I’ve spoken about my jars before – the two jars that sit on my kitchen counter with beautiful blue stones. The stones represent the pounds I wish to lose to make running that marathon easier on my body. The empty jar is where I hope to move them. Reality is those stones have stayed put in that jar for a year now. Once in a while they move over, but then quickly they are right back where they started. I’ve got to get them over to the lost jar once and for all. I want to end this year with NO jars on my counter and nothing to lose. My jars are plain, but a friend recently sent a photo of hers. She took the jar idea and made it far fancier. Perfect visual reminders of what she’s trying to accomplish.
That little guy looks fierce! That’s my game face this year. What are you hoping to accomplish this year? What’s your plan?