For at least the last ten years I have had the same chronic New Year’s Resolution: lose weight. There always seemed to be that pesky five pounds and few inches to melt away. Miraculously, my whole life would fall together if only I could lose this weight. This year is different for me in a number of ways, and I hope it can be for you too. I’m not sure if it’s just me getting older, or that some of my long term goals have changed, but having the perfect beach bod just doesn’t seem that important any more. It is no longer important to lose weight for the sake of losing weight, it is important to feel my best.
What is important then? Feeling better, having more energy, living a healthier, more fulfilling life. Body weight and inches do not really have anything to do with it.
Create your resolutions around your ideals and you shouldn’t have a problem sticking to them. Set small goals to reflect the bigger picture. What can you do for yourself to really improve your life?
Food. Being better in all facets of life begins with respecting the body you were given and feeding it what it needs to be at its best. Once nourished, your body can take care of you, providing energy for anything you want to accomplish.
While you should not feel guilty about indulging in your favorite junk foods once in a while, you should understand that your body is a delicate machine that needs just the right nutrients to function at its best. Do some research on what is in the food you put into your body and how it affect its function. Here are a few familiar ones. Refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils. I could go on forever, but the point is, steer clear of things you can’t pronounce, or does not add any nutritional value to the food. Stick with whole fruits, veggies and lean meats instead. Your body will thank you.
Exercise. Ugh…yes exercise is important for overall wellness, but this doesn’t mean you have to put in endless workouts at the gym. There is a great article about the importance of doing exercises that you love and can actively improve at, rather than suffering through workouts to support a body image that doesn’t even bring you happiness. Try activities and classes that interest you, but don’t feel obligated to continue if it’s not what you expected. Find things you love to do, that won’t be a challenge to keep up. Set goals for yourself that don’t have to do with a number on the scale. Try to improve your running time, or simply walk the stairs at work without being winded (that’s one of mine). Another article is all about the perception that exercising is a punishment for not being at your ideal body weight. Instead, shift your thinking to exercise as a reward.
Is there a place for a weight loss resolution? Yes. If you are overweight and your health is affected by it (believe me it is), your overall wellness will benefit from weight loss. The goal, however, should be to make small changes in your every day life that support a healthier lifestyle. The weight loss will then happen on its own.
For help deciding what changes are necessary to meet your goals, consult a dietitian at Bordeaux Nutrition® LLC.