Were you one of the millions of Americans who set a new year’s resolution to lose weight in 2018? Did you eat a few too many Christmas cookies at one too many holiday parties? Has the “D” word made its appearance and taken over your life?
If so, you are definitely not alone.
I have always loved setting and working hard toward reaching health and fitness goals. As each new year approaches, I find myself very excited about reflecting on the previous year’s goals and my progress. I have come to be more honest with myself about what I didn’t quite accomplish and what changes I can make so that I am closer to reaching all goals in the future. Did you notice that I did not did not once mention the words “resolution” or “diet?”
Truth be told, I cannot stand the words “resolution” and “diet” and rarely speak of them unless it is to encourage others to not focus on them. Not even for ONE MINUTE. To most people, they bring negative connotations and thoughts of failure. I’ve witnessed it firsthand over and over.
Why resolutions and diets don’t work.
These approaches often focus on an all or nothing mentality. They tend to be over-restrictive and require severe changes that most of the time cannot be maintained in the long term. Diets focus on “good” and “bad” foods and resolutions usually focus on things we are NOT going to do anymore. Do you see how the negativity can creep in?
Scales are not the best indicator of health and progress.
Most of us have a set number in our minds of what our ideal weight is and how that equates to health and beauty. The bottom line is that this number is often imposed on us from outside messages that we receive both subconsciously and consciously. Most of the time, the number we’d like to see on the scale is not realistic. Whenever possible, I avoid using the scale as a measure of progress with clients because it promotes unhealthy attitudes about food, our bodies, and our self-image.
How do we get moving in the right direction?
Making a list of a handful of healthy habits to focus on is always a good start. The key to steady progress is making a few positive changes to our daily routine that can be maintained and built on over time and then tracking them.