A lot of people make light of fitness resolutions in the new year.
While it’s true that a large proportion will fall off as the year progresses, I commend anyone who makes an effort to live a healthier life. For those of you who start and stop, maybe right now is not your time.
I wrote a post last year about how recovery and healthy living parallel each other. The biggest parallel I can draw is that a person won’t be able to commit until they’ve made the decision for themselves. Until the pain gets great enough. Until they’re sick of the way they’re living and honestly ready to make a change.
Neil and I got a gym membership together during their Thanksgiving special. We used the holidays when we had extra time off and the approaching new year to start living healthier lives. It felt great to be back in a fitness environment after being active in my teen years and then losing it slowly during college and the years where I focused more on drugs and drinking than anything else.
I was still learning how to live a clean and sober life and when life got hard, I chose the one thing I knew I could control and that was exercise. I’ve written about it before, but I had a rough time of using exercise as a way to manage my feelings and try to control things that would never be in my control. It was a bumpy journey, but somewhere along the line I was able to level off and find the balance that worked for me.
I think a lot of people feel like starting a healthy journey has to be all or none. “I have to eat clean at all times or I’m failing.” “I have to exercise x times a week or else none of it mattered.” “I must ALWAYS be progressing or I may as well not be trying at all.”
Guys, that’s a ton of pressure. I don’t know anyone who can live up to that. It’s no wonder that so many people fall off their resolutions as the year continues. Things come up, exercising gets missed, eating becomes a little more lax, and sooner or later they feel like it’s not worth continuing since they aren’t doing it the way they think they should. How to make sure those things don’t happen as frequently is a post for another day, but for now let’s just focus on the expectations.
Understand that adopting a new lifestyle if you’re not used to it is hard. It’s easier to gain weight than lose it and it’s easier to lose muscle than to gain it. (Awesome, great pep talk). It takes time. It takes patience. Do a little every day. Don’t abruptly turn your life around. Don’t give up if you take a week off. Figuring out what works for you and what will make you happy will take time. There are ups and downs and side to sides. It’s not always a linear progression, so please give yourself a break. What works for you now may not work for you in the future, but you won’t be able to figure that out if you don’t move at all.
If the new year is your jumping off point, own it. Figure out your goals, make a plan, and take that first step.
It has to start somewhere.
If you have some healthy resolutions you want to dig into this year, one thing that may help you is $100 to jump start that journey.
I’ve worked with Swanson in the past and they have a TON of healthy foods, vitamins, beauty products, etc. to choose from. Seriously, it always takes me FOREVER to figure out what I want since their inventory is so huge. They also don’t exclusively sell Swanson brand items and I’ve gotten things from Bob’s Red Mill, Yogi tea, Think Thin, Purely Elizabeth, and the list goes on and on.
I’m partnering with Swanson again to give one reader a $100 gift card for whatever you want. Unless you’re buying tubs of protein powder, that means you can get a LOT. The giveaway will be open for one week, ending on 1/4 at midnight CST. Simply enter using the widget below and I’ll email the winner next week. Good luck!!
Thanks also to Amanda for letting me think out loud!