Hello from snowy Chicago! Happy New Year all. I hope everyone had a fun, safe and blissful start to their new year!
There is something magical about waking up to a new year with a blanket of snow. Like everything is being cleaned. We kept last night super low-key. My sister and I went to the gym for a last minute end of the year sweat sesh followed by welches grape juice, Taboo and a sick hubby and needy little dude (he is all about Mama, Mama, Mama – in fact he won’t leave my lap/arms/sight, even now as he sits on my lap saying “mama, mama”).
I’m not big on New Year resolutions but I do think it isn’t a bad time review goals, revamp a wardrobe, and double check where you are physically and mentally. The Holidays can be a stressful time of year filled with too many processed foods (or not, and if not, good for you!) or cookies or days when you are like “I’d rather have hot chocolate and watch the Santa Clause with my son tonight instead of killing it at the gym” (guilty!!).
For all those who are trying to make 2014 a healthier year than 2013 whether it is purging unhealthy habits or relationships – good luck! Keep me updated on your journey and build a strong foundation so that you don’t set yourself up for failure. For those of you hitting the gym here are some tricks for keeping you on a path rather than over doing it and discouraging progress so early:
- Be realistic. Don’t think you can go from not benching ANYTHING to benching a ridiculous amount of weight or not running to being able to run 4 miles without issue. Your body will need some time to build up to these things so set little goals and listen to your body. Nothing is worse then waking up on Jan. 2nd feeling like you were ran over by a Mac Truck. Take it easy 😉 – your body can do amazing things – but pace yourself.
- Ask, ask, ask! If you look at a machine/person lifting and are watching someone who looks fit fly through movements – don’t assume they are doing the machine/movement correctly. Ask a trainer walking the floor if your form is correct THERE IS NO SHAME IN THIS. You don’t want to start the year off with an injury, and I’m warning you now, just because that girl/dude has nice muscles doesn’t mean they are using the machine/free weights correctly and doing 20 incorrect movements at top speed with bad form is way less impressive (and stupid) than doing 3 correct perfect form moves. Trust me, your injury-less body will thank you for the questions.
- Don’t feel intimidated at the gym. This is easier said than done, but everyone starts somewhere. Respect your journey for where it is. You don’t have to be a size 0 to be healthy.
- Change takes time. Just because your first week at the gym feels like a success does not mean it will show on the scale. In fact, I’d throw the scale out. Happiness is not tied to a number, it is tied to a feeling. When you feel good, that is happiness. Be thankful for what your body can do for you now, and know it is an amazing tool.
- Try new things! Take classes. Try TRX, Yoga, Pilates, spin, crossfit – weightlifting! There are so many ways to stay in shape. You don’t have to hate it. You do not have to run because so many people run. Hit a fun machine – the rower, a bike, the AMT, and don’t forget to get strength training in. Take it outside too – get the family involved. Take the dog for a fast walk in the snow, go ice skating, jump in the pool. Like I said, change it up and try new things. Find something you enjoy. Fitness is a way of life – and it can be fun! It doesn’t mean hitting the dreadmill and eating celery.
- Find a good blogs to read both fitness and food! I love reading about other people’s journeys and what they do to stay fit. The amazing thing is they are all different! Everyone stays fit in different ways and nothing is more motivating then a good before and after picture! (Fitnessista.com is my fav!!!)
- Update the playlist. Enough said. Music is amazing – some of it can really push you through machines/cardio.
- Treat yourself to new workout gear! Although there is nothing wrong with a cotton t-shirt and yoga pants. I LOVE my tech gear. Makes me feel fierce. Honestly, hit a yoga or Pilates class cute gear? Winning. My favs include: lulu of course, under armor, nike, reebok and one of kind saying shirts that are all over the place “Keep calm, Ohm on”. How awesome, and appropriate are my “Chase Snowflakes” socks?!
- Give yourself a pat on the back! You did it! You started your fitness journey. This is a lifestyle change you will have to commit to this for life. Once you reach a goal weight, you still have to maintain and that takes work too! You need to continue to eat clean, and hit the gym.
Good luck everyone! Stay safe, stay fit and eat clean.