This year the promises we've made to ourselves will be actualized....because this year we're adopting a new diet and we've bought a new gym membership. The pounds are certain to melt off as a result and we're going to be in the best shape of our life. Yes, this is our goal for the year!
But, the plain truth for most of us is that our New Year's resolutions are usually all but abandoned by Valentine's Day. Life gets back to the same ol' routine that makes a mockery of our intentions. Why is it we can't seem to stick to them no matter how passionately we yearn for healthy change?
"Creating new neuronets--neural pathways--in the brain takes time and commitment," according to psychotherapist and author, G.F. Cantrell. "It's like forging a new trail through the woods: you've got to walk the same path every day until the trail is established and the old pathway has grown over with weeds from disuse. Establishing new neuronets by choosing healthier habits on a regular basis is the key to reaching your goals."
Pragmatically speaking, how do we do this? First, we eliminate the word "diet" from our vocabulary. It automatically implies restriction, deprivation, and at the very least, discomfort. Personally, I hate the notion of "dieting" with all my might. Instead of saying, "I'm on a diet," try adopting this statement: "I'm paying attention to my health."
Health is a lifestyle, not a diet. Nor is it a New Year's resolution to be forgotten in a month or two. Rather, it's a commitment to treat your body, mind and spirit with respect, and enjoy the rewards of doing so. A diet is to be survived, not enjoyed - and who wants to go through life just surviving?
Instead, why not focus on nurturing yourself? This is the second step to reaching your goal. Rather than concentrate on self-imposed restrictions, you can focus on eating foods that will enliven you and deliver all the nutrients you need to energize your body.
Try setting your sights on eating deliciously, choosing only healthy foods such as lean proteins, vegetables high in fiber, whole grains and low-fructose fruits. In this way you aim at enjoying life while creating the new neural pathways in the brain that will lead to success.
You always have the power to choose healthy nourishment over the processed, genetically modified, trans-fat laden foods, the sugar-laden snacks and desserts, sodas and artificially sweetened drinks.
Such unhealthy fare is no longer an option when we're on the path to optimal health and fitness. We don't even have to think about what we're "missing" when we shop at Farmers' Markets, and visit only the perimeters of the grocery store, which tend to offer more natural foods, as opposed to the middle aisles.
Reading a product's list of ingredients can also help us make healthy choices. Those with the longest lists, including contents you can't pronounce, belong back on the supermarket shelf! Aim at getting food with only one ingredient: itself. Apples, carrots, celery, bananas, kale are just a few examples.
Implementing healthy nutritional habits will help you win about 80 percent of your weight loss challenge. The other 20 percent is achieved through regular exercise. Choosing to make exercise part of your New Year's commitment will boost your metabolic rate, thus hastening your weight loss goals.
Because success doesn't happen overnight, being patient with yourself ought to be one of your January 1st resolutions, too. It's part of self-nurturing, a major ingredient in achieving the healthy lifestyle you've always wanted, without ever "dieting" again!
Happy, Healthy, Nutritious and Fit-Fit New Year to all of you!
Magdalena is the owner of the "Be Fit Fit" Personal Training Studio (www.befitfit.biz). Her "Be Fit Fit" Blog can be read on www.verdenews.com