Monday, January 7, 2013

Never-ever-ever Give Up!

Raise your hand if you've ever resolved to get organized in the new year? Oh yeah? You too?

For some reason, January seems synonymous with organization. Maybe it is the freshness of a clean slate. Maybe it is the excess of gifts given during Christmas and the need to find a place for everything and put everything in its place.

Me-after a run. Btw, my gear totally does not match.

Including weight. Oh, has anyone else resolved to lose weight in the new year? One pound or 20-we want that excess weight to find its place-preferably not on our hips, thighs, waist or butt.

Enthusiasm and motivation is running high. We are at the gym. We are moving. And, so is the weight.

And then February hits. January joiners become February...failures, flops, drop-outs. We hit a wall. No matter what we are eating, no matter how we are exercising-the weight loss levels out. It isn't fun to jump out of bed to exercise anymore. We give up.

And we repeat the cycle of yester-years. Never getting quite where we resolved to go.

my favorite-est running shoes-EVER. Love the purple laces. They make me run faster.
How can we break this cycle? What can we do differently?

"Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again." Don't know who originally wrote that song, but I get Natalie Cole's version stuck in my head. So, you had a bad day, or a bad week, or even a bad month-pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again. Make this a new day. Go to the gym. Choose to eat right-today. Forgive yourself for yesterday. Move forward.

Realize that weight loss does plateau. Like I said, it is relatively easy to lose 10 pounds. Then you plateau. You've kept working out. You've kept eating right. Maybe you even raise the bar a bit. But your body stubbornly holds on to the pounds. Have you ever watched the Biggest Loser? The first week they all lose like 20 pounds. But then they don't lose anything the next week. Their body is fighting their efforts. It wants to hold on to its layer of fat.

Persist. If you keep doing what you are suppose to-you will lose weight. Sleep, eating right, drinking water, and moving all will eventually work together and pay off.

Sometimes all you have is will power. Exercise is not fun. Weight loss is hard work. It takes time. Sometimes you just have to get up-even when you don't feel like it. Even when you are tired. You have to tie on the shoes and go for a run-in the snow and ice. Slipping and sliding and freezing. And moving backwards inches on each step you take.

You choose to do it because you know it will pay off in the end. Because your endorphins will flow and make you feel better about yourself and life in general. Because it makes you feel strong to do something you didn't want to do-but you did it anyway.

A tip...retail therapy. You don't need the perfect work out duds when you get started. Ladies, you NEED a good sports bra. And good shoes are a must. But a perfectly matched outfit? Wait until February-when you need a pick me up. Then get yourself a new shirt and matching yoga pants. New motivation to work out-new clothes to work out in.

Even Barefoot Hippie Girl succumbs to the lure of socks in January.

By the way, I am preaching to the choir. My swimming has been way less in these past two years, than it in the 10 years previous. I used to swim at least 3 miles a week. Now I am lucky if I get to the pool twice-for 1-1/2 miles. But, it is a new year, and I am starting over now. I am going to swim. I am going to get up-even though I am tired. I am going to stop giving myself excuses. And I am going to go.

I am going to keep running and I am going to sign up for my first two races of the year. I am going to train for my May 25k, and I am going to try and clean up my 5k. I am going to run on the salted streets or on a treadmill. I am going to slip and slide and persist. And I am going to do my first triathlon this fall.

Because just like January inevitably turns into February, February inevitably turns into March. With warmer weather and lighter days and sunshine, and hope. If I make it to March, my healthy habits will be solidified. And it will be easier. Not easy-but easier.

That is how it goes every year.

Fitness is a life style choice. It is a life style change. It is a forever change. Make it do-able. Something you can live with. Measure you progress weekly. Monthly. Measure the inches. Measure the pounds. Be encouraged. And, brag about it. Get your cheerleaders on. Find an accountability partner.

Don't give up!

face is shiny from sweat. Meres is getting in on the pic.
Will you stay on this journey with me? What will you do to keep your January resolutions and goals alive? Tell me in the comments how you stay motivated.