Don't wait until Jan. 1 to work on you. Dec. 31 is when I get geared up for all the lovelies who make resolutions and try to undo what they have done (or have not done) during the last six months in about 30 days. That's a tall order to place on your body!
It's like holiday shopping. If you start next week instead of on Dec. 24, you'll be two months ahead of schedule, far more committed and in far less pain two months from now. The best part of it is, you'll be able to enjoy yourself.
Many of my clients ask me: What's my secret? I have a really healthy appreciation for food and I make time to cook for myself (and yes, my schedule is really jam-packed!). There's no secret code to crack or master plan to master. It's all about exercise (Lithe for me), moderation and balance: three meals a day consisting of fresh, whole foods and getting that body moving. There's a reason the formula really works. Think about our grandparents' lifestyle. They were active and they weren't downing super-sized sugary coffee drinks or eating meals that could feed five people.
In an effort to get us motivated for the New Year, I encourage you to start your pre-resolutions now. Here are 10 tips to inspire, prep and motivate you so that by 2013, you're in a groove, ahead of the game and addicted to how good you're feeling:
1. Follow the 80/20 rule. Eat healthy and watch your diet 80 percent of the time (M-F) and then have fun and indulge on the weekends.
2. Get high. If you're feeling too tired or drained to work out, remember that making fitness a part of your everyday life will get those endorphins going, so you'll want to come back for more, every day.
3. Take fitness baby steps. Going from 0 to 60 overnight is daunting and will most likely set you up for failure. If you're not currently exercising, and if your resolution is to make it to the gym/studio/track every day in the New Year, start walking tomorrow. Begin with a 15-minute walk, then add an additional 5-10 minutes every week. Before you know it, you've carved out an hour each day (that's seven hours a week!).
4. Start doing push ups. Begin with 10 a day and add on two push ups per week. Guess what? You'll be a lot stronger by January and you'll be shocked at how good you look and feel.
5. Think like a cheerleader. Love yourself, be positive, cheer yourself on and create a health and fitness "squad" by enlisting a few friends who have like-minded goals. You'll feel inspired to stick with it and have a built-in team.
6. Remember that food is not the enemy. Enjoy it, practice portion control and eat food that is as close to its natural form as possible.
7. Clean house. Reform your pantry, get rid of the processed crap and keep a "live" refrigerator that is full of fresh fruits and vegetables.
8. Treat yourself to a few great active wear and cold weather athletic pieces now. If you feel good about how you look, you won't make the excuse that you have nothing to wear or that it's too cold to go outside.
9. Have fun. Don't take food and fitness too seriously. You should enjoy yourself!
10. Stop making excuses and stop procrastinating! You can find an excuse not to do anything that takes physical effort. Getting going is the tough part. Once you have some momentum, you'll be really rolling by Jan. 1.
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