Resolution Road

img_6959-editI cannot believe how neglected my blog has been the last few months. I am changing that, starting NOW. For some reason it became less of a priority, which isn’t like me. Even when I am super busy, I alway make time for my blog. No excuses. I’m back at it.

It’s the time of the year when everyone is extremely busy with holiday parties, gift shopping and wrapping, baking, end of year work responsibilities, kids home from school for Winter Break, travel to see family – this time of the year is often one filled with love, laughter, and a whole lot of things on the calendar. It’s also the time of year many folks start thinking about the new year, and the new hopes, dreams and goals they see with it. And that’s where I come in.

I am a firm believer that we can all turn over a new leaf, set new goals, and choose to change habits TODAY. We don’t need a fresh month or new year to finally make ourselves do something, but that seems to be the trend. As you probably know, New Years brings with it more fitness, weight loss and physical goals and resolutions than anything else. Sure, there are people who set career goals, finance goals, travel goals, etc – but fitness is the overwhelming winner of resolutions.

It never fails that the first few weeks of the new year my email and my phone will be filled with inquiries from new people with big goals. I love those emails and calls. I am excited to meet new people, hear about their goals, and discuss how I can help them. It’s part of what I love about what I do – helping people achieve something for themselves that betters them and their quality of life. The excitement, motivation and energy each person brings with their call or email is something I wish I could bottle and save for them. It’s infectious. And yes, out of all the messages, calls, meetings and even a few weeks into training, a certain percent of those hopeful, motivated New Years Resolution clients fall of the face of the earth. The motivation and focus slip once they realize how much effort it takes to train or eat the way they need to, or they become impatient when the scale doesn’t show a magical number within the first week, and so on. The excuses start rolling in, and I know it’s a matter of time before they are off the Resolution Ride, and they will move off my roster. Look at the gym on January 1-5 compared to February 1-5 and you’ll see just how few people stuck with their plan for a month. One month. Thirty-one days, people.

I don’t think any less of the people who can’t commit to their training goals than the ones that do. I get it. It’s hard. It’s also really frustrating to continue that cycle of training/dieting and falling off the wagon. I want to hug and shake and give a pep-talk to the people who fall off. I know that progress takes time, and it takes WEEKS to form new habits, and a lot of work, focus and persistence to make the changes often necessary to achieve goals so momentous that they are saved for the New Year.

I know how hard change can be, but the hardest part is starting. I know I can help people who are willing and capable to make their health and goals a priority. I know anyone can make the changes they desire – but it takes a hell of a lot of willpower, support, knowledge and the acceptance that not every day will be easy for feel good. If say you don’t have time, I will call you out. Bull shit. You have no idea what I’ve made myself accomplish with VERY little time. You have no idea how many clients have succeeded with their goals while juggling an incredibly busy, stressful schedule. Yes, change often involves struggle and some setbacks, but again I will call you out. A setback or struggle doesn’t ruin all the progress or make you a weak person or a failure. It makes you human, silly. And if you find a trainer or gym hard to afford, I suggest you check out how much you are spending to eat out, have drinks with friends, and on medical bills. If you cut back on eating and drinking out, that’s money and calories saved. We almost always eat a better diet when preparing our own food. Cocktails with your girlfriends or with the guys at the bar add up pretty quickly. And if you get yourself healthier, in theory you’ll be spending less money on doctors appointments and medications.

So if you are looking to 2015 with fitness-related goals, be prepared to work hard and to also be in it for the long run. Look towards April, and what goals will be accomplished by then, not January 15th. A ton of progress can happen within four months, but very little will show for it the first two weeks. But the only way to get to April and those goals is to stick with the plan every day between January 1st and April 1st. I wish everyone with high hopes and big goals all the success in the world. There is no better gift to yourself than health, self-confidence and strength. And if you need help, there are tons of great trainers, gyms and programs out there in every city. The road to progress can be hard, but it is never impossible.

Navigating Holiday Season Indulgences

Egg Nog, not out of a carton.

Egg Nog, not out of a carton.

The holiday season is upon us! Okay, I’m a *little* early to the party, but you know your radio stations will soon be blasting those holiday songs 24/7, and every shopping store will be filled with holiday razzle-dazzle. What does the holiday season have to do with fitness, running, and nutrition? Um, EVERYTHING! Luckily, your coach will help you get through the holiday season without gaining a ton of lb.s, or feeling like a couch-potato.

First off, let’s all get a little real: whether you want to or not, we ALL will be tempted to gorge ourselves on Thanksgiving. Most likely, we will all do the same thing at office parties, holiday parties, family events – between Thanksgiving and New Years Eve. That’s a lot of days of pigging out. All the pigging out WILL make you gain weight. So, what can you do other than accept the added lb.s and dig out your fat pants? I have a few tips that will keep you sane, and allow you to enjoy some tasty treats too!

If it hasn’t become clear at this point, I LOVE FOOD. I love to eat, bake and cook. So the holiday season is one of my favorites. In fact, I am usually that person who arrives at parties with home-made baked goodies, chocolate covered pretzels, peppermint and heath bark, pies – I embrace the holiday goodies! Personally, I know I’ll gain a few lb.s, but I also know I am okay with that and am quick to drop them as soon as the holiday season is over. That being said, I pick and choose my indulgences.

For example: for me, Thanksgiving and Christmas are “no rules” days. I eat whatever I want and as much of it as I can stuff in my face. But besides those two days, I pick and choose at holiday events. I *try* to stick to snacks that are high in protein (like shrimp cocktail, cheese, a handful of nuts) or veggies and dip or fresh fruit. I avoid anything cooked, baked, or otherwise calorically dense. This way I can graze at a party, still eat, without leaving every party feeling more and more round.

I also stay active during the holiday season, and love running or hitting the gym when the cool, crisp air hits New York City. Being active means I can indulge without gaining as much weight as if I were just sitting on my butt all day. Get outside a run a Turkey Trot, or Jingle Bell Jog with your family! Or go for brisk walks, or run with friends and families. Trust me, that yummy food will taste even better after some exercise!

Booze cupcakes. YUM.

Booze cupcakes. YUM.

To balance out those parties (let’s face it – sometimes I DO eat tons of the bad stuff at a party!) I load my diet with seasonal, nutritious foods – like baked sweet potatoes, butternut squash soup, lentil soup, and other “comfort foods” that are full of good-for-you calories. These things will also help keep your immune system happy when lots of colds go around.

If you are trying to LOSE weight during the holiday season, best of luck! My advice is to stay as active as possible, and to minimize the amount of holiday parties you attend, to reduce temptation. I know, missing social events sucks, but unless you walk in there with self control made of steel, you are not doing yourself any service. Signing up for a race or fitness goal (maybe a bikini body for a January trip to the Caribbean?), can also keep your eye on the prize and your focus on what happens AFTER those yummy, tempting noshes are history.

And remember, a few lb.s aren’t the end of the world – especially if you are already fit. Pick and choose your battles, and you’ll get to 2014 without any extra weight, and some yummy holiday indulgences too.