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Something Different to Resolve

January 4, 2011

You know it's cliche, and yet you say it every year.

I’m going to take a wild stab in the dark and guess that at least half the people I know right now are resolving to Lose Weight this year.  Right?  It’s only the single most popular New Year’s Resolution in 2011, according to  And around Every. Single. Corner. you turn in the next few weeks, you’re going to find headlines, tag lines, and testimonials about how you, too, can lose all the weight you want, for a nominal fee, of course.  (As I’m typing this, I have watched three back-to-back-to-back commercials about losing weight.  And I’m not even watching Biggest Loser.)

And, admit it, those claims of “Lose 20 pounds in 20 days!” have piqued your interest, haven’t they?  You’ve enrolled in more than one “Weight Loss Challenge” and “24 Day Shred.”  You’ve vowed to only eat grilled chicken salads and promise you’ll never let ice cream cross your lips again.  You’re trying to figure out how to finance all the weight loss supplements and metobolic boosters you’ve seen the independent sales reps hawking. You’ve been debating whether you should count points or just shell out the big bucks to have meals delivered to you.

Personally, this doesn’t sound like a great way to live life.  Where losing weight gets the better part of my brain’s energy on any given day.  It lends itself to obsessive behavior and serious deprivation.  And then the inevitable falling off the wagon, only to get back on again…and again…and again.

Given that there’s no doubt that you want and need to lose weight, consider the “Eat Less, Move More” method of weight loss.  It is not glamorous.  You won’t win any Biggest Loser competitions, or make headlines using the slow and steady approach.  But the bottom line is we eat too much food and don’t move our bodies enough.

Rather than resolving to be in a bikini by April or lose 30 pounds in three months, start instead by committing to two simple things.

1.  A regular exercise schedule. A bare minimum of three days per week, five days is better.  Include a mixture of cardio, strength and stretching exercises.  Walking three days a week, with strength training the other two, for 30 minutes a day, is a basic, easy-to-start schedule.  And you don’t have to join a gym, unless you want to.  You can walk outside (in winter layers right now!), and do a simple series of push-ups, tricep dips, lunges and squats for strength. If walking outside when it’s 30 degrees sounds like hell, then do a series of jumping jacks, jumping rope, stair steps, jogging in place.  Check out videos from your local library until you find a trainer you like.  For every excuse you may have, I have an answer!  (If these things aren’t working for you, then let me know.  I’d be happy to brainstorm with you other options.)

2. Eat less food. I’m not nearly as worried about going on a diet as I am about simply eating less food.  My regular readers (have I told you I love you lately?) know my thoughts on diets.  They suck and they don’t work long term. Period.  Instead, eat real, whole, natural foods…only when you’re hungry…and stop when you’re full.  Sounds so simple, but if you have any emotional eating issues (and if you’re a yo-yoer, you probably do), this will not be as easy as you think.  Because it means that when your daily shit hits the fan, you can’t run to a bag of chips or m&ms to deal.  Say it with me and say it out loud….Eat Real Food…Only When I’m Hungry…And Stop When I’m Full!

The beauty of the “Eat Less, Move More” method is that it’s maintainable.  Who wants to count points for the rest of their life?  Who wants to take metabolism boosters every day, rather than rev their own systems up naturally?  Listen, there’s no doubt we live in an overweight society, and that we, as a nation at least, need to lose weight.  But we don’t need to get stupid.  We don’t need to lose our sanity.  There’s no slick sales presentation, folks, no big name celebrity or sports figure endorsements.  Eat less and move more.  It’s a New Years Resolution you can actually live with.

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