One of the documentaries I saw this year was on especially obese persons, 400 and 600 pounds, who had to undergo drastic operations to help them reduce their weight to a manageable point and start off a more healthy life. Unlike the typical Reality Show that give you the one episode, this documentary film maker really stayed with his subjects. He followed them for seven years, starting before their operations to see what their lives were like, how their operations were done, their recovery and then their “new lives”.
Except that most of them had no new lives. One of them made a very poignant statement, saying, she thought that her life would change after the operation but it really hadn’t.
Well, rarely does changing just one component in a unhealthy lifestyle ever really make that dramatic a difference. There are so many interdependent factors in out health and our lifestyles that when one thing shifts others will be affected but not necessarily in the way you anticipated: giving cigarettes up make you more aware of your hunger. Working full out suddenly gives you injuries and then you find you cannot do any exercise at all for weeks at a time, throwing off any resolutions. When you increase your level of exercise and not the amount of water you drink, you will find yourself tired and dry mouthed day after day. There are so many interlinking aspects to take care of when you want to change your lifestyle. That’s why it’s called, Lifestyle!
Those of us who go to the gym regularly find the months from January to March both amusing and irritating. The gym is flooded with the New Year Resolution folks, coming in with great zeal almost every day. Setting up impossible to keep schedules, (The Big Fat Loser participants learnt about that one, once they got back to their normal daily lives), wanting you out of their way while they concentrate on their mad workouts!
This is the best time in the year for trainers, (beside the one month or so before summer when everybody starts worrying about how they will look once their layers of clothing come off), as newcomers to the gym are lured in to take a series of training lessons. I am always glad to see people taking lessons from the trainers, because for the rest of the year I have to watch others lift weights and do their exercises with such excruciatingly bad postures that I cringe thinking of how much more harm they are doing to themselves instead of the benefit of the workout they think they are getting.
Yet, one of the reasons one knows that we will be back to the normal gym going crowd, with just a few new addition,s come April, is because the regimes set and the expectations of the newcomers are so unrealistic as to be asking for failure. With a full life with a full time job etc, you really should pat yourself on the back if you can workout three to four days a week. If you only do cardio and never do any other exercises, weights, yoga, pilates, swimming or something like that, then yes, you can run/jog five days a week for about 35 minutes. But more than that and the truth is you will never be able to sustain it ; unless that is what you do, for example, you are a dancer, (ahem!) in which case you have to be at it six days a week if you want to keep a professional level of fitness.
And if, along with that cardio/workout regime you do not control your diet (no, no, no yo-yo dieting here, please!), changing your whole attitude to food, you will just sabotage your workout everyday and get nowhere. Who says no desserts and no burgers ever? Don’t listen to them! But know that it’s going to be rare and only as a treat if you’ve been steadily good for a set period of time. And yes, you may fall of the bandwagon and get a cocktail (or two?!!!) when you are out with your friends someday but that doesn’t mean you’ve blown it and now you have the excuse to binge and start that destructive cycle again. No, you don’t get off so easy. You climb back on the wagon the next day and you makeup for your atrocious behavior: you eat lean that day and just continue.
Now that’s real life. That’s a resolution worth making. That’s the one we want to help you keep so that you can join the Year-round crowd. And while talking about crowds, here’s a sound piece of advise: don’t go it laone. get a friend, a family member, a supporter int here to boost you up when you are flagging.
Of course, if you want to spice up your life, come and experience our dance classes. That way, you’ll never have to push yourself to start that workout: you’ll look forward to it!