by Dr. Joseph Wilson
Ah, a new year – another New Year’s resolution. Have you ever wondered if the cliché, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions,” might have been based on an observation of a failed New Year’s resolution? We compromise our current happiness in the name of seeking the real happiness and health we once had after the guilt-stricken Holiday Seasons. Often we make decisions to get in shape that is outside of our parameters. It would take a team of friends, lots of money, and plastic surgeons to see results we envision. Unfortunately, about 22% of resolutions fail after nearly a week, 40% after a month, 50% after three months, and 60% after six months. These interesting facts are listed in an easy 2 minute read from Tipsy Writer.
I’m not pointing fingers; instead just offering insight into what I have experienced with colleagues, family, friends, and patients. For instance, one of my employees has decided to commit to a 90-day diet and exercise regimen for his New Year’s resolution. This is the same employee who walks into our office every day with a supersized something and is in front of a computer all day. A 90-day challenge will be good for him, and we plan on working on it together to achieve his weight loss goal and improve his mobility. These types of New Year’s resolutions are achievable and realistic.
The greatest obstacle in weight loss is disciplining our self while putting an end to bad habits such as stress eating. Stress eating can add weight fast – especially if you’ re within an arm’s reach of those chocolate minis—we Americans so love. Next, pick a fitness activity that’s easy and doesn’t require equipment, and commit to it for 30 days. Don’t think because you pick one activity you have to stick with it until you reach your goal. There are several options you can choose from such as taking a fitness class, regular walks, yoga, and even swimming. You have to make yourself comfortable with the exercise you are performing. Then, you must find what motivates you, find a partner that will help you stay focused and motivated.
Start by making yourself accountable for your actions and educate yourself with proper eating habits. Cut out sugars, especially soda pop and do not allow yourself a cheat day. Make yourself familiar with nutrients that will benefit weight loss, lower cholesterol, and enhance your energy. Diane Vitthum, a dietitian and nutritionist with John Hopkins University, said, “When you eat mindfully, it’s easier to notice when you feel full, plus you’re more likely to enjoy the foods you eat.” Eating when you are distracted leads to overeating. Pay attention to your food and slow down, including putting your utensils down between bites.
I recommend a simple 30-minute walk every day. If you have limited schedule, create three 10-minute walks during work breaks, lunch, or after dinner. Make it fun. Grab a partner, find a bored family member or someone needing to get out for a few minutes. I have two hound dogs, and they love our walks more than I do. Bottom line is, you have to make time for exercise, know what you are eating, and most importantly how you’re eating it. The smallest changes can benefit you, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator. These may seem minor, but studies have shown it can make a world of difference for your heart in the long run. Chiadi E. Ndumele, MD., M.H.S a cardiologist with John Hopkins Medical Center claims, “Individuals who are physically active are much less likely to develop cardiovascular disease. Proof that the slightest change in your daily activity can help you live a longer and more productive life. Make sure and consult with your doctor before committing to any activity, sport, or dieting plan – we at Southwest Regenerative Medicine wish you a very Merry Healthy New Year.