It’s the time of year for change. Both literally and figuratively. Literally, you will throw out last years puppy themed calendar and hang up a 2013 kitten themed calendar. Another year has passed, a new one begins. This transition from old year to new year has sparked one of the dumbest traditions in our meager existence as human beings on this planet.
The New Years Resolution.
Many goals are made over the next couple of weeks. In the realm of physical oriented culture, common resolutions can be broken down into three separate categories:
1. I want to lose X amount of weight.
2. I want to gain X amount of lean muscle.
3. I want to lift X amount of weight.
Well, find a time tested workout program that is not P90X, begin immediately, work your ass off everyday, and only eat lean meats and veggies from this point on. There you go! See you next year!… no not 2013. 2014. So, see you next two years… from this year. When you make your next new years resolution next year. For 2014.
It’s that easy.
Here is my problem with New Years Resolutions… if it were that important to you, you would be doing it already. As someone who has worked with pretty much every demographic in the health, fitness, and athletic fields, I can confidently say that the percentage of people that stick to a long term, physical/health oriented New Years Resolution is about the same the percentage chance that Lindsay Lohan will one day get her shit together.
“Why won’t the judge believe me? I swear all that booze I drank, cocaine I snorted, and cars I smashed into all came out of no where!”
Well, I know no matter what I say on here, resolutions will still be set. Don’t get me wrong, making the decision to better yourself through healthy eating and exercise is never a bad thing. The problem seems to be from the social pressure to HAVE to make a change this time of year. Tell people you don’t have some sort of life altering plan in mind that magically begins at 12:01am January first and everyone will look at you like you have three heads. If the change is actually intrinsically wanted and needed, then the chances for success will be much higher. But, even this won’t be enough for a long lasting change. Here are several unorthodox suggestions to help you actually stick to your goals.
1. Want to lose weight? Sign up for an event 3-6 months from right now that is divided by weight class. There are powerlifting and weightlifting competitions every weekend. Pick a weight class that is closest to your goal and sign up to compete. Strength sports not your thing? Well, then why the hell are you here? Just kidding. Pump and runs are gaining popularity. They consist of benching your bodyweight (or some percentage of it) with each rep counting for a certain number of seconds off of a 5K that you run immediately after you bench. Even something as simple as finding some like minded people that want to have a friendly weightloss competition. Have weigh-ins every 3-6 months, have each person put $100 into a pot, winner take all.
Competition will hold you accountable. You don’t like being competitive? Well, then you probably won’t stick to your goal anyway.
2. Want to eat healthier? Open up your pantry and throw all that shit away. I guarantee you there is not one piece of nutritious food in there for you. “What about my Kashi GoLean? It says “Lean” on the box!” Look at it this way, if that were good for you, even a little bit, why do you have this resolution in the first place? Something is not working. What people consider “healthy eating” in this country is absolutely insane. Time to change the paradigm.
Here is a simple system for eating healthier: only eat quality food. This doesn’t need to be organic, grass fed, free range, stress free, daily massaged, butchered while smiling bison meat. This means meat, veggies, nuts, and oils. Get rid of all dairy and gluten containing products for a few months just to see how you feel and how your body responds. Odds are, you are one of the high percentage of humans that have some kind of sensitivity or allergy that is hindering the fruition of your goals.
How many times a day should you eat? Whenever you can. How much of each should you eat? Who cares? Change the quality first, then worry about quantity. Fad diets and diets that require you to hit a certain number of “macronutrients” everyday are just meant to confuse you so that you buy more books filled with pseudo science written in the same frantic tone that a struggling used car salesman would use.
Some commons sense about healthy eating: A person who eats 2,000 calories a day in fruit loops is going to have a much different body composition and quality of life than someone who eats 2,000 calories in lean meats and veggies.
3. Get rid of short term goals. Baby steps, right? “I’ll start off with this one day of healthy eating. Then tomorrow I can celebrate my victory with a whole cheesecake, a whole bag of Oreo’s, and 10 litres of diet coke.” Short term goals are meant to stroke the ego. Meant to satisfy our primal urge for instant gratification. Short term goals are set by those people who have “literally tried everything and nothing worked!” I worked out one time, ate really well that one day, and I don’t look like a bikini model? This diet and exercise stuff doesn’t work at all!
Stick with goals in the 3-6 month range. Ideally, setting 5 to 10 year goals for your health and wellness would be best but due to the chaotic nature of life, this is just not realistic. Hitting a 6 month goal will actually warrant a victory splurge of an all you can eat, cram your face with crap food-a-thon.
Hopefully this will help you get thinking in the right direction as far as a realistic New Years Resolution. Just keep in mind, no matter what the goal is, you can do it… you just have to do it.
Sprint. Kill. Eat Meat.