Happy New Year! 2009 lies in front of us brimmed with opportunity. Our president-elect encouraged us to recognize “grace and possibility”. And the New Year provides a clean slate. If we take control and focus on health, we will reap the rewards of renewed energy. This is our chance to revive and regenerate ourselves.
Have the holidays been a little tough? Have you gained some weight? Rather than bemoaning the damage you’ve done, get back on track. We are all imperfect beings. Everyone slips up now and then! It is what you do about it that counts.
5 Steps To Lose Weight and Revitalize Your Health
- Define your goal. Write it down. When you put your goal on paper, it achieves importance. Give yourself a goal that is both realistic and specific. If you decide that your goal is to look like an American Ballet dancer but you don’t like working out all that much, you are not being realistic. A dancer’s body comes from years of intense focus and hard work. Most of us do not have the extra four hours daily to devote to dance training. If you have a goal of “losing weight” – be specific as to how much you expect to lose weekly. Let’s say you decide to lose 20 pounds; you need to realize it will take about four months. The medical standard for weight loss is 1-2 lbs. per week. Break your goal up into weekly subunits. And the goal of a steady 1-2 lb. weekly weight loss is far less daunting than 20 lbs. By defining realistic and specific goals, your success is ensured.
- Make a plan. Get everything in place. As one of my patients said, “Plan the work and work the plan”! If you plan to lose weight, use a journal to write down all the food that you consume. (On my website I have provided a journal for you to download and print. CLICK HERE) Research has shown that dieters who keep a food journal lose twice as much weight as those who do not! Get rid of every bit of junk food in the cupboard and refrigerator. Replace the junk food with wholesome, natural foods that will help you reach your goal. Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast. Research confirms that when we skip meals, metabolism slows down as a defense against starvation. If you would like to lose weight efficiently you need to eat three meals plus an afternoon snack. Buy my books, if you don’t have them; I have included meal plans and recipes that really work.
- Make exercise part of your life. It’s not just about denying yourself certain foods, but rather a new proactive approach to life. You are taking charge of your life and health. Studies show that exercise keeps lost weight from being regained. If you don’t have time for a 45 or 60 minute work-out, even 15 or 20 minutes is better than nothing. Join a gym. Every January, I purchase two new pairs of sneakers because sneakers lose their cushioning effect after about six months. By buying two pairs of sneakers in January, I take advantage of the sales and have a new cushiony pair ready to use in June! If your sneakers are more than six months old, invest in a new pair. Do you have comfortable workout clothes and a good sports bra? If you do not, buy them now. Workout attire that makes you feel confident is important; you are an athlete.
- Visualize the change. Imagine very specifically how the change will occur. See yourself as that strong, confident and healthy individual you were meant to be. Take time to look at your naked body; notice the changes as they occur. Negativity has no room in your life now. Change is difficult; those who achieve lasting results stay focused on their goals.
- Make an appointment. If you haven’t visited the office for a while and you have gained weight, a visit to my office is a good idea. Think of yourself as a car; you just need a little tune up! Seriously, I am here to help. Everyone needs help sometimes.
I invite you to join our Thursday 8 am morning walk. Be sure to wear layers, gloves and a hat. It can be quite chilly in the morning in Central Park. Reservations are a must. Feel free to invite a friend!