WEDNESDAY WORDS OF WIDSOM: Resolutions Schmezolutions

My Senior Picture, i.e. the last time I MIGHT have had an "acceptable" BMI

I once told my friend that I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions because everyone else is doing so.  I’d rather wait til March or something.  He correctly laughed in my face and told me that I wouldn’t likely do anything about my weight now, March, or July.  He was right.

But this year, I’m going to try again in 2012 to find a diet/exercise plan that will work and that I will follow.  What about you?  Do you have resolutions that you’ve made this year?  Are they the same ones you make every year?

Research from 1998 by Miller and Marlatt shows us that the most popular New Year’s goals people set are:

  • 37% – Starting to exercise
  • 13% – Eating better
  • 7% – Reducing the consumption of alcohol, caffeine and other drugs, or quitting smoking

According to the same survey, most people — 75 percent — who make a resolution fail on their first attempt and most people — 67 percent — make more than one resolution.

Many people say it all boils down to “self-control.”  While some people do seem to have a better grasp of their ability to make good, consistent choices about diet and exercise, there are many people like me who are reasonable, well-educated, and creative who also love sugar and hate to sweat.  Do I not have enough self-control?  I don’t know, I’ve never had a drop of alcohol in almost 36 years (I’ll be 36 on March 5th). I’ve never smoked a cigarette or done an illegal drug.  I get up every day and go to work and show up places on time (actually, I’m almost always early!)  I reject the notion that I don’t have “self-control.”  I just have different priorities.

So, perhaps you are like me.  Stop letting those spandex-clad, perfectly shaped fitness gurus make you feel bad for your curves and lumps.  And let’s figure out a way to find motivation to get a little healthier.  Here are some of my non-professional, common sense ideas to help us who HATE healthy food and exercise:

  • Ignore the ridiculous Body Mass Index numbers.  I’m 6’4.  If I weighed what the BMI says I should, I’d look ridiculous.  I’m sure this has a use somewhere and for some people, but I find it less than helpful and psychologically harmful in some ways.**
  • Try to cut back gradually and keep track of how much you’ve cut back.  I love spreadsheets and technology and so I think getting a baseline of my weight and current activity and food intake is helpful in seeing progress.  I use an iPad app that really is helpful. . .as long as I use it.
  • Remove the temptation. If fatty, sugary, and salty foods are your downfall, quit buying them.  Its easier to say no in the store than in the middle of the night when you crave something that’s bad for you.
  • Get support from others.  I’ve found FaceBook and Twitter are a good way to engage other people and to report back how I’m doing.  However, if I had someone to go walking with or to plan menus with, I’d probably do better.  We all do better in community.
  • Be original in your exercise.  Anyone can go to the gym and run on a treadmill.  But how about playing “Just Dance” on your Wii or Kinect?  I like to create playlists on my iPhone that start moderate and head to a fast beat and try to match the rhythm with my pace.

  So, what ideas have you found that work for you?  Leave them in the comments section!  And if you’ve always been thin and gorgeous, maybe you can sit this comment session out, eh? 🙂  COME BACK FRIDAY FOR FAVORITE THINGS FRIDAY WHEN I TALK ABOUT ONE OF MY FAVORITE TV SHOWS FROM THE PAST!

*Miller, E.T. & Marlatt, G.A. (1998). How to Keep Up with Those New Year’s Resolutions: Researchers Find Commitment Is the Secret of Success. Retrieved online: http://www.washington.edu/newsroom/news/1997archive/12-97archive/k122397.html

**I’m not a physician and you should not take any medical advice from me.  Ever.

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