New Year’s Resolutions: Get Fit in 2011!

As I woke up this morning, not so much with a champagne hangover as an ambien hangover, I thought that maybe I would tackle some of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions for my first post of the year.  I started doing a little research on fun ways to fulfill resolutions, and found myself really overwhelmed by the amount of information I wanted to share.  So, instead of one resolution post, I am going to do a mini-series of posts on resolutions.  Hey, it saves me having to decide what to write about tomorrow, right?

Today, I’m going to tackle one of the most common of all resolutions: losing weight.  Ugh.  Just the sound of it makes it seem like no fun at all.  I’ll admit, this is my resolution for the year, and it is daunting.   DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a weight-loss expert of any kind, nor am I a doctor or a fitness trainer.  Please take my advice for what it is: a combination of things that have worked for me in the past and things that I think look interesting and fun.

Bob Harper, trainer from The Biggest Loser, tweeted this week “Are you thinking about New Year’s Resolutions? Remember to change gradually for long term results.”  The man is in his 40’s (?!?) and a sexy beast, so I’m inclined to believe him.  This resolution for me is going to be very tied up in the show The Biggest Loser for a very special reason: my friend Olivia is a contestant in season 11!  Olivia and her sister Hannah make up the purple team in the upcoming season, which starts this week on January 4.  I can’t wait to watch the show!  You can also follow Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels on Twitter for advice and motivation at @mytrainerBob (I love how he makes it so personal!) and @JillianMichaels.  Or just follow @DearTeamPurple for all the awesomeness in one place.  You can also gather some friends together and start a league on The Biggest Loser website, where you can track your success and “compete”.  I am going to be starting with my Team Purple league on the 4th, when the show starts.

As far as working out goes, find what you enjoy doing.  Some people like classes, because they are socializers.  Olivia has gotten really into spin class, so I hear, which is working out on a stationary bike.  Some people join a dance class, or Zumba.  I tend to lack coordination and find classes really intimidating, so I’m probably going to be working out on my own.  I’m thinking treadmill, free weights, yoga, and golf, and eventually adding in elliptical trainer.

In line with Bob’s thinking, I’m not going to undervalue any form of exercise.  Golf is in my rotation, and everyone knows that golf is not aerobic exercise.  However, it’s better than sitting on the couch.  Any kind of activity is better than no activity.  Find something you want to do, and do it.  Even if it’s just taking a walk around the neighborhood.

Recently a friend showed me the Couch to 5K program.  For those who want to be runners, but don’t know how to get there, this is the perfect program.  It gradually takes you through the steps to make running a part of your life.  I have no ambition to be a runner, but what I took away from this program is that minimum I should be exercising three times a week, for 20 to 30 minutes.  That seems possible.

I have set aside some workout time and am adding it into my regular schedule.  Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday will be the days I work out on the treadmill.  Biggest Loser watching time will be my free weight time.  Saturday afternoon I’ll take a walk. If I don’t hold myself to a schedule, it won’t get done.

As for dietary changes, there are so many different types of programs out there that I won’t even start to recommend, other than saying that you should find something that works for you.  Low carb, high protein seems to have a high rate of success; my parents lost a lot of weight on Lindora’s Lean for Life program some years back, and have been able to maintain it.  I did the South Beach diet a few years ago and lost 63 lbs., but I found it hard to maintain, and have only managed to keep 25 of those lbs off permanently.  But reducing refined foods and carbs is a good idea.  I’m taking a tip from my parents and instituting a “protein day” once a week where I will eat no carbs, only foods high in protein.  I figured Monday will be my protein day, since Monday sucks and I’m cranky already.  Lindora, however, has the best protein bars ever.  You have to buy them online, which kind of sucks, but they taste so good and are good for you, too.  Their chocolate mint bars and their peanut butter bars are the best; I have 3 boxes of the chocolate mint on their way to me right now.  It will be my protein day treat.

Or, you can just invest in a Shake Weight.


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