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home : health : health January 17, 2018

1/9/2018 1:15:00 PM
2018: The most fit year ever...
By Andrew Loscutoff

Fitness is tricky, even for the most ambitious and energetic. Often it is the first thing to go when life gets "busy." Fitness shouldn't be a chore, but a daily activity sought after for an escape from the wear and tear of everyday life. A daily workout can be an opportunity, not a punishment.

People often approach creating this habit in a manner that is the opposite of a sustainable approach. Too much effort all at once leads to burnout and the "busy monster" eats all ambition to continue past March.

Do this instead:

Start with one thing. Simply show up, put on fitness clothes, do calisthenics in the home. Once this one thing becomes a habit, this momentum will penetrate into higher and higher levels of activity. It won't be a chore.

Diet - the daily ritual of what a person eats - like compounding interest adds up very quickly, in this case on the waistline. Why do people seek to overhaul their entire structure of this ritual all at once? It's a fool's errand to believe that lasting change can come from this model, because diet is much more than what a person is eating. Emotions, tastes, experiences, memories, history, and much more are so strongly tied into diet it cannot be overhauled without the potential for relapse.

Do this instead:

Reflect on what you're eating that is adding extra. Make it a goal to reduce the serving size - and add in more fruits and veggies. From there, ask what things are not giving you much nutritional bang for your buck? Look to reduce these by adding in something that will better align with goals. Month to month, work toward eating more veggies and less of the calorie-laden foods like sweets, breads, fatty meats, snacks, packaged goods. The goal should be to eat as many whole foods as possible; these contain more nutrition, and also will be harder to over-consume because they are not artificially sweet, fat, or salty, which just makes the body crave more and more.

Avoid forced restraint and curb negative self-talk. It is well-established that the psychology of eating is very complex and hard to overcome. In a social situation or when it comes to foods that you hold near and dear, it is foolish to attempt to eradication. A healthy diet can contain indulgences - just a very small portion.

"Without a solid foundation, the pyramids would fall"; "Rome wasn't built in a day"; "A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." These are not mere aphorisms, but wisdom to be employed on this health and fitness journey.

By the end of the year, you can stand to look back at 2018 as your fittest year ever - not because of reaching some arbitrary goal, but because of the habits you've created to live a healthy life.

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