The Skinny Daily Post™

Short, daily essays on weight loss and fitness
from a really average woman who lost 100 lbs.
and works every day to keep it off.

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Monday, January 05, 2004  

Resolutions Are For Sissies
Try finding real resolve

Resolutions are for weenies. What you need today is some way to find and strengthen your resolve to become fitter for life. Now, that's a different matter, entirely. That takes guts.

See, anybody can make a resolution. People will make them all week long this week. They may put some real thought into choosing their goals for the year. Maybe write them down somewhere, buy a book, some new gear. Maybe it's a resolution to lose that baby fat. Maybe it's a resolution to get in shape.

And they declare it in good goal-speak: "By the end of this year, I'm going to be in the best shape of my life!"

Way to go, Sparky.

Now what? Now Sparky runs to the gym, buys a membership or renews the one he didn't use last year, and for a good couple of weeks, maybe a month, maybe two, Sparky will huff and puff and sweat, and feel pretty darned good about himself.

Then spring comes.

Hey, where's Sparky?

I can't really fault him. I've been Sparky myself. I was Sparky for years.

Recognizing this pattern and scheming to break it is part of the battle. Preparing helps. Understanding what it's going to take to get to your goal, and then to maintain your goal is critical.

That is, to make reasonable resolutions, you need to resolve yourself not so much to make a huge, flailing leap in the direction of total fitness, but to make lifelong changes that will make you fitter over time.

I know, this sounds boring. Most wisdom does. I thought it sounded pretty dull myself, and I resisted it for a long time. Because I'm stupid that way. I recommend you take the smart route and submit yourself to this wisdom. Just for one year, to see how it goes.

Resolve this: that fitness, instead of getting up to it, touching it, and then checking it off your list, becomes a regular part of your daily life. Some part of your day is spent in exercise. Every day.

Like brushing your teeth.

Like eating your breakfast.

Like that morning cup of coffee.

Resolve that the day is not complete until you've done some form of exercise. The pushups, situps, and lunges that our fathers swore by. The salute to the sun asanas that wake up and shake out, strengthen and stretch your whole body. Your Pilates floor routine, or at least the stomach series. Put a half-hour walk on top of those things. Or three 10-minute stair-walking breaks at the office or between loads of laundry?

Go ahead and add the gym, or your spinning class, or barre, or videos or whatever blows your particular skirt skyward. But if you miss doing one of these things today, don't forget your calisthenics between commercials, before bed, as a break while Web surfing.

Don't make "this year," goal-based resolutions. That sort of thing is for sissies. Instead resolve yourself to form new habits for the rest of your life.

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posted by Julie |
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