It’s the New Year and perhaps your goal is for a new you! That’s wonderful and I wish you all the luck to start this journey. Let me start off by saying I am no fitness expert or medical practitioner however wanted to share my journey with you. Over the next few weeks I’ll share my experiences and tips on how to start finding the new you!
So as you can tell from the before and after picture, I’ve lost some weight (55 lbs at my peak). I took time to do it with no special diet / detox plans, cutting anything out, magic pills, or surgery. It didn’t happen overnight and I attribute my weight maintenance to that fact. Hey, if it took me 30 years to put it on, it wouldn’t take 30 days to take it off! That’s one key point here that I learned (and reminded myself of) very often throughout this process that this was a lifestyle change I was making, not a diet plan I’m starting – i.e. lifestyle = (LIFE) style.
My tip for today is to have a goal, more specifically a SMART goal. I’ll channel my business side here for those who may not know what a SMART goal is. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Of course this can be applied to your personal or professional life however to stay relevant with the topic, we’ll tackle weight loss. It’s great you want to exercise, be more active, lose weight etc however without a target, it’s easy to fall off track. One can say “I want to lose weight” or slightly better: “I want to lose 20 lbs” but how will you measure your success and what’s your ultimate goal? It is to fit in to a specific dress, be able to walk comfortably on a beach? A SMART goal would read more like “I want to lose 2lb per week for the next 10 weeks by going to the gym 3 times a week and altering eating habits (more later on this) by x date so I can fit in to my Boss suit for x person’s wedding (yes, this was my actual goal). To break this down:
– S = I want to lose 20 lbs by doing what (gym and alter eating)
– M = 2 lbs per week, 20 overall
– A = is this a stretch goal, what are your barriers (i.e. vacations? parties with buffets?)
– R = is 2 lbs realistic and relevant (another “R”) versus 20 lbs in 1 month?*
– T = I have an ultimate date (date of wedding) but also a weekly touch point
*It’s not to say that you cannot lose a higher amount of weight per week / month, this is for illustrative purposes – and also my opinion: you can indeed do some things do drop faster such as cutting out carbs completely however I don’t feel that’s it’s something you can do for LIFE. Once you start again, you will gain the weight back and (sometimes) then some. Once you hit that goal, you can start again to attain the next level.
My second point would be to track certain things including what you eat, how many times you go to the gym, what is your routine and how long are you doing each activity etc. For me this visual aid helped stay on track, see when I would be going off and be able to gather myself again if I found myself slacking. If you’re like me, it will also be nice to see the numbers, the effort you put in alongside the results you see on the scale or in the mirror. You can also track what works, what doesn’t, motivational quotes and pictures of your goal. The pictures by the way will remind you each time what is it you’re trying to attain should you feel less than motivated on a particular day.
I’ve compiled a list of my top 10 “learnings” and will share #3-10 with you in the upcoming weeks. Until then, may I suggest you write out these SMART goals and create a tracker (in excel, online or an app if you’d like – there’s many out there!) and feel free to share them in the comments below. For the tracker, it can be a simple “x exercise, x minutes” or as complex as calculating % differences, BMI etc. I would love to hear of your plans and share in your future success! If you have any questions, let me know though the comments section or through our Facebook page (or send me an inbox if you’re more comfortable with that).
Best wishes for 2014 from the Infusion team. We enjoy having you as part of our dance family and look forward to dancing with you in both our Montreal and Toronto classes / workshops! Cheers…