Writer / Lindsay Willard
Hello again, New Year. As someone who works in the field of health, fitness and wellness, I always notice an uptick of social media posts about weight-loss tips this time of year. The start of the New Year is often associated with thoughts like, “Lose those unwanted pounds” and “Get the body you’ve always wanted” and “This is your year to transform!” To be honest, it makes me cringe, because here’s what those statements are actually saying: “You aren’t good enough at that weight” and “Your body doesn’t look the way it’s supposed to” and “You’ve failed before, so do better this year.” It all makes me feel very, very uncomfortable.
There is nothing wrong with you. Just because it’s the New Year does not mean that you have to start a new diet, begin a new workout program or swear that you’ll go for a run every morning. Why do I say that? Because in case you missed it the first time, there is nothing wrong with you, and making promises that you might not keep will only make you feel really, really bad if you don’t keep them.
According to a study published in the New York Post, only 8% of people typically stick with their health-related New Year’s resolutions. Yet every year we repeat the same behaviors, almost ceremoniously. We hang our shiny new calendar on the wall, and to it we tie our self-worth in the form of New Year’s goals that are difficult to maintain. We vow to cut out processed carbohydrates. We promise to strength train three to four times per week. We affirm that we’ll follow macronutrients and get all of our steps in every day. We start out Herculean until mid-January, when someone invites us out to dinner and we eat the things we swore we’d never eat again. Or, we have valiant plans for a morning workout, until the night before that workout when one of our kids wakes up sick and our plans are derailed.
Life happens. If you can’t bend, you’ll snap. Does one imperfect meal mean the end of all your good intentions? Nope. Does one missed workout mean that you should put your treadmill on Facebook Marketplace? Nope.
Turning the page to the New Year is truly no different than turning the page to March 12 or June 3 or October 26. I think that setting goals for yourself in an effort to be stronger and happier, increase mental clarity, reduce stress and lower cholesterol are all wonderful things. What I don’t like is the focus on weight loss above all else. I don’t like the pressure that coincides with January 1. Resolutions are doomed from the start. The timing is terrible. You’re coming straight off of December, which for many includes holiday parties, dinners out, treats, stress, travel and gatherings. Then it’s New Year’s Eve. You’re eating, drinking, celebrating and cheers-ing, and after your evening of indulgence, you’re supposed to rise from the ashes after the New Year, protein drink in hand, and ride your Peloton into the sunrise? That’s a whole lot of pressure, when what you really want to do is sleep in, drink coffee, and mentally recover from the holidays. If you really want to speed up the weight loss process, then you can look into weight loss treatments offered by medical spas like Allure Laser & Med Spa or Women’s Institute for Health that also provide cosmetic surgery in Noblesville, IN.
So this year, go easy on yourself. Know that you’re amazing exactly as you are. If you make it over to the Nickel Plate Trail for a mind-clearing run or a walk, great. If you stay in bed, laptop on your lap, shopping post-holiday online sales in your PJs, great. Take your wellness goals one day at a time. Be forgiving of days when you skip a workout or enjoy a special dinner instead of sticking to your plan. Improving your health is an ongoing, long-term process, and a good plan allows for rest days and dinners, as well as drinks with friends. Start the new year knowing that you’re worth whatever makes you feel your best, whether that process begins on January 1 or not. Cheers to 2023, Fishers friends.
Lindsay Willard is the president of 10MoreSeconds, a fitness, health and wellness company, and is a huge proponent of using exercise and good nutrition as a tool for mental and physical health and longevity. She spends her time working with individuals to improve their health, and also works with local companies by providing on-site wellness programming. She resides in Fishers with her husband, three kids and an adorable puppy. You can find her at 10MoreSeconds.com.