Making New Year’s resolutions is a time-honored tradition; too bad most of them don’t last past the time it took to make them.
The Town of Flower Mound scheduled a day-long open house at the CAC (Community Activity Center) on Jan. 9 to promote a variety of ways people of all ages can gain better health.
“The best way to start a new healthy lifestyle is to make a plan and set goals; realistic goals,” said Kelli Peebles, CPT, one of the professional trainers at the CAC. She holds certifications from The Cooper Institute as: Certified Personal Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor and Providing Dietary Guidance.
“It is getting in the mindset that changes will take time– it won’t happen overnight,” she said. “But, if you stick to your goals, you will see results and make healthier choices as part of your everyday life.”
One of the most common resolutions made involving the goal of getting healthy is to lose some excess weight.
“We know weight loss is a journey and want to help with that loss and with a lifestyle change,” said Wendee Long of Amazing Weight Loss & Wellness in Flower Mound. “We didn’t gain it overnight and we can’t lose it over night.”
Peebles agrees that any transformation needs to be gradual in order to get to the healthy lifestyle people desire.
“Don’t call it a ‘diet;’ it’s a lifestyle change,” said Peebles. “The way to really meet your healthier lifestyle goals is to change the way you’re eating; not eliminate foods altogether. We all want what we can’t have.”
Long recommends using a written food log or app (myfitnesspal or loseit) to help make better food choices. Before beginning a change, log everything eaten for three-days; the number of carbohydrates and fat-grams being consumed will be a surprise. Weight loss is easier if working with someone to help with accountability.
“There are all types of programs and remember, even with weight loss, if it sounds too good to be true; it probably is,” she said.
Peebles had some valuable suggestions to help implement and maintain a dietary change:
Eat clean– include foods like whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy proteins and healthy fats, yes fat—“good” unsaturated fat. Not only do these foods manage and prevent diseases, but will help to lose weight and feel better overall;
Avoid processed foods and refined sugar– learn to read food labels. The more ingredients and unpronounceable words, the less healthy it is; again, eating clean. Stick to foods that have only natural ingredients– no food labels at all—and avoid cooking meals from a box.
Cook at home and take your lunch– make a meal plan at the start of each week and build a grocery list from there. Make lunches the night before to avoid scrambling for time in the mornings.
Out of sight, out of mind– if there are no unhealthy foods in the house, there’s no chance you can eat them.
Peebles said that making smart nutritional changes is a major component to becoming healthier, so is a regular exercise program.
“Because many people have not exercised at all, or very little, over the holidays or past few months—or even years, it is not realistic to set out and say: ‘I am going to exercise every day starting Jan. 1st.’”
As with dietary changes, she recommends setting short, attainable goals. For example, set a goal to workout three-days a week for the first month, then increase that goal once you completed it after the first month.
Peebles also encourages working with a certified fitness professional to get started; someone who is able to personalize an exercise regimen for specific goals and needs. Many people are intimidated to start and, if they start, they will lose interest, because they don’t know what to do in the gym.
“Most people get the perception that they have to spend an hour in the gym killing themselves to get the results they need,” she said. “For those starting an exercise program, this is not the case. Starting out a little goes a long way.”
She added that it’s what is done in the exercise time that makes a difference. She said there are many great workouts that can be done in 30-minutes or less.
“Do not complicate it like most people do,” said Jesse James Leyva, president of Jesse James Fit Elite Training Studio and Weight-Loss Center in Flower Mound. He is certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), Brookhaven College, ACE and Cooper Clinic, among others. His studio includes 15 elite trainers, each of which has multiple degrees and professional certifications.
He said three simple questions can help people making a personal fitness decision.
First: what do I truly want for myself? He said it’s important to determine how badly one wants to meet a goal and make the time for it.
“You need to know that you are important and so are your health and fitness goals,” said James. “What kind of role model do you want to be for your spouse or children, co-workers and friends?”
Peebles advises putting workout times on the calendar, just like important meetings or children’s activities. Make it a priority to fit exercise in and schedule it to know it is coming and prepare a gym bag for the workout the night before, or lay out clothes out for a morning workout.
She added that recruiting friends and family with whom to exercise, making the same goals, can help. Making a competition can reward everyone when goals are met. Maybe buying new exercising clothing or taking a special family event or outing will help keep everyone involved. Accountability will maintain motivation.
James said the second question is: What am I willing to commit to– or sacrifice for– achieving a goal?
Peebles agrees. She points out that in order to stick with something, it has to be fun. Find what exercises are a good fit and are personally fun, then shop around for a gym or exercise studio to find the best value for activities and a budget.
“There is such a variety of classes, workout programs and exercises offered today that everyone can find something that best suits them,” she said. “Something you look forward to doing. If you are not enjoying it, then you are most likely not going to stick to it.”
She added most people get the perception that they have to spend an hour in the gym killing themselves to get the results they need. For those starting an exercise program, this is not the case. Starting out a little goes a long way! It’s what you do in the time you have that makes a difference. There are many great workouts that can be done in 30-minutes or less.
James’ third question is an internal, mind-set question: Do I believe I am worthy to achieve a goal?
“You need to love yourself enough to want better for yourself,” he said. “Know that you’re worth it.”
He added some additional thoughts to help focus on the journey: am I engaging in cardiovascular activity a minimum of three- to four-days each week for a healthy heart and body; am I engaging in strength-based exercise a minimum of two-days each week for balanced muscles; am I consuming fruits and/or vegetables and lean protein sources throughout the day, every day; have I had blood tests in the last year or two to check my hormone levels, vitamins, cholesterol and more; and, am I giving myself at least five-minutes each day to just be still and shut off my brain?
“Exercise alone will not result in weight loss,” said Long, “A decrease in calories and the right balance will ensure weight loss success. Weight loss is a journey; think marathon, not sprint.”
For more information, visit: www.jessejamesfit.com, call 972-355-2639, or visit them at Jesse James Fit, LLC at 1001 Cross Timbers Road, Suite 1200, Flower Mound.
For more information, visit: www.amazingweightlossandwellness.com, call 972-600-2900 or 972-355-8363; phones are answered 24-hours a day. It is located at 3121 Cross Timbers Rd., Suite 200 in Flower Mound.