We’ve talked about making New Year’s resolutions. We’ve even revisited and recharged those New Year’s resolutions. We’re now twelve weeks into the new year. How are your New Year’s resolutions coming along? Do you still remember what your resolutions were?
New Years is a great time to make resolutions. It’s a time of the year when we set aside time to reflect on our successes of the previous year. This reflection, then, gives us perspective on areas where we have opportunity for growth.
Many people find opportunity for improvement when it comes to their health and fitness. The majority of Americans make resolutions regarding weight or other self improvements. The number one resolution year after year is for weight loss. Does that sound familiar to you?
If you stuck to your New Year’s resolution to lose weight, we would know. Do know why? Because twelve weeks is long enough for even strangers to notice a change in you.
If you resolved to lose weight in the new year and began January first, your results would be paying off now. Your clothes would be fitting more loosely and you’d feel a lot better. You’d be even more eager than the rest of us for the warmer weather because you’d be looking forward to showing off less of you.
So, you’ve had a setback, eh? Perhaps this year’s long winter got the best of you. You found yourself slipping. Maybe you took a few too many days off at the over-crowded gym. Maybe you sought solace from the dark, snowy days in too many comfort foods.
We have more than 30 weeks before you’ll have the opportunity to make your next New Year’s resolution. But guess what is only another twelve weeks away?
The first day of summer is Saturday, June 21st.
While it’s hard to imagine now, we’ll soon be tossing off our bulky sweaters and shedding the layers we have on underneath. Our pale skin will once again see the light of the sun. Sunscreen will become part of our pre-ride or pre-outting routine.
It’s difficult to imagine now, but it’s coming. And as difficult as it is to imagine, you have the ability to see change before then.
Twelve weeks. You can do it.
You don’t need a new year. You don’t even need a Monday. All you need is a new day. All you need is this day. Today.
Are you ready to make a change?
Let’s start by defining your goals. “Losing weight,” while perhaps a worthwhile and realistic goal, isn’t the best place to start. If you’re going to make a commitment, you need to commit to something more tangible. The best goals are SMART goals:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Realistic
T – Time-specific
Knowing how much weight you have to lose is a start. You should never lose more than two pounds per week, unless you are under the direct supervision of a doctor.
To be realistic about weight loss – and to make sure you’re not shedding water or muscle weight and to avoid long-term negative effects to your metabolism – you should aim to keep your weight loss to under one pound per week. Women, 1/4 to 1/2 pound per week is more realistic.
Does this sound like it will take time? It will. Think about how much time it’s taken for you to put the weight on – perhaps a pound or two each holiday season over the past few years or since college?
It’s taken years to get to your current weight gain. Don’t expect to take it all off at once – at least, not in any healthy or sustainable way.
So what’s the best way to accomplish your goals?
Diets fail. They lead to the yo-yo diet phenomenon – and you’ll find yourself in a situation next year with more weight loss on your hands. Stay clear of dieting.
Instead, think long term. Think of creating a healthy lifestyle. How can you make health and fitness a part of your life? How can you include more healthy food into your meals and snacks? How can you include more exercise in your day?
By exercise, think movement. You don’t have to join a gym. You don’t have to count reps. Perhaps you can take the steps instead of the elevator. Perhaps you park in the back of the lot instead of finding the closest parking spot. Perhaps you walk to make your local trips instead of driving. Perhaps you buy a bike – or use your bike* to join us on our weekly group rides.
* We admit, we at Higher Gear are a little biased towards using the bike as part of a healthy lifestyle.
To reach your SMART goal, your plan must not only be realistic, but fun.
If you don’t enjoy what you have to do to reach your goal, you are going to find ways to duck out of it.
Have we mentioned that bikes are fun? And that our group rides are an inviting way to learn the basics of group riding in a welcoming atmosphere with a great group of people?
Whatever way you decide to incorporate fitness into your life, make sure that you enjoy it. And that you start doing it. Now.
Today is the day.
Summer is twelve weeks away. It’s time to reassess, create a plan and then go after your goals.
Go, be awesome.
We at Higher Gear are here to help.
- Check out Part 2 of this series: Weight Loss 101
- Don’t miss the vital Part 3 of this series: Smart Eating
- For more inspiration, visit Part 4 of this series: Resolve to Riding a Bike.
- Stick with us. Check back in with us as we continue this discussion and help motivate you to reach your goals and prepare for summer.
- Sign up for our newsletter, so you get tips like these – and news about local cycling events – straight to your inbox every week.
- Don’t wait until you want to use it; get your bike ready to ride now, so it’s ready when the temperatures get warm enough for you.
- New to cycling or the road? Thinking about trying a group ride? There’s no intimidation factor with us. Join us for our no-drop group rides, like our Saturday Morning Group Ride, which has already started for the year. All are welcome.
- In the market for a bike? We can help with that! Come in and talk with our friendly experts.
Need more inspiration? For further reading, check out our other articles about weight loss:
- New Year’s Resolutions
- News Year’s Resolutions – Revisited
- Weighing in on Cycling Weight
- Computraining for Weight Loss
- Strength Training for Cyclists
- Core Exercises for Cyclists
Years spent working in health clubs, our resident fitness guru, Joy Sherrick, shares with us the wisdom of her years of experience working with people to meet their fitness goals.