The New Year can be an exciting time with many life-changing experiences but it can also be a time when many type-a athletes set overambitious weight, training and lifestyle goals and approach those goals with a black or white mentality. On Jan 1st, perhaps you may be one of many who rids your life of every "bad" food in your diet, exercises/trains like a mad-man/women in order to get closer to personal records (although, secretly you want to burn lots of calories in order to get a lean body) and vow to yourself that you will never miss a workout because then you will not reach your personal weight and/or training goals.
However you choose to be active, whether it is training for triathlon/running races or exercising for fitness gains, is a lifestyle choice. Certainly you understand that your weight loss and training journey is going to be slow. But consistency is the key to success.
If you are planning on participating/racing in an upcoming marathon, you are going to build in those miles over a period of many weeks. If you are planning on doing your first IM, you are going to incorporate several long bikes and long runs into a well-balanced training plan, so you don't risk injury and overtraining, as you teach the body to be metabolically efficient. If you are planning on setting personal records at upcoming events, you are going to focus on your weakness's as you build on your strengths.
While you may feel as if life revolves around the way you look, it is important that your life revolves around the way you feel. Remember, no one weighs you at the finish line of a race. How can you tell yourself that you are going to be a faster and more efficient athlete if you weigh x-pounds by x-race? Accepting a heart-healthy diet and balanced training routine, prior to seeing weight goals, will allow you to develop a healthy relationship with food, exercise and your body.
I hope you enjoy my latest New Year Resolution tip from the Iron Girl e-blast
BTW-don't forget that the Iron Girl 2011 Race series registration opens on December 31st and 9am EST!
Say good-bye to dieting and Hello to a Healthy Iron Girl lifestyle
By Marni Sumbal, M.S., CISSN, USAT level-1 coach, dietetic intern and Iron Girl Sports Nutritionist
When it comes to changing dietary habits, the aesthetic desire for a tone, lean body often outweighs the benefits of longevity and a decrease risk for disease. In all seriousness, who really thinks about improved eye health when eating carrots? As much as you would like to change eating habits for improved health, it's likely that New Year resolutions center around a number on the scale or a specific size of clothing.
If you are setting a resolution to lose weight, recognize that you are embarking on a lifestyle change. Heart-healthy living does not require deadlines, rules or restrictions.
Rather than thinking about all the foods that you shouldn't eat, focus on the many foods that you can eat. With 365 days in a year, there is no reason to have an "off-limit" food list.
First and foremost, appreciate the changes that you are making. What's the purpose in making a lifelong change (for the better) if you dread the change before it even starts?
Remember, you only have one body and one life. If you have goals, you are in charge of your destiny.