So, see if you can track with me on this, OK?
The morning after New Year’s Eve you come downstairs, having surrendered yourself to your fancy new digital scale in the upstairs bathroom, and your still-groggy minds says to yourself:
- Did that digital readout really say, “One at a Time, Please”;
- Can that scale be really that broken? Or,
- This has got to stop; only I don’t know what the “this” really is.
What’s the source of your discontent after the scale? Again, a list:
- Uh-oh, people won’t like all this fat on me.
- Uh-oh, I don’t like all this fat on me. Or,
- I am in bondage to eating _____________ (fill in the blank).
Getting on your scale after a holiday is about as much fun as going for a ride in your trash compactor. This is where your Warrior Within should be stirring, yeah? Everybody loves a comeback, and since you can’t have a comeback without a setback, wherever you are you’re in a great place to start your new year!
So, what are we going to do about those two “C’s” above?
NEW YEAR’S REVOLUTIONS
One of my friends talks about New Year’s Revolutions – turning over the same idiot promises to yourself every year, then being frustrated somewhere around January 15th because you can’t even remember them. Funny, though, by next New Year’s you’ll remember them so you can make the same false promises again.
Today (I’m writing this the day before New Year’s) I’ve already received over a dozen emails from my trainer and coach friends with their New Year suggestions for their clients, so I’m gonnna join the fracas.
What follows are three suggestions for your New Year, but then, in the spirit of Revolutions, I will distill this down to one suggestion that I KNOW you can follow.
REVOLUTION A: YOUR WEIGHT (DARN)
First, the scale. Ah, the scale. I’ve received two recent emails, both from world renowned trainers, which have the opposite message. One, who is a dear friend of mine, says that you should ignore the scale for a few weeks since this is a horrid time of year to look at your weight. The other, who is a mentor of mine, says jump on it now. Can both be right? (And, for extra points, can you guess which email was written by a male and which was written by a female?)
Well, I agree with the first method, but I suggest doing the second. (Strike a blow for ambivalence, yeah? What power.)
Why? Because sooner or later, you know, you are going to have to get on the idiot device. Why not do it now, when you are a few (relative term) pounds up, so that you have a nice high benchmark. Then, in a few weeks, when you get on the scale you’ll have lost more pounds. Simple!
Don’t put this off, painful though it may be today. Go ahead, weigh yourself and write the number in your exercise journal or the chart below. You’ll enjoy the triumph that comes from losing weight, whilst the people who follow method A will be grumpy. BTW, weigh yourself at the same time every day to avoid fluctuations due to meals, etc.
REVOLUTION B: BODY SHAPE
Part One: Your Measurements
Same logic as before. Do it now so you have, to be blunt, a more horrible benchmark (see chart below). Enjoy your improvement as it comes!
After all, your weight is not always the best metric for how you are doing, fitness-wise. As you work out you lose fat but you also gain muscle, so your weight alone does not give the complete picture of your transformation. This is the danger of facts without interpretation.
Measurements, on the other hand, can help you interpret what that wretched scale is yelling at you. You may, in fact, not see any change in weight at all but see a very pleasing change in your body dimensions.
Most folks want to decrease their waist, but some folks actually want to gain in their biceps or their thighs, so again – your metrics help interpret your scale.
You can weigh yourself all you want – I suggest daily – but do your measurements only once a month or so. These critters changes more slowly than your weight – easier to lose 2 pounds than 2 inches – but if you are consistent in your program you will be pleased with the results.
For your information, measurements are one thing I don’t do for people; you’re on your own. You may have somebody else help you, and then – hey! You’ve now got an accountability partner.
| THE TRANSFORMATIONAL YOU!
|Date||Jan 1||Feb 1||Mar 1||Apr 1||Etc.|
|Time of Day|
|Uppper Arm (Right/Left)
Part Two: Your Picture
(Or, the ultimate selfie.)
OK, this is kinda tough for some people, but look – do this for yourself, you’ll love what happens. Get into your swimsuit or underwear and take a picture of yourself in a full length mirror or have a friend take a snap. Oh, gasp. Oh, golly. Oh, no I won’t!
Yeah, do it. One of the most motivating things you can do for yourself is to look at yourself, inside and out, and see what needs changing. If you didn’t like the readout on the scale this morning, then you probably don’t like the way your body looks. I’m not talking about how you look in the mirror; you are too used to that for it to inspire you anymore. Look at your body in a picture. Then, in another month, take another full-body picture and compare the two, then again in another month.
Go ahead, nobody needs to see this!
Check yourself out, and then use that as an inspiration for change (if change is needed). Do this every month while you do your measurements, and enjoy the changes that you will see. Skinny pants now fitting is great, but a comparison of your prior self with your new self will feel like you’ve won a battle – which you have! Congrats, Warrior!
REVOLUTION C: YOUR EATING AND YOUR WORKOUTS
Do less of one and more of the other and you’ll do just fine. The readership of this newsletter is, I believe, of superior intellect, so you figure it out from here.
THE CONCLUSION OF THE MATTER
Enough of the revolutions. Let us distill this down and then I can go home.
You’ve heard people say, “Pick one New Year’s resolution and focus on that.” OK, here’s the one thing I would do, and it’s a corollary of REVOLUTION C just above. Every night, before you go to bed, write down two things on one single page:
Thing 1: Write down one good commitment about eating you will do for tomorrow. Make it short, doable, and realistic – something you know you will do. Not “I will restrict myself to two hundred calories.” Yeah, right. How about “I will avoid sugar in at least one cup of coffee tomorrow.” Start small; you will grow as the Warrior Within you awakes!
Thing 2: Write down your workout commitment for tomorrow. Write out what you will do and when you will do it. Then when you wake up that decision has already been made – just go do the workout.
Keep it simple, keep it with you throughout the day until you’ve done it.
It would be nice to hear that office supply companies are running out of paper because everyone is now writing things at bedtime.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, YET AGAIN!
I can’t tell you, although I’m trying to, how much each of you means to me – even though there are people on this list I’ve never met in person. Thank you for all your kind comments, all your support, and above all your inspiration.
When God made us in His image He included the Warrior as part of the deal. It has been my privilege and incredible pleasure this year to be with you as together we awake the Warrior Within.
Oh, this may not quite fit, but here are the lyrics from that incredibly poignant Lullaby from Hansel and Gretle. Not sure why this popped into my head, maybe because we are talking about bedtime, maybe because it’s New Years, nonetheless a lovely way to end one year and look forward to the next. Hum along:
When at night I go to sleep
Fourteen angels watch do keep;
Two my head are guarding,
Two my feet are guiding;
Two are on my right hand,
Two are on my left hand,
Two who warmly cover
Two who o’er me hover,
Two to whom ’tis given
To guide my steps to heaven.
Sleeping sofly, then it seems
Heaven enters in my dreams;
Angels hover round me,
Whisp’ring they have found me;
Two are sweetly singing,
Two are garlands bringing,
Strewing me with roses
As my soul reposes.
God will not forsake me
When dawn at last will wake me.
God bless you and your loved ones, and may our New Year be lovely, indeed!