I read a tweet today from someone who said before 9am he had achieved his 12 mile run, his 2 hour meditation, had the green clean smoothie, drunk 2 litres of water, and read 20 pages of a book and so on. He was joking, well I thought so at least about the new energy the new year and resolutions tend to bring.

So it’s the beginning of the new year and potentially you have set yourself a resolution to improve your health and achieve a specific goal, and are going hell for leather today at achieving it. You woke up and drank your water, filled your water bottle up and have taken it to work with you. Your breakfast was the cleanest it’s been well since last new years resolution, it’s so clean Gwyneth would be proud of you. Your app reminded you to meditate and to consider yourself on the top of a mountain rather than on the train on the commute, and you actually did, and snored a little bit, but it still counts, so even before the morning has finished you are rocking it.

Lunch will be equally clean and lean, you’ve already eaten so many greens you’ve achieved your cruciferous vegetable goal with just the smoothie and lunch. Then you will hit the gym later, like the rock star you know you can be and even though it’s been a year since you’ve been you will be killing it. It’s great when we start a new project and have that initial energy burst for the new at this point we can inspire ourselves. That night you get your music tracks ready for tomorrow gym sesh, and you feel on top of the world.

By day 2 inspired by the personal trainer you are now counting macro’s and worrying about your carb intake, whether gluten is really the issue, are having enough protein. Heading off to the health food shop in your lunch hour to pick up some supplements and superfoods. Still inspired and energised although the leg workout has made walking up the stairs a bit more difficult in heels, your new Fitbit is telling you that you still have 8000 steps to go today so you persevere. Your bowel movements were a bit looser today as well, and darker than normal, are greens really for you, you wonder?

By day 3 the personal trainer has informed you that meal timing is key to a lean mean body, having a shake after your training is important, and has you prepping your food for the week. You’ve gone off in your lunch hour to buy enough containers for 3 meals a day and you’ve scheduled your weekly meal prepping in your diary for the weekend, and are spending this evening planning what you are going to make to fulfil your macros. You realise that you no longer need Netflix so cancel it because sitting is the new smoking you’ve been reliably told.

Day 4 is a recovery day, and you need it, it’s been a full on week of change, your legs feel like jelly, and your shoulder muscles are so sore to move that you have to get a trolley rather than a basket for the food you need to prep, because bending over and picking things up is now hard to do.

Because you are in recovery and know that rest and relaxation are key, you have lighted candles around your essential oil smelling luxury muscle supporting Epsom Salt bath and remind yourself to meditate rather than have the glass of wine that you are dreaming of.

Day 5 and it’s the weekend, rest and recovery is key, so you’ve slept in. Today is prep day, and well you’ve made your breakfast for the week but dinners are not looking so appetising. Your cooking skills are not what they should be, and well you know by the end of the week if they don’t look appetising now, it’s going to look worse by day 5!

Everyone is going out that evening and you are invited, you’ve added up the carb intake of your alcohol in your head and worked out it’s going to take at least 2 weeks to work it off. But you’ve decided to stay strong and lot’s of your friends are off the alcohol anyway for January, as well as off meat, fish, gluten, tap water, and well it seems like they are off everything in fact, welcome to Veganuary.

Day 6 being talked into becoming vegan the night before you look at your dinner prep for the coming week, and hang your head in shame, knowing that you can’t eat it in front of anyone and will have to eat on your own in the canteen or even in the toilet so no one sees you all week. Sundays session at the gym is yoga and light stretching, you pull out last weeks leggings from the washing pile because with all the food prep from yesterday you’ve not got around to the washing yet and make a note to self to set the washing machine off before you leave.

You go to your parents for dinner, and well they still have Christmas Cake left over and several mince pies later you have bust your macros. So you’ve decided to never see your parents for dinner ever again because they’ve ruined your resolution this year because you just can’t say no and they know that. Your mother always sabotages your new year new you efforts, and now you know yet again you’ve failed. So with a bottle of wine picked up on the way home and a movie on the TV that you’ve seen before because you’ve cancelled Netflix, you fall off the wagon and tell yourself that it’s useless to try and get healthy, fitter, leaner etc..

Day 7 you wake up to a fresh new day, with your food prep in one bag ready, your water bottle filled with the freshest filtered water, and fresh gym gear nearly dried in your other bag you look like you are leaving home now rather than just going to work. Setting off each day is like a military operation and you hear the MASH theme in your head whilst leaving the house, but although you are a bit more bulky now on your commute, you are off on your day with that cheeky coffee to help wake you up. It’s a skinny latte of course, and just a mini muffin because you’ve already eaten your breakfast that you prepped over the weekend and you are starving.

You work harder than ever in the gym, you lie to the personal trainer about the muffin and they tell you about Bulletproof Coffee and adding fat to it. They work with you to get the timing right of your coffee, before training rather than before work, You feel great again, but work is very busy at the moment and you know tomorrow you won’t be able to get to the gym so you cancel your PT session tomorrow.

Day 8 and you’ve eaten your breakfast food prep, grabbed a muffin and a skinnier latte than yesterday, your app is reminding you to meditate but work is calling non stop. There’s no time for lunch, a walk, getting out into the sunlight, drinking water, and when work says pizza is here for those of you working your nuts off you grab more than a slice. You have the fxxxit moment where you know you’ve been working hard and deserve that bloody treat. You know consistency is key to success, and in your head the carbs for the day you’ve totalled up are telling you that consistency of muffins and wine are starting to creep ahead of cruciferous vegetables. That pizza tastes so good, so much better than that broccoli, chicken and rice you’ve been eating all week, so much better….

Day 9, knowing you’ve failed completely, you find the Cheerios for breakfast, you’ve run out of prepared breakfasts anyway and haven’t yet had a chance to go shopping. Skinny minny latte and mini muffin has become the norm, and that extra shot of caffeine is now hitting the mark because it was a late night at work and you are still shattered from it. It’s going to be the same again today, your meditation happens only because you fall asleep on the train and think how much more we all need to be power napping. You mark it as complete on the app, good show.

You’ve got your gym gear with you, but that’s as near to the daily gym session as you are going to get, maybe a daily gym session is just too much you wonder on top of work. Your friends are asking you to go out later for a drink after work, you can’t you are just too busy to even eat your prepped food, so you leave it accidentally in the fridge at work and end up eating a takeaway on the way home you are so starving. Feeling worn out and tired, a couple of glasses of wine later you face despair about how your new lifestyle is falling away from you, so you eat a bowl of cereal just before bed and end up with wind all night.

Day 10 sick of carrying your food to work, sick of eating chicken, rice and broccoli you’ve chucked out the rest of the prepped food that’s looking decidedly tired by this time. Your legs and arms hurt so much all the time now that you’ve forgotten what they used to feel like and you are in a cycle of don’t touch me I hurt….and well you quite liked that glass of wine each evening before bed thank you very much and you’ve worked hard enough to deserve it. You’ve also banned all films with Gywneth in them, and cancelled the free trial membership from Gloop.

Day 11 It’s Friday, your diet diary you submit to the PT looks great without the muffins, takeaway, cereal and wine you’ve been eating. You feel guilt for not telling her, but she is wondering why in your weigh in, things aren’t changing very much. You believe that Veganuary isn’t working for you, steak and chips with onion rings and Mississippi Mud pie after work called your name, as did the cocktail bar, because you’ve worked hard enough to earn it.

Day 12 is a recovery day from your new years resolution and the hangover from what you remember of Friday so you have a filtered water. The wagon you’ve fallen off seems to be far in the distant, and today is a food prepping day you jadedly realise….

Day 13 what new years resolution…

So my small suggestions are:

  • Make changes 1 at a time.
  • Be consistent firstly with that one change before you introduce another one.
  • Do things that you enjoy.
  • Consistency isn’t about perfection it’s about making the new change part of your everyday lifestyle so it’s the norm.
  • Just aim to become that little bit better each time, aiming for big whole scale change is hard when you are busy.
  • Small changes that can be incorporated into an already busy and overfull life could include: slowing your eating down, chewing your food properly, eating more mindfully, listen to hunger and eating cues, choose whole grain for sandwiches rather than white bread, choose muesli instead of sugary cereals, drinking enough water, reducing your coffee and replacing it with herbal tea.

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