By: Rick Bellanti – January, 2019

Happy New Year everyone. We made it through another year, whether we stuck to our new year’s resolution last year or not, we are still here (if you are reading this). The question you need to ask is are we in better health than we were last year at this time? If you are, congratulations for sticking it out and continuing with your healthier lifestyle. If not, have no fear as this is the time of year most of us start back up again. A new year and a blank slate, to start new goals and complete old ones that you are continuing. Did you make any New Year resolutions for 2019?

Don’t stress that the end of the year came and went and you haven’t reached all your weight loss goals, remember there is no finish line or expiration date on our journeys, take it one day at a time and when the year ends, continue through and start the new year with a positive attitude. So celebrate all you’ve accomplished so far in 2018 (no matter how big or small the victory) and look forward to starting 2019 with some new goals to achieve.

Did you know that about 75% of people stick to their resolutions for at least two weeks and less than 50% are still actively working their resolutions within six months? The most common reason for people failing their New Year’s resolutions is setting themselves up with unrealistic goals. It’s something we all do because we seem to be a quick fix generation and want to see results immediately or we lose interest, get discouraged and just give up. Please don’t give up! Pick up where you left off and continue your journey or even just make a newer goal, something easier to get through and celebrate that goal no matter how small and use it as motivation.

Everyone’s motivation for losing weight, working out and getting into shape will vary, but we all pretty much have the same goal in mind: being healthy. You may have a reason such as an upcoming wedding or class reunion where you want to look your best, or it could be something more serious like a doctor’s warning that you need to get healthier. Whatever the reason is, the new year’s resolution that is the most popular is, I want to eat better and lose weight in the new upcoming year. Many people use this time because it’s the starting line, the first day of the year, what better time to start the year of being positive on Day 1.

Ever notice the gym gets busier in January with new people signing up? People just want a fresh start. I see posts on social media starting in December criticizing these new people that influx the gym and make things a little more busy for the gym regulars, by maybe throwing off their routine a little or making it difficult for them to get their normal parking spot. Don’t ever let these regular gym people intimidate you because you chose to start a new healthy lifestyle. Sure not everyone continues for a long time. But every one of them started at one point and was one of these “Newbies” that THEY now have an issue with.

Who are they to complain that we are now taking up and invading “their” space? We are all paying the same gym membership fees and signing up with a trainer or class to get healthy so, why are our workouts not as worthy as theirs? Everyone’s health and happiness matters the same. Some people start and never go back because of things such as feeling they don’t fit in with the crowd that works out daily. Some people go to the gym once and became intimidated. Some people go to the gym once or twice a week, others every day, and some just want to start that lifelong commitment. It shouldn’t matter; no one is more important than we are to ourselves.

I am the most shy person I know, I’m so nervous that everyone is always judging me (yes, even in a so-called Judgment Free Zone). Being bullied all my life due to a weight problem does that to a person. So, getting myself to a public gym was not easy, and walking into that gym was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I just kept my head down and kept to myself and started my gym life, one day at a time. It was not easy, but you need to take that first step, no matter how uncomfortable. Our health and wellness depends on it. I now open up and talk to people if I’m approached and if I see someone new come in, I’m sure to say hello, just to make them feel welcome. After all we are all here for one thing, our health.

One of the best ways to keep motivated is to find a friend to partner up with and workout together and by making the workouts fun, you will enjoy it together and help motivate each other. Happy New Year, if you see me at the gym, say Hi, I’ll be looking forward to seeing new faces this month.
Rick Bellanti is a wellness columnist and is on a journey himself to lose 240lbs, and has lost 160lbs since the start of 2015. You can find Rick on Facebook at: Getting Healthy with Rick Bellanti. ◊