Like every year, at the beginning of the year the gym is packed with new faces. I call them “the New Year Resolution Faces”. Many of those faces if not all will disappear by February. Why? Because, let’s face it, it is not fun! Would you rather be having a glass of wine with your friends after work or go to the gym? Would you rather sleep an extra 30 minutes in the morning or exercise?

Changing your way of life requires a strong commitment and discipline. A healthy weight cannot be accomplished by going to the gym 7 days a week for 3 weeks. It is a balance of exercise and nutrition. It is a life commitment.

When I was 39, I was sitting next to my brother by the ocean in Playa del Carmen. He was expressing his concern about me letting myself go. I was not heavy by any means but I had stopped caring about my body and I was becoming “fluffy”. My answer was: “There is not much you can do when you are close to 40, your body does not cooperate and you start getting fat”. He got so frustrated with my comment and started pointing out many women over 40 that looked amazing. He told me to get on it and stop making excuses. I stayed quiet but he had plant a seed in my head. That was December 2006.

In January 2007 I became the new face in the gym and signed up for the free training session and evaluation that is included in the membership of almost any gym. Martin Gandarilla was the trainer assigned to me. He was not just easy on the eyes, but extremely nice and funny. He weighted me, took my measurements, calculated my BMI and talked to me about nutrition. Needless to say, by the end of the session, I signed for weight training sessions, three days a week for a month. I gave myself a gift.

Having someone waiting for me prove to be very helpful. I could not make more excuses; I had a commitment with him. I was going to get my monies worth! I needed that; I needed to force myself to do it. Along with the sessions, I was asked to keep a journal of what I was eating. For the first time, I became aware of my poor choices. The weight didn’t come off right away but I was feeling better and stronger by the day. I made an effort and continue the sessions for a second month. The changes started to show at the end of the second month. By the third month I was buying new clothes and had developed the habit of exercising. Martin stayed with me the first 3 months. For the past seven years I have been able to maintain the lifestyle not without up and downs. However the downs are not too often and when I feel my weight is getting out of hand, I seek the help of a trainer to get back on track. I thank my wonderful fitness coaches Martin Gandarilla and Amy Klein for helping me getting back on track.

I am a regular 47 year old female. I do not have the killer body you see in magazines, but I am healthy and I look and feel good. Based on my personal experience, here are a few suggestions that may help your New Year’s Resolution:

    1. Losing weight is nothing more that calories in calories out.
    2. Try to avoid processed food, fried food and foods with high amount of unhealthy fat.
    3. Practice portion control. You can eat everything in moderation.
    4. Incorporate exercise in your daily life. If you cannot make it to the gym, take your kids to the park and play with them. If they are still small, put them in a stroller and go for a walk. If you have dogs, take them for a walk. If you are stressed out, go for a walk. Just keep moving!
    5. There are many activities that you can do if you do not want a membership to a gym. You can walk, hike, climb stairs, ride your bike or join a boot camp. A lot of trainers offer them in public parks.
    6. Team up with a friend that share your same goal and keep each other motivated.

Here are a few websites that have helped me through the years. You can download their apps to your phone

http://caloriecount.about.com/

http://www.myfitnesspal.com/

Walking mate (comes with your Samsung phone)

Here are some cool gadgets as well:

Jawbone UP https://jawbone.com/up

Fitbit Flex http://www.fitbit.com/home

My favorite transformation specialist

Chris Powell http://chrispowell.com/

Heidi Powell http://heidipowell.net/

Hope this helps you. Enjoy your new Lifestyle!

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