A New Year, A New You

A New Year, a New You’ is what we tell ourselves every January 1. Some women make their New Year’s resolution to lose weight while some men make their New Year’s resolution to gain muscle.

The fact of the matter is: neither are quite as simple as they sound. In our current society, we can get what we want at the click of a button. The one exception of this fast paced lifestyle would be losing weight and gaining muscle.

Instead of becoming discouraged that neither is happening to your body after the first two weeks of the New Year, just remind yourself that your body has to become used to the constant exercise.

Women: if you do gain weight in the first two weeks of exercising, this is not unhealthy. In fact, this weight is due to your muscles becoming stronger. Men: it is rather obvious that you will not be able to bench press your weight in a mere two weeks of  exercise. Just keep in mind that your muscle mass is increasing even though you cannot yet see results.

Mindset is a major cause of a good or bad workout. If you are on a machine and keep thinking to yourself, “only five more minutes of this,” you will not have as good of a workout as someone who is not focusing on the time.

Mindset before a workout is just as crucial as the mindset during the workout. Do not think of exercising as an obligation but instead as a break from classwork. If you are intimidated by the large amount of people at the gym, just remember how many of them have the same New Year’s resolution as you; they are not all experts.

An important part of losing weight as well as gaining muscle is to eat healthy. Speaking from a personal experience, sophomore Kelly Hughes believes that is the only way to really lose weight. “Working out is definitely part of losing weight but in reality you have to make lifestyle changes and not just diet, but change your eating habits for good,” Hughes said.

Kyle O’Grady concurs with Hughes by adding, “Seventy percent of weight loss is working out. I think working out is an important part of losing weight because it helps tone and build muscle.” O’Grady continued, “Having a healthy diet is a much more important step. You can work out for four hours a day but if you eat three cheeseburgers, it means nothing.”

Pharmacist at Stevens Drug Inc on Monmouth Road, Kris Fisher, believes it is of the utmost importance to eat healthy not only to lose weight but also maintain weight. “Refined sugars, highly processed foods, fast foods in general should be avoided,” Fisher said.

For some, this can be rather difficult without the luxury of having a personal nutritionist, but there is an array of opportunities which anyone can use which can be like a personal nutritionist.

The ever popular WeightWatchers has been endorsed by celebrities such as Charles Barkley and Jennifer Hudson. With this system you are given a certain amount of points per day. Each food item has a different amount of points and each person, depending on their body type as well as age, has a different amount of points they can eat a day.

Restaurants such as Applebee’s and TGI Friday’s have included WeightWatcher foods on their menus. Many people prefer this option because it grants them more freedom with their food choices.

Another well-known nutritionist aid is the Jenny Craig system. Spokesmen for this option include Kirstie Alley and Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander. Unlike WeightWatchers, Jenny Craig only allows you to eat their food and does not operate on a point system.

MyFitnessPal captured the nation’s attention earlier this January. This app allows you to not only count your calories, but also lets you add in your workouts, glasses of water, and lets you see your progress over days, weeks, and months with their various charts.

While it is hard to keep in the mindset to lose weight, if you can keep thinking of how great the results will be, you definitely will be motivated to go to the gym on a daily basis.

If you are one of the few independents who have not made a resolution involving a gym workout, it would be advisable to follow Professor Mary Harris’s lead.

“I do not make New Year’s resolutions; instead I have a heart-shaped box that I fill with my goals and dreams. This was something I did as a teenager and just revisited this concept this year. I now write my goals and dreams in the present tense,” Harris said. It is wise to write out your resolutions, goals, or dreams so that you see the word every day and are forced to remember your task.

Along with this unique technique, Professor Harris added, “I also selected a word for the year; my word this year was ‘compass.’ I actually wrote all about the heart-shaped box and the reasoning behind the word ‘compass’ on my blog.” On her blog, Harris explains her definition of the word compass. “May I always remember where I come from. May I always find myself on beautiful adventures. May my travels forever change my life for the better. May I remain grounded and down to earth always. May I forever understand that home is found in a person’s heart,” she writes.

Choosing a word to symbolize your goal for a year is a great way to stay orientated with the ambitious part of your character.

Whether your resolution involves a gym, a heart shaped box, or something as simple as getting your homework done on time, it is important to always keep in mind you have already completed one month of fulfilling your goal, so why stop now?