1. Don’t sabotage your success

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    People make fun of New Year’s resolutions, especially those about getting into shape, and not without reason. It is well-known that crowds thin out at most gyms by the end of January.  Many experts even discourage making resolutions. I don’t, but I will warn you about sabotaging your success. 

    If you want to stick to working out or maybe even lose a few pounds, don’t sabotage yourself before you even start by choosing a workout, diet, or gym that you don’t really love. And I said love not our like. Getting into shape takes commitment.  Ideally you need to work out at least three times a week to see results – and four times is even better. If you are older and work in an office you need at least an hour of vigorous exercise a day to keep weight gain at bay.  

    I work out at club in nice hotel that offers intensive barre classes and yoga. It has a lovely staff, a stocked locker room, and exceptional teachers. It attracts a fit, upbeat, friendly, eclectic crowd.  I usually manage to get there five days a week. 

    I hate “gyms.” I have a phobia about them. I never even took a gym class after grade seven, but I have dropped in and out of yoga and Pilates since I was 14.  It may sound crazy but yoga is my sport.  My husband shares my “gym allergy,” but he will golf in a light snow flurry and can walk miles at a fast clip.  Neither of us needs to be dragged to a workout because we love what we choose to do. 2champ

    Finding the right place and people are as important as the activity when it comes to making fitness part of your life. A close friend is having a hard time getting to a workout because she agreed to move far from her fitness club and her workout “tribe” with her boyfriend. With her heavy work load the 45 minute trek there and back makes her old five-day a week workouts a no-go.


    Don’t sabotage yourself with scheduling or working out at a bad time for your body. Getting fit can be challenging, so make it easy to get there and fun to be there. If you don’t like the crowd or culture at a gym or yoga studio, you will find reasons not to go. Take time to try a few different clubs and teachers to get a good fit. Even when you are a beginner, working out should make you feel good not discouraged or judged.  

    Working out with a friend can be fun and help keep you motivated but focus on a good a teacher or trainer for real results. Fitness needs expertise and commitment. Friends walking together or doing a DVD can slow down or chat instead of working up sweat. Also really good teachers change routines often to challenge your muscles. They also have a sixth sense about when you need to push harder and when you should back off a little. 

    If you want to lose weight you need to adjust your diet. Exercise alone won’t help you drop weight, but it can help you tone up. I will repeat that: if you need to lose more than two or three pounds you need to eat less and probably better. But refrain from crazy fasts that will screw with your metabolism and temper. The best diet plan will include real food that you enjoy. Spend your time with other health-orien2MPted people who support your goals and lifestyle. I don’t mean that you need to find friends who are all on diets or card-carrying members of Weight Watchers, but binge drinking and eating will sabotage your waist and will.  

    Two smart books to check out for good tips on healthful eating: 

    The Marshall Plan: Being Good to Be Bad: It’s not a diet. It’s a lifestyle by Cindi Marshall Oakey.  Cindi is a friend. I met her working out. She looks amazing and her book tells you exactly how she manages to stay fit and fabulous after 50. It is full of smart strategies for women who want to live it up and live healthy – and all hopefully in their skinny jeans. The Champagne Diet: Eat, Drink, and Celebrate Your Way to a Healthy Mind and Body! by Cara Alwill brings glam and sparkle to often dull, depressing subject of weight loss.  

    Darlings, embrace your new goals and habits. Find the environment, plan, and experts who make fitness and healthful eating feel attractive, delicious, and desirable not deprivation. When something feels good you want more of it and you can finally put an end to sabotaging your success.