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Ester Marsh: Resolutions need to be realistic

Are you already working on your New Yearís resolution list? Maybe you plan to stop smoking, going on a diet or start an exercise program?
You are not alone. So many people use the New Year to start over the right way. There are times it actually works for people, but many times, people set their goals so high that failure is inevitable.
I am a great believer in starting today. Just remember, tomorrow is always one day away, but if it works for you to start the New Year right, that is completely fine.
Now, when making your list you have to be honest and true to yourself. For example, you may want to start an exercise routine five times a week, but you know it is nearly impossible to do that considering your very busy schedule.
Why not work out three times a week?
How about body image? So many people are unhappy with the way they look. Now with diet and exercise you can truthfully change a body tremendously, but guess what?
You have to do it, and there is work involved, and you have to take heredity into consideration. We, as trainers and instructors, are trying everything to get you where you want to be. But as you know, you have to do it and you have to feel it.
Unfortunately, in my profession, I find that perfection is a goal so many people try to reach, but never seem to achieve.
But what is perfection? What is the ěperfectî body?î I was born and raised in the Netherlands, where body image is very different from the U.S.A.
I guess growing up in a country where people show everything on the beach doesnít leave much for the imagination, but there are also facts: ěPerfectî bodies come in lots of different shapes and sizes.
It saddens me when I see beautiful people who just never seem to be happy with the way they look and have a New Yearís resolution list which is a mile long.
Itís never skinny enough. Itís never tight enough, never small enough, too straight or too thick. Anyone can look and find something they donít like about themselves.
But why not look at the things you do like about yourself. Who decides what weight or shape or age is beautiful? Who decides that beauty and perfection is just the outside?
I have met plenty of people who have physical ěbeauty,î but when you get to know them their ěbeautyî fades away very quickly. But then I also have met people who maybe donít have the ětypicalî physical beauty who, after you get to know them, are beautiful people.
Well, I have seen more beauty in ěnon-perfectî bodies than I have in so called ěperfectî bodies. So, when you are working on your New Yearís resolutions, look at your strengths.
Enhance those strengths. Work on health, eating right and regular exercise. Do it for a healthy body and mind. The weight loss will come. Find a program that works for you and believe that you can ěstick with it.î
I believe you can do it. I do believe it needs to be something that works in your schedule and that you have to ěwork for it.î
Nothing comes for free. So, when making that list make sure you set your goals to exercise regularly, eat sensibly have regular check ups, enjoy life, be nice to people, love your family and friends.
So what if have a ěslip-up?î Are you just going to beat yourself up for what could have been? Start over. All it takes is for you to believe in yourself. I believe you can do it.
Ester H Marsh ACSM Cpt

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