BY ALLANAH PINHORN
The holidays are a time of indulgence and cheer, a time when people rationalize away hoards of sweets, mountains of turkey and rivers of gravy with the promise of a new and inspiring year just around the corner. But more often than not, the resolutions made at 11 p.m. have become champagne-blurred memories by the time the New Year’s hangovers fade away.
According to TIME magazine the No. 1 broken New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, exercise regularly and get fit, and that comes as no surprise; according to a 2007 study by the University of Bristol, 88 per cent of goals set for the new year fail.
Kyle Wood, the general manager at GoodLife Fitness on Fairway Road in Kitchener, sees this exact phenomenon time and time again.
“January is always the busiest month for new members,” he said. “But most resolutionists don’t follow through.”
Wood recommends getting started the right way and accepting that the road to success is a long one and may not go according to the plans people set.
It can take a long time to mould a lumpy body into a toned one and it’s often about lifestyle change, not exercise alone.
Matt Elieff and Bobby Gasselle at Popeye’s Supplements in Kitchener agree.
“It can be overwhelming,” Elieff said. “Big changes are too much; you’re too far out of your comfort zone too quickly.”
Gasselle concurs, saying that customers are often confused as to where to begin when walking into the store. With walls lined from floor to ceiling with jars bearing unfamiliar names and foreign products, he doesn’t blame them.
So, how can resolutions become reality?
“Education is key,” Elieff said. “People are learning and if they don’t know what they’re doing they’re just wasting their time.”
At Popeye’s they preach mostly about diet and that supplements are just that: not a replacement for a meal or a particular vitamin but rather an enhancement and addition.
Elieff also recommends changing little things one at a time, while introducing new, and hopefully healthier, options at the same rate. Disdain for the new lifestyle can quickly sap motivation and ruin the best-laid plans.
Wood, an advocate for supplements in addition to fitness facilities, offers up a similar approach.
“They have to want to do it,” he said.
He also insists that personal trainers and instructor-led classes are a must.
“They succeed when there is some sort of accountability to be at the club,” he said.
“That and the fuel that goes into your body – that’s the most important thing. They think that just doing certain things, like exercising, will get them to where they want to be. That’s not the case.”
Overall the experts agree that a lifestyle change is in order for success to happen. Prioritizing goals, becoming properly educated and finding the motivation that works are commonly cited as keys to change; don’t let that new leaf wither and die.