Shai Lewis from Body by Shai

Shai Lewis from Body by Shai

THE pressure we place on ourselves for New Year’s resolutions are intense. “I must go to the gym five times each week”; “No alcohol – none”; “I must head better, less processed fresher foods”. Then, it’s mid-January and you stop by Maccas on the way to a party, driving straight pass the gym.

The problem with this level of self-pressure is if we fall off the horse, we retreat and use avoidance strategies. So why all the pressure?

After training clients for well over 10 years, I see the same thing happening every year. Great intentions, awesome effort at the start of the new year but then something happens to change your mind set.

But not this year. This is it. You have made your new year’s resolution to get fit, healthy and to look amazing. As early as three or four weeks, and the business end of your commitment is being tested. We “forget” all about our goals.

So here are a few easy tips to keep you on track:

Realistic goal-setting is the most important. Instead of going hardcore and wanting to lose or gain 20kg, start with just 2-3kg in the first month. That alone will motivate you to stick with it, because it’s achievable and attainable. It can make you feel awful when things don’t go according to plan. Your resolutions should be long-term plans with short-term goals. If you hit a hurdle, have a blow out or one to many beverages, give yourself a break and start again. Not in a week or two, but the next day.

Achievable goals are about balance. I don’t eat perfectly all of the time. I eat yummy stuff too, like chocolate and hot dogs, these are basically my drugs. Five days a week I’m strict about my intake, which allows me to treat myself the other two if I want. Any good trainer will explain that whether you want to lose body fat or gain muscle mass it’s all about the food. In fact, the ratio is about 70 per cent food and 30 per cent exercise.

Exercising seven days a week will leave you totally sore and nobody wants to be in pain for days and days at a time. Do something that you like, like weights, walking, riding a bike, skating – anything, but restrict yourself to just two times a week for only half an hour to begin with for beginners, or if you do have a good exercise history, increase your weights a little or even make a new routine to shock those muscles.

If you fall off the wagon don’t freak and don’t give up. It’s a temporary set back that can be turned around. Your health goals are long-term so keeping to a realistic plan, including enjoying what you eat and how you exercise, is integral. What you want is to turn a routine into a habit. Once that occurs, everything becomes second nature.

You can do it. You will need to get specific about food and exercise and if you want anymore help or advice, visit for support to get you back on the horse (so to speak) – should you have fallen off.

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