Yesterday my 4-year-old son had his first day of Junior Kindergarten.
It was a day of new routines, new friends, and a little bit of nervousness (perhaps on the part of both the parents and the child!).
September is a special time of year.
Some people even call it “the second New Year”.
September is generally the second busiest time at gyms (next to January, of course!).
When the kids go back to school, most parents start to get a bit more serious about their work.
As the warm weather of the summer starts to fade away (not quite yet, but I know the cooler temperatures are coming), we start to get a bit more focussed on our productivity and goals.
Although I’m a huge (HUGE!) fan of summer, I find that the autumn and winter are more productive times for me work-wise.
I spend a lot more time writing articles and researching studies for my blog posts.
Many people start looking for Online Coaching to help them get back on track with their fitness and nutrition goals.
I’ve heard many parents in my community talking about how they overindulged in the weeks of the summer holidays and are now ready to get back into things and focus on themselves.
I mean, it would be even better if they were able to be consistent with their exercise and nutrition habits all year round.
In fact, that’s what I help my Online Coaching clients do – stay CONSISTENT with their nutrition plans and their workouts.
We’re not all there yet…and that’s ok.
It’s something to strive for.
September brings a nice opportunity to focus on yourself, if you’ve let things slide a little over the past few weeks (months?).
For those of you who want a “fresh start”, now’s the time to do it.
Although I graduated from University over a decade ago, I still think of September as the start of the year in many ways.
I make a focussed plan for the months ahead.
I put more structure into my life.
I’ve taken it a bit easier over the summer, spending after-school time with my son and husband to enjoy the weather.
I’ll be easing my way back into things over the next couple of weeks.
So expect to hear more from me in September and October.
I’ll be writing blog posts about topics that you want to know about and I’ll be sharing more evidence-based fitness and nutrition knowledge on my social media.
To get back on track with your fitness and nutrition at this time of year, here are a few tips:
1) Start Small
If you haven’t worked out all summer, don’t decide to go to the gym every day.
Try going 2 or 3 times this week.
Every other day is fine.
You just need to build your momentum without risking burnout.
So make some progress and don’t expect perfection.
2) Quit The Diet Cycle
On the nutrition side, nothing makes me cringe more than hearing someone saying they’re going to have a few more “cheat meals” or “gorge days” and then the diet starts tomorrow (or next week).
That’s exactly why so many people live on the diet roller coaster their entire lives, gaining ten pounds (or 20 or 30) and then losing 10 pounds and then starting the Diet Cycle again.
That’s no way to live.
I spent about 15 years stuck in that cycle before I finally figured out how to live my life without the anxiety of dieting or feeling guilty about “being bad”.
3) Determine Your Goals
Losing weight doesn’t have to be your goal.
Even if you know you could benefit from some weight loss, focusing on just your weight can sometimes be demoralizing and boring.
Perhaps you want to get to a healthy weight and be able to stay that way year round.
Maybe you just want to stop fluctuating.
Would you like to hit the gym consistently 3 times a week so you feel stronger and have more energy?
Do you want to finally figure out how to make easy, healthy meals or put together healthy snacks for yourself or your kids?
Or maybe you want to have a visible 6-pack for your 40th birthday.
Whatever your goal, make sure that it makes sense for YOU.
4) Figure Out What Your Reasons For Doing This
I almost consider REASONS more important than GOALS when it comes to someone’s success with weight loss.
Sure, you can decide that you want to lose 10 pounds or fit into a certain size of jeans, but WHY do you want that to happen?
Do you want to feel stronger so you can lift your kids and spin them around?
Maybe you want to get healthier so you avoid the heart disease that runs in your family?
Would you like to eat better to improve the digestive issues that have been slowing you down and making you feel uncomfortable?
Do you want to be a role model for your kids, your family, and your friends?
Make sure that you have a strong reason for doing what you’re doing and you’ll be less likely to stop when the going gets tough (and it will get tough at some point!).
5) Be Accountable To Someone
You’ve probably tried to do it on your own…many times.
How does that usually work out for you?
We all go through periods when we lose focus and don’t feel like our fitness and nutrition goal is all that important.
The temptation to stand around eating chips and/or binge-watching Game Of Thrones can be overwhelming at times.
And yes, sometimes it’s nice to try to get support from like-minded friends who share the same goal.
The problem is that you often get bad advice, and some members of these groups bring others down when things start to fall apart for them.
I always recommend professional guidance to help you with your fitness and nutrition journey.
Admittedly, this sounds self-serving since I offer Online Coaching, but I do it because it works.
Having an experienced professional with the knowledge and expertise to help you along the way is the best investment in your success.
If you’re using a group setting or are trying to do this with a friend, make sure that the group/person helping you is having a positive impact on you.
Otherwise, be willing to try a different approach.
Get Ready…It’s Time!
I hope you’re looking forward to a refreshing start to the “new year”.
Ease yourself into it.
Give yourself time to adjust.
This can be the start of something really exciting.