Skip to main content

Step away from the New Year weight loss.

I was helping my son get ready for school this week, and we discovered that his school trousers would no longer do up.

"Oooh, looks like you've done some growing in the holiday!" I said, to which he retorted;

"Well, yeah... it IS 2019"

Of course. Silly me. How could I not have considered that.

On reflection I realised that this is exactly what I would like to say to most people who come to me concerned about festive weight gain.

Why the New Year Diet?


There's two types of New Year dieters.

The first type had resolved to get on a new health kick, to address some unhealthy habits or lose a bit of weight, probably before Christmas. But they left it until New Year, because that's a nice milestone to work with and starting a new regime in the chaos of the holidays is just asking for trouble - it's easier to build routine and discipline when things have calmed down a bit.

The others have gained weight over the holidays, and are now worrying about losing it again.

Of course you've gained weight over Christmas!


That's what Christmas is for. I mean literally, it's a big midwinter feast where you eat a load of your stored food before it goes off and get to be a little cheered and pack on a bit of a fat store for the hard couple of months before the first harvests come in again. Food isn't just about nutrition, it's also about culture, and the culture in Christmas-celebrating regions (and a good few others) is that we get together and get fat.

But you won't stay that way forever. Unless you are planning on eating Quality Street for breakfast and substituting Irish Cream for milk in every beverage and also your breakfast cereal (for second breakfast) right through the year.

We are expected to do this. Refuse a mince pie on a family visit, at the office or from a sticky child at a school fundraiser, and people will react like you just slapped their Nan.

The inevitable result of the extra consumption of calorie-dense foods and alcohol, along with travel, spending a lot of time watching TV, the gym being open at odd hours and generally breaking your usual routines, is that you gain a bit of weight.

The shame of the inevitable.


So you indulge, because you are expected to, and also it's fun, it's just a week or so in your year, you've probably earned it. You've spent time with your family, even the awful ones, and you've generated a large amount of cheer. Nothing wrong with that. Until....

It's January, and everywhere you look everyone is pointing out what a dreadful person you are for not defying the laws of thermodynamics and succumbing to.... dum dum duuuuuum... a bit of festive plumpness.

How very dare you!

You're a terrible person for not looking like an underwear model at all times. You clearly have no self discipline and you shall be punished by making the hardest most depressing part of the year more miserable with ridiculous diet and exercise regimes.

What if I told you...


Your body composition is a direct reflection of the way you have consistently lived in recent times.

You exercise regularly, you'll have strength and cardiovascular fitness. You eat an appropriate amount for your activity levels, your weight will stay stable.

It's really not that complicated.

You spend a month going to parties, munching through selection boxes in the office, hanging on the sofa watching the entire Home Alone box-set, your body will centre itself around that.

But...

You return to your routines of regular exercise and daily activity, you don't eat past the feeling of satiety, you eat your vegetables and your protein and you drink liquids that are neither alcoholic or high sugar... Your body will naturally shift back to how it was when you previously lived that way.

Or to put it even more simply, if you want your pre-Christmas body back, you just need to return to your pre-Christmas lifestyle and let your body do its thing.

No weird tricks


I dislike the concept of dieting, because it suggests that making a harsh and complete change for a short while, will change your body and then you can carry on (sometimes in the mythical "maintenance").

You don't need to "fix" your body by punishing yourself for a few months, what most people need is to fix their lifestyle to healthily support their fitness goals. Once that is in place, their body follows.

If you feel you are ready to make a change towards a healthier and happier time in your body, that's brilliant. I work with motivated people who want to make lifelong changes to their habits, their health, and yes, to their body. 

But I'll never shame you for taking an entirely predictable time out to celebrate, or the consequences of that. It's 2019 after all, we should know better by now.



Need a kick start?


You can start out with my completely FREE reset, by signing up to my mailing list. In this 7 day programme I take you through some of the most important changes you can make to your lifestyle, to make you feel better, through building healthy habits into your lifestyle.

Making big changes is scary, Lotus Bloom coaching is nutrition and lifestyle coaching for long term, sustainable change. I take on a small number of clients who I support through a life changing 12 month process. Claim your spot now.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What's the deal with yoga and hypermobility?

I wanted to address a question today that keeps coming up on various hypermobility and EDS forums that I frequent. It comes up so often in fact that I feel like I have to write this all up in one place, to save me 1000s of key strokes of individual responses and distil some of my opinions and thought processes on the matter.

It always goes like this. Someone asks a question like "I've just been diagnosed with hypermobility, I've been told I can't do yoga anymore..."

The responses are always a mixture of "yes, my doctor/physio told me yoga was the worst thing I could do for my hypermobility" and "I do yoga and it's been the best thing for my hypermobility".

So what gives?

Well, I'm firmly in the "yoga is useful" camp, and I have to disclose that. I'm a yoga practitioner of around 20 years and a perinatal yoga teacher, as well as a personal trainer and bendy person.

While I have the deepest respect for the medical professio…

I'm an intelligent grown-up, so why can't I eat like one?

Nutrition is complicated.
The rules change all the time. One minute we are told a food is bad, the next it's good. It's like scientists can't make their minds up!

Fat does't make you fat. Sugar is toxic. Undereating puts you in starvation mode. But you can "hack" your metabolism with this one weird trick.....

Of course all of this is false, or at least such a gross reduction of the truth that it is open to extreme misinterpretation. Put it out in plain sight and it becomes very clear that it doesn't hold water. So why are we believing this? Why are people telling us this, and most importantly; why as educated, intelligent adults who are perfectly capable of identifying a healthy plate of food, are we still struggling to consistently eat well?

The rules of healthy eating.
Healthy eating is not at all complicated. It's actually so obscenely simple that when I spell it out you're going to go "well tell me something I didn't know" and r…

But how can you be an athlete when you are sick?

Training through chronic illness - living life on the edge.
I'm living a double life.

My superhero persona goes to the gym and lifts enormous weights. She's vital and has her life together. Endless to-do lists in a bullet journal, juggling work and kids and being an athlete and performer with theatrical effortlessness.

Then there's the secret side people don't see, where I lie on the sofa in my flare day leggings and fleece, clutching a cup of tea for the slight relief the warmth affords my stiff, clawed hands.

I know I'm not the only one. I know a lot of athletes living with chronic illness. Outwardly fitter and busier than the average person, inwardly wracked with pain and fatigue.

There are two ways people tend to interpret this. Either we are not as sick as we claim, or we are stupidly putting our health at risk doing sport that seems counter-intuitive to our well being. The reality is a lot more complicated. I wanted to formulate a decent answer to "why …

Training Ehlers Danlos Athletes - a primer for the Fitpro.

When you have a rare health condition, it's pretty exciting when you encounter someone who knows about it. Even more so when you encounter people who are interested in it and more importantly, understanding how to bridge the gap and work with it.

This is why I am really happy to be seeing more and more fitness professionals asking "I have a client with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, what do I need to know?"

As a fitpro, and athlete living with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome I am always happy to chat to trainers looking to broaden their understanding, and as I am often answering the same questions, I thought it would be good to do a write up.


Quick disclaimer before we start - I'm not a medic, and this is not for medics. I'm going to provide you with as many references as I can, but please seek specific medical input from your/your client's health care professionals. And with that we get to our first point.

Scope of practice.
Quick, check your job title. Are you a personal tr…

Training with Fibromyalgia - a primer for Fitness Professionals

Fitness and Fibromyalgia
The second of my posts about training clients with chronic illness (the first on EDS is here)

Learning how to achieve fitness in a chronically ill body was first my way of life, and later, my profession; as I train or programme for a number of Personal Training clients. I have EDS and Fibromyalgia (which commonly presents alongside EDS).

While the physiology and mechanisms behind EDS are relatively well understood, at least in terms of recognising the roles collagen plays in our bodies and the effects of an anomaly, fibromyalgia is a bit of a tricky one. The diagnosis, causes and management of fibromyalgia are not very well understood, and while progress is being made in terms of recognising physiological markers etc, we are still very much in the dark.

One thing that is generally agreed on however, is that exercise is good therapy for fibromyalgia, and that's where we come in.


Scope of practice
Here we go again...

Fitness professionals are there to help …