There’s nothing quite like a new year to kick bad habits and start afresh because this is when our brains are ready for a change. In this story, we look at why the New Year is the best time to decide to lose weight, get healthy and transform your life.
So, why wait for the New Year?
Psychologically, this is when our brains are tricked into thinking “clean slate, a fresh start, anything is possible”. Also, by now we are feeling the after-effects of the festive binge. Our bodies are telling our minds to please stop. Generally speaking, most of us are still on leave which provides us with the opportunity to be relaxed and in an environment where we have control over our eating – no meetings to attend yet where muffins and biscuits are the norm with tea and coffee. The new year is a good time to clean house and this means cleaning your kitchen, too, and transforming it into a healthy space. Let’s face it, the beginning of the year is simply the best time to make positive changes. Or as Oprah Winfrey is known to say, “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”
Start with sunshine in your life
We are incredibly lucky in South Africa to be blessed with great weather – we live in a country where the sun shines mostly all year round. Even better, we celebrate our new year in the summer.
Why are we talking about the sun? Because for us to lose weight and get real about our health, we need to be positive. And to be positive we need a good dose of sunshine to build up our reserves of Vitamin D, which is beneficial in upping our serotonin levels. Did you know? Serotonin is called the “happy hormone” (even though it isn’t actually a hormone). Vitamin D also strengthens our immune system and builds healthy cells throughout our body. Today health specialists are advising that we do get a bit of exposure to sunlight without smothering ourselves in sunblock. They recommend about 20 minutes a day to give our skin a chance to manufacture Vitamin D.
We suggest you wear shorts and a T-shirt and go for a 20-minute walk in the sunshine. But always wear sunblock on your face and wear a hat. Enjoy drinking in the sun’s energy but avoid exposing yourself to the sun’s rays between 12pm and 2pm, which is when the sun is most harmful.
List your concerns to make them go away
There is no time like the New Year to face your health issues head-on and decide to do something about them. Obesity-related illnesses such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes are a serious risk to people who are between 20 and 30 kilograms overweight. But worry, stress and apprehension can damage your health too. Now is the time to address all those nagging worries and fears that have built up during the past year. The best way to deal with them is to set aside 30 minutes of your time and create a list of all your concerns – no matter how big or small. Now put the list away. The next day set aside another 30 minutes and categorise your list in As, Bs and Cs. Like this:
A = high impact worries/cause for concern
B = medium importance
C = low impact worries
Now be brutally honest!
Take a look at the As and ask yourself which of these you have the power to solve. Then decide on a plan of action with realistic deadlines for the issues you’re able to fix. If you feel you are unable to solve some of the issues, that they are beyond your control, try discussing them with a partner, friend or professional. By the time you review the Bs, you’ll be feeling much more in control and will probably be able to re-categorize most of the Bs as Cs. As for the Cs, by now you have probably realised how unimportant they are. Tear up your list of Cs, toss into the dustbin and move on.
Push yourself and have fun doing it
Decide to do one thing every day that takes you out of your comfort zone yet fulfils your desires. This is the way to conquer your fears and by doing this you will get so much more out of life. We’re not suggesting you do anything crazy that may endanger your health, life or finances. Instead, learn to do something which you usually wouldn’t do, such as:
- Don’t back down in a tough situation where you normally would
- If you need to make a complaint and would normally be too embarrassed to do so, speak up!
- Look for reasons to do things rather than making excuses why NOT to do them
In other words, starting this year with a positive attitude will contribute to making your weight loss journey that much more successful.
As a part of your new year makeover clear out the items in your wardrobe that:
- You haven’t worn for some time – a general rule of thumb is if you haven’t worn it for two summers, then toss it
- Look grubby, old or stained
- Are gimmicky and outdated
- You don’t feel confident when dressed in it
- You keep telling yourself you’ll wear one day but never do
Give the clothing you have decided you don’t want to your local charity shop and remind yourself that you’re making space in your wardrobe for a whole new you. The point is you will be losing weight and part of the fun and reward in this is buying new clothes – the best motivation to drop 10, 20, 30 kilograms. Well, that and the incredible health benefits.
Go for it in 2018!
Make this the year you transform your life. Find a weight loss programme that suits you and become the person you always dreamed of being. The Cambridge Weight Plan provides you with various solutions. Contact a CWP consultant to help you find the ideal weight loss solution to fit your lifestyle.
If you have already started your CWP journey, then keep up the good work and keep in touch so that we can continue to support and motivate you.
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