I am NOT a fan of the saying “New Year, New Me.”
I AM a fan of taking intentional steps to ensure that the “future me” is healthy and happy!!
I love the current me. I also love growth! Loving myself doesn’t preclude me from pinpointing the ways I can grow and evolve!! Often the “me” that I love would benefit from more sleep, or more greens!! I am all about taking the time to create systems that will give myself what I need! To call on the words of James Clear, I am a fan of taking actions today that “vote” for the future me I desire!
The takeaway is that I urge you to ditch the “wanting to be someone else” sentiment and instead embrace the “I love myself and therefore treat myself with respect” sentiment!! If you currently don’t prioritize healthy habits that serve you, now is the time to change that; not because you “should” but because (to quote my friend Miriam) “your body is not a garbage can so you shouldn’t throw any old thing into it!!”
I know, easier said than done!! For some reason, giving our body the ingredients it needs to be healthy, fit, and energized is easier said than done! We are all masters at self-sabotage, at getting in our own way!
How do you vote for a healthier future you?
Set boundaries – learn to say “NO” to the things that don’t serve you so you can say “YES” to the things that do! (For more info on how to say “no”, on how to no longer let other people set your agenda, check out my review of Rachel Hollis’ book Girls Stop Apologizing).
Say “f*#k you perfection” Think “done is better than perfect”. Aim for CONSISTENT DAILY motion!! Consistency is what matters. The benefits of the “best” workout are moot if you can’t make yourself do the workout. The two hour “perfect” workout you do once every month will NEVER elicit the results of daily small bouts of consistent motion. For more info on why perfection is a poisonous serpent, check out my review of Marie Forleo’s book Everything Is Figureoutable.
To make your workouts consistent, make them convenient and realistic. Pick things you can do daily with minimal “friction”. I.e. make your plan relatively “easy”. Don’t get me wrong, the workout itself can be hard, but getting yourself to do the workout should be easy/simple. Walk, dance around your living room and chose weight exercises you can do with minimal equipment.
I suggest investing in a few resistance bands and/or band loops. Pacearth fitness generously supplied me with the bands in the photos (and are offering YOU a bonus at the bottom of this post). Bands are inexpensive and so convenient. Store them in a drawer (or your suitcase when we can travel again) and pull them out when needed!!
A few of my fav moves
For your shoulders and core try “60 or 90 second plank finishers”
Pic 1 and 2: Do 10 lateral alternating downs: stand on middle of band. The end of the band in each hand. Arms at shoulder height. Keep one arm at shoulder height as you lower the other arm down to your thighs. Alternate the arm that lowers.
Pic 3: Do 10 horizontal chops: stand on middle of band. Hands stay holding the end of the band, arms at shoulder height. Hold arms at shoulder height as you bring band to in front of your chest. Bring back to starting position and repeat. Be slow and controlled. Watch that you don’t arch your lower back and/or hunch shoulders.
With your remaining time, try a plank from your knees or feet. If you are a beginner your total time is 60 seconds. Intermediate or advanced, 90 seconds.
Meaning, if the above moves took 45 seconds, beginners plank for 15 seconds and intermediate + plank for 45 seconds.
When you plank make sure to keep your core engaged and lower back neutral. Neck in line with your spine – chin tucked and eyes looking down. Balance on either your hands or forearms. If on forearms keep hands at shoulder height, vs bringing them together.
For your bum and legs
Lunge and circle band leg lifts superset. With supersets, you do both exercises back to back with no rest.
Lunge 10 – 15 reps. Start with right leg forward. Bend both knees so you move toward the floor. Use the bum muscle of right leg to stand up. Option to make it harder, hold free weights, OR try a jump lunge. Instead of simply standing up use the bum of front leg to jump up – feet leave floor.
Without resting lie on your side with right leg up.
Circle band wall side leg lifts and presses: Place circle around thighs. Lie on your left side, right side of hip up to ceiling. Use the side of your bum to lift up and then engage the back of your bum to press backwards into the band. Note, if you have a wall, place your legs / hips/upper back against the wall for “feedback” – keep your pelvis against wall as you use the side of your bum to lift leg up wall. When the leg is at hip height, use the back of your bum to press slightly backwards into the wall. Slowly release and repeat.
Do both moves on left leg
For your core and legs
Bird dog wall band presses: start on hands and knees with your right hip 1cm from a wall (or a box/chair/stable object) and the middle of the long band around your right foot. One end of band under each of your hands. Use the wall as feedback. Straighten the right leg WITHOUT shifting your right hip into the wall. Use your core and bum. Do 10 reps and then switch sides.
For your upper body
Push-ups and band rows supersets
Push-ups, 10 to 20 reps. On knees or toes, bend your elbows and lower your chest down toward the ground. Exhale as you push yourself back up. For an extra challenge, after each push-up try jumping your feet toward your hands and stand up. Lower down again. Repeat.
Without resting do the V holds and rows
Seated V hold and rows, 12 to 15 reps. Sit on your bum with the band hooked around your feet. Hold one end of the band in each hand. Lean back 10 degrees, and hold the lean throughout the motion. Engage your core to stay stable. Use your upper back to row your elbows backward. Crack a walnut between your shoulder blades. Slowly release.
If you want to go wild and crazy, invest in a door frame attachment (also under $10). The attachment lets you hook the band into any door to create a make-shift cable machine. Then you can replicate any exercise traditionally performed on a cable machine, including wood chops, triceps press-downs, etc.
Health should NOT about “becoming” someone else!
We are all unique, that is what makes us human! Not only is the “become an entirely new you” version of health unsustainable – no one can be someone else for the rest of their life – it is just silly. We are the only version of us that exists and we literally can’t be someone else! Accept yourself as you!
Instead of trying to be someone else, work to become a version of you that prioritizes your health and happiness; become the “you” that says “YES” to sleep and going for walks and says HELL NO to crap that does not serve us!!
Instead of trying to become a second-rate copy of someone else, become a first-rate version of YOU!!!
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