Brace yourselves for the onslaught of Happy New Year, Happy New You advertising from all the corporate gyms and slimming groups as we enter 2018.
Don't believe the hype
This is the perfect time of year to tap into people's guilt about eating and drinking too much over Christmas.
There will be 12 week challenges everywhere, before and after shots galore and offers you simply can't refuse from magic pills and shakes to freezing your fat off in an afternoon.
What's wrong with the old you?
The fitness industry excels at guilt and shame, most effectively through fake imagery.
Airbrushed or filtered images of people with perfect bodies are out there so we can compare ourselves to them, feel inadequate and hey presto...we buy the product or service.
The reality is that in almost all cases, unless you become a fitness model, athlete, or are in full time training, you're never going to look like the people in those photographs.
Ain't nobody got time for that
The commitment and dedication required to getting and keeping a body that looks this way, comes at a cost. Your social life and personal relationships take a back seat and food and training is at the centre of everything you do - EVERY DAY.
If you're Katie Taylor, that's ok, because you go out, win a world title and get a six figure sum for your efforts.
Maybe the question to ponder is 'why is it so important to me, to look like this'?
A more realistic approach
In order to set and meet fitness goals, keep them small and achievable.
- If you currently do no exercise, start with 1 or 2 sessions a week rather than promising to train every day and suffering the disappointment which can lead to fall-out.
- If you have low self esteem or a poor body image, stop looking for 'inspiration' from Instagram feeds or fitness magazines and get involved with something like Embrace, the positive body image movement.
- Find something physical to do with your time that you enjoy - don't keep hacking away at something you hate because you think its good for you. Keep looking- you'll get there.
- Stop weighing yourself and allowing the scales to predict your mood. There are many reasons for weight fluctuation and using the scale as a tool to measure success is a poor idea.
- If you fall down - get up. Don't stay down because you missed a day's training or ate some cake. Be kind to yourself, pick yourself up and get back to it, without the guilt.
Would cutting down on take-aways, limiting alcohol or fizzy drinks be a better place to start? Maybe increasing your water intake or fruit and veg count is a more achievable goal? Be honest with yourself about what you're likely to keep doing into the future.
Can we help?
You may be reading this because you're looking for something new to try? Maybe boxing fitness is for you? We have beginner's courses starting next week read more here and drop in classes too see the timetable.
We offer a friendly, supportive atmosphere that's not too serious and will encourage you to keep coming back. The stress busting benefits of hitting a bag cannot be overstated and most people who train with us remark on how varied the classes are so they don't get bored read what others have said here.
Whatever you do, we wish you good health and happiness in the New Year and good luck with those resolutions.