By Adam Welsch
364 down and 1 to go. 2011 is almost upon us. And if you’re one of approximately half of all Americans, you’re trying to decide which resolutions to make for the coming year. While resolutions are as varied as the number of people making them, some of the most common relate to matters of diet, exercise, and personal appearance. Unfortunately, if you’re like most would-be resolvers, the resolutions you do make will be difficult, if not impossible, to abide by, and you’ll probably abandon them by July 1st. But don’t despair. If your New Year’s goals involve looking better, feeling better, and, well, being better, there are some tricks you can use to improve your chances of success. One of them is wearing shapewear.
Perhaps the most common of all New Year’s resolutions is the commitment to lose weight. As anyone who’s ever tried to shed pounds knows, this is one of the most difficult tasks faced by humans – at any time of the year. So what can you do to improve your chances of success?
1. Be realistic. Determine how much weight you ideally want to lose, and divide that number by four. When it comes to losing weight, continued motivation and willpower are essential, and achieving success – any success – is critical to maintaining them. If you want to lose twenty pounds, it’ll take some time to accomplish that reduction and make it hard to stick to your resolution. But if you adjust your goal and aim for only five, the success you experience in taking off those five pounds will likely help you sustain your efforts for the next five. And success will breed continued success.
2. Don’t take an all-or-nothing approach. Sure, we all want to achieve our goals as quickly as possible. But if, in an attempt to lose weight, you deprive yourself of all comfort foods, you’ll likely become so miserable that you’ll abandon your resolution fairly quickly. Start slowly. Give up one or two regular treats, and begin substituting a few foods with fewer calories for those with more. As with the first point, success will inspire continued success and you’ll amass more willpower to change more of your diet. The size of your resolution’s snowball will quickly grow.
3. Have a reasonable time horizon. To successfully lose weight, think of yourself as a tortoise, not a hare. Slow and steady will win this race. Think about how long it took you to put on whatever weight you’re now trying to lose. Why should taking it off occur any faster?
4. Wear some shapewear. Shapewear may help you lose weight in a couple of indirect ways. First, by providing compression, shapewear that targets the tummy and midriff will help you limit the size of your meals. It’ll make you feel fuller, faster, since your clothes won’t expand as easily as they normally do when you eat. Second, shapewear will improve your everyday appearance. Even though your goal is to look slimmer by shedding pounds, looking better and fitting into smaller sizes by redistributing and smoothing out your current weight in the interim, will give you the added self-esteem to boost your willpower and help you stay on your path of eating fewer calories.
Maybe the second most common of all New Year’s resolutions is the commitment to exercise more regularly. This too is a tough goal to attain and maintain. Like eating more healthfully, it’s a change in routine that delivers more pain than pleasure. But there are some tricks you can employ to be more successful.
- Start slowly. Don’t plan on running any marathons, leading any aerobics classes, or setting any new powerlifting records on day one – or even on day 101. Think baby steps. Start slowly by walking, joining an introductory yoga or aerobics class, or doing some light swimming. Establishing a regular routine, no matter how light it may be, is important. Get used to making exercise a normal part of your day!
- Exercise with others. Finding a partner with whom to take walks, or friends with which to take yoga classes, will not only make the experience of exercising more enjoyable, it’ll provide a source of external motivation on those days you try to talk yourself out of following your newfound routine.
- Use media. Whether you like to read, listen to music, or watch television, invest in whatever devices and materials will be necessary to allow you to enjoy one of these activities while you’re exercising. They’ll take your mind off the rigors of your regimen, and advances in technology make doing so easier than ever before. MP3 players, smart phones, and e-readers all can deliver media to you, the athlete, in convenient ways. Even swimmers can employ waterproof audio systems.
- Wear some shapewear. Light control silhouettes, especially thigh slimmer and pantliner styles, can be great additions to your activewear wardrobe. They provide the same amount of coverage as conventional bike pants and runners’ leggings and so can serve as complete substitutes. But unlike conventional pants and leggings, they provide a small amount of control to smooth out the bumps and make you look and feel great. Also, many styles are constructed with silicone edges that will ensure that your waist and leg openings stay in place throughout your exercise routine. In addition, if you plan on exercising outdoors next week, shapewear – made in any silhouette – can be worn as a compliment to your athletic gear to provide a relatively-thin, extra layer of warmth.
As you ring in the New Year, and indulge yourself one last time before your resolutions take effect, remember to keep your expectations reasonable, your patience at a maximum, and a pair of thigh slimmers or pantliners at the ready. Happy New Year from In Form®!