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Brent Wheelbarger and Beverly Ferree
Brent Wheelbarger and Beverly Ferree

New Beginnings

Jan 02, 2018

My grandfather smoked cigarettes. It wasn’t uncommon for his generation and I don’t think he had any intention of stopping.  But one day when I was four or five years old, I got up in his lap and said something profound, “I don’t like those, they’re stinky.”  He never smoked again.

How does that happen? How do you end an addictive habit like that?  Or even more challenging, start a good habit you’ve never had?  How do you create a new beginning from thin air?  Those are questions for the ages with no sure fire answers.  Yet so many people try.  According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, at least 41% of people make New Year’s resolutions. 9.2% of them report success in keeping them.  So what gives?  Let’s go on a little adventure and find out.

According to the experts, my grandpa had an incredibly powerful tool at his disposal to keep his resolution…me.  More specifically, he had a “why” that really mattered to him.

“The first step to starting 2018 off healthy is finding your WHY!” said Alyssia Migliaccio, an Orangetheory Fitness Coach in Moore. “If you have a good why behind wanting to be healthy and getting in better shape, nothing can stop you.”

And fitness, losing weight, getting healthy, etc. is a great place to focus. According to Google statistics by iQuanti, “getting healthy” was the number one searched for resolution in 2017, a 13% jump from the year before. 

Migliaccio has some pointers on getting started, “I would not necessarily set a weight loss goal in every situation because SOME people won't lose a drastic amount of weight.  It is key to remember muscle weighs more than fat! Look for a change in inches before obsessing over the scale. And, of course, a healthy diet goes hand in hand with results.”

And for those who use time as a reason not to set fitness goals, Migliaccio provides advice as well. “Exercising three to four times a week is a great routine to get into. But if you are just starting back with exercising, start with two to three days a week and listen to your body! Sixty minutes is plenty of time to get a good combination of cardio and resistance training in.”

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says “I’m possible”! —Audrey Hepburn

For some of us, embarrassment or feeling uncomfortable may be the number one reason we don’t start an exercise regime or go to a gym or fitness location, but Migliaccio explains that you have to want to change.

“This is where your why comes in,” said Migliaccio. “You have to want a change your lifestyle! Change is uncomfortable, and that is what makes it so worth it when you get results.”

Migliaccio also encourages you to join a gym, “After working with countless clients and conversing with numerous prospects, I have discovered that very few people can get exercise done without belonging to some sort of gym or fitness studio. It holds you accountable.”

So, what if you hate working out? 

Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. —Henry Ford

“Your best solution to start is to find your why!” Migliaccio said. “If you are that unhappy with the lifestyle you are leading, you will find ANY exercise you can to change and enjoy the way you feel, whether you have to incorporate another hobby while working out like reading or watching TV or join a team to keep things fun and competitive.”

While getting healthy is a physical endeavor, it clearly starts as a mental activity, the whole “why” thing.  There do appear to be tried-and-true measures to set up your brain for success.

“Try to make your goals obtainable,” said Crystal Rios, a licensed marriage and family therapist with Moore Family Therapy. “Come up with short-term objectives and a way you can measure your success, which will provide motivation to continue reaching your goals. Don’t set unreachable goals. Focus on baby steps. Any progress is good progress.”

Migliaccio adds, “Make your goals specific and use numbers whether it is a number of a clothing size or miles of running a marathon, give yourself something to measure your accomplishments! You are capable of way more than you believe.”

And belief also plays a big role.  Rios warns against allowing negative thinking to creep into your vocabulary.

“Avoid being negative in your thoughts about your goals,” Rios said. “Try staying positive. If you change the way you think, you will, in turn, change the way you feel.  You will feel better thinking, ‘I lost 5 pounds’ instead of thinking, ‘I didn’t lose ten.’ Focus on a healthy BMI, not what you look like.”

Experts contend physical activity is one part of the equation, what you eat is another.  And here’s where many well-intentioned resolutions fly off the rails.  To accomplish a healthy lifestyle, you have to get active and change what you eat…two big lifestyle shifts at once.  Nutritionists recommend preparing most of your meals at home with a good balance of protein, fruits, vegetables and grains.  How do you set yourself up for success with this?  

For those who don’t cook, or don’t have time, there are some innovative new options unavailable even a few years ago; namely, fresh-made pre-packaged meals, or HITT Meals (Healthy Innovative Table Trends) as they’re called by one local vendor.

“Families are so busy with their kids,” explained Joy Eidenshank, HITT Meals and Two Olives employee. “By the time they get home after practices, it is too late to cook, and they sometimes find themselves stopping for fast food. They have told me HITT meals are a blessing so their families can eat a home cooked, healthy meal.  We have a customer who has sole custody of his two girls, and he doesn’t have time to cook, so he buys HITT meals so his daughters can have healthy meals.”

The HITT meals provided by Two Olives come in four-ounce and six-ounce protein portions. The majority of the meals are under 400 calories, and the menu is changed weekly. Some of the most popular items include BBQ Pulled Pork, Kicken’ Chicken, Teriyaki Chicken and the Baja Burrito Bowl.  Not a bad way to change your eating habits.

Many of the HITT Meal testimonies relate not only to adults creating better habits, but helping kids learn good habits, too.  This is a positive thing according to Rios. “Always encourage your children to set goals,” said Rios.  “Just make sure they are shorter-term goals. Children need to see more immediate results to remain motivated and interested.”

Which brings us back to your why. Whatever your resolution, every new beginning starts with a powerful why.  I can’t help but wonder how different things might be if grandpa didn’t have a why, if he didn’t stop smoking. His change not only allowed him better enjoyment of his grandson (me), but also a longer life, allowing him to enjoy his great-grand daughter (my kid). You could say his resolution paid long term dividends.

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