We're already a week into the new year.
How are those resolutions going?
If you're like most of us, you've already missed a day or two at the gym, even though you vowed to go every day. And you've eaten a doughnut or three, even though you swore off sugar.
It doesn't matter, though, because you're in this for the long haul, right? And health and fitness starts in your mind, not the gym, says ultra-fit Los Angeles trainer and motivator Lacey Stone.
And she says she also knows why you may already be falling behind in your 2018 goals:
"You don't have any structure behind what you want. … You have to get your mind behind the resolution, or I can tell you, you are 100% not going to achieve it. You have to pace yourself. It has to be a lifestyle change."
Stone, who returns to Season 2 of the Khloe Kardashian fitness makeover show "Revenge Body," which begins Sunday on E!, says you shouldn't spend a single second fretting over missteps. Instead, figure out where things went wrong, and fix it.
Why did you miss the gym? Was it because you didn't get enough sleep the night before? Then you need to make a plan to get to bed earlier each night. Were you too sore from working out the day before? Then take the workouts down a few notches. Remember, you're playing the long game. Did you binge on bagels because you skipped breakfast and were famished? Fixing that one is a no-brainer.
"Instead of feeling bad about a 'slip-up,' you have to look at your life, and what are the obstacles that have gotten in the way in the past," Stone advised. "And unless you address them, you're not going to get what you want."
So here's Stone's simple three-point plan to make 2018 the year you shed the excess weight and lock down a plan of eating that you can maintain indefinitely.
1. Find an exercise that you love
Forget the "But I don't have time ..." or "I can't afford it ..." or the "But I hate running ..." excuses.
"People tell me all the time, 'But I hate running,' and I say 'Great, I hate it too, so don't do it, find something else'" said Stone, who is known for her Flywheel spin classes with the rabid following and "reboot" boot-camp sessions that are as beloved for the socializing as the sweating. "There are literally a zillion workouts out there that you can do or try, like dancing. That's a great workout that's not running." For those facing a time or financial crunch, there are no shortage of workout DVDs you can get at a thrift store or watch free on YouTube.
"Start by doing two workouts a week, and then get to three a week," she said.
2. Find (or create) a fitness tribe
It's hard to turn away from friends, co-workers or family members who are inviting you to happy hour, fast-food lunches and Sunday night dinners.
But it's a lot easier when you have a fitness community you can turn to, Stone said. (Her Instagram feed, with its 35,000 subscribers, is proof of it.) "It's just like when you were in high school and people wanted you to do drugs." The people who didn't created a community to avoid that scene. Having a social environment that gets and supports you will make it easier for you to say "no" when someone tempts you with something that will derail your goals.
3. Adopt this simple way of eating
You need to dial in your diet if you're going to be serious about losing weight. But what diet to follow? And how to, you know, stick to it?
Stone says beginners can benefit and get a jump-start by handing the problem over to someone else. She favors KleanLA, a popular meal delivery service, but of course not everyone can afford that or has access to that. So here's her suggestion for creating a plan of eating that's unbelievably simple and selects from foods you like and probably already have in your kitchen, or can easily buy on your budget:
Gather up four two-cup serving dishes. In each dish, put:
- ¼ cup of a carb of your choice. (Cooked oatmeal or rice, diced and roasted sweet potato, etc.)
- A serving — about the size of your palm — of the protein of your choice. (Think: hard-boiled eggs, a scoop of chicken salad, a protein-heavy veggie patty).
- A healthful fat, paying strict attention to the serving size. (A quarter of an avocado, perhaps, or a tablespoon of olive oil drizzled over your protein.)
- On the side, add as many non-starchy vegetables of your choice as you like. (Bell peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, etc., steamed or raw, whatever you prefer.)
Congratulations. You should have a balanced meal in each dish, for a day's worth of healthful meals. (After breakfast, Stone suggests spacing the next three meals out every three to four hours.) And you'll keep hunger at bay if you keep those veggies handy. Depending upon your size or activity level, this may be less or more than what you need, but it's a great starting point and is much healthier than what you're probably eating now. It also makes room for a weekly cheat meal or the occasional glass of an alcoholic beverage. (Look it up: "Occasional" does not mean two glasses a day!)
Keep at it, Stone says, and you'll be shocked by the results you see in April.