Happy New Year. If your home is anything like ours you probably still have a load of leftover snacks (including Pringles, which I’m beginning to view as the Devil’s Work, they’re so blimmin’ addictive) in the kitchen; boxes of chocolates screaming ‘Eat Me To Make Things Tidy’; alcohol; and a fridge stuffed full of dips.
Argh. It takes a lot of willpower to resist all of these temptations and to stay motivated to get healthy and in shape, and that’s one of the reasons I started the facebook support group New Year New Body a few years ago: because there’s safety in numbers. Every week we share our progress, however small (or even non-existent), our lapses, our achievements.
Does it work? Well, last year I blogged my New Year promises: since I started the group I’ve lost TWO STONE and, more importantly, KEPT IT OFF. So I’d say, yes. But then I knew it would, because there’s something about trying to lose weight and get healthy when you’re being supported by other women that makes you much more likely to succeed. Over the years as a lifestyle journalist I’ve interviewed so many ‘success stories’ and they all told me the same thing – ‘do it with a friend’; same goes for exercise or any fitness regime. If you do it with a friend, or with online support, you’re much more likely to make a go of it.
The way New Year New Body works is very simple. Everyone is free to choose their own healthy eating and fitness plan (but absolutely no starvation diets); because goal-setting does work, you commit to losing NO MORE than 7lb in three weeks or a stone in six; and then every week (this year it will be on a THURSDAY) you come and share your progress to help motivate and inspire the other members of the group. You’re free to pop by at any other time during the week for extra support, and you don’t ever have to tell us your weight – unless you want to, of course. The other important thing is that whatever day of the week you’re weighing yourself (and if you’re going to a class it may not be on a Thursday) you agree to weigh yourself NO MORE THAN ONCE A WEEK. Weighing yourself more often is counterproductive and leads to obsession, and that’s not what New Year New Body is about.
And that’s it. No pressure, or judging, just understanding and support from women in the same position as you. If you’re interested in joining New Year New Body 2014 you can find the facebook group here. If you have a blog, I’ve also made a gorgeous new gingham blog badge for the group: gingham to represent a tablecloth (geddit), pink because it’s a nice spring colour (for a new leaf) and heart-shaped because heart disease is still the No 1 killer of women in the UK, and making positive changes to your lifestyle is the best way to counterbalance the risks. If you’d like the code for your own blog just let me know. Meanwhile, here’s to a healthy happy 2014 🙂