My thoughts on cleanses, detoxes, and all the New Year/New You hype.
One of the great things about having a blog is that I have my own personal forum for spouting off about whatever I want. It’s also one of the worst things. Having a dedicated space to say what I want is a huge responsibility. I am responsible for how my words and opinions influence others. My goal is to always be a positive influence, and effect positive change in people’s lives. But this time of year—January to be exact—is that special time of year when nearly everyone is focused on making themselves over, 10x-ing their lives, transforming themselves into their ultimate, most powerful, fittest, healthiest, most enlightened versions. And that’s all great! I’m always a supporter of powerful, positive change! Heck, it’s what I do for a living! But January, oh sweet baby January….
If you’re like 80%+ of the US population, you put on a few pounds over the holidays; the national average is somewhere around 7 pounds. Maybe your jeans are little snug, your face is a bit fuller, and your thighs got reacquainted with each other. You want to get back to where you were pre-Hallowe’en…and your inbox/facebook/pintrest/twitter accounts are overflowing with cleanses, diets, challenges, detoxes, fasts, and programs that promise to get you there—and fast! Just sign-up now for all the meal plans, workouts, and daily email support and you’ll be even more fabulous than you were before you fell into that bucket of egg nog!!! Hurry!! Offer is limited!!! Am I right? You know the drill. We see it every year.
Gyms are bursting at the seams with new clients right now. You can barely get into a yoga class. Grocery stores are running healthy eating classes and challenges. Everyone is trying to make themselves over in the rush to fulfill their New Year’s resolutions of (finally) getting healthy. Sounds very familiar doesn’t it?
Here’s my take on all of this New Year/New YOU! hype and all of the accompanying promotions, specials, and programs…. if they worked, they wouldn’t need to push them. Seriously. If drinking a special juice or taking a specific class, or joining a particular gym was all it took to conquer your health and fitness challenges, then you would already BE in the shape and health state you’re seeking. You would already have the knowledge, skills, and motivation to lose any weight you’ve gained, and reclaim any lost levels of fitness. How do I know? Because I’ve watched you do the same thing year after year, with the same non-lasting results. Heck, it was my job to teach those healthy eating classes, and run those diet challenges. It was my job to program the fitness competitions, and facilitate the cleanses and detoxes. And by the way, your body doesn’t need a special regimen to detox, it does it naturally all day every day. Thank you Mx. Liver, Mx Kidneys, and Mx. Lungs.
Does saying all of that mean I don’t want you to make the effort to achieve your long held goals? Does lambasting what has become a huge part of the norm for most people mean that I don’t think you should make your health and fitness a priority for the new year? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
What it does mean, and this is extremely important, is that you should make these efforts in a conscious, effective, well-planned manner. You need to figure out exactly what you want to achieve, and then start implementing changes and strategies to reach your goals, and maintain your new healthy behaviors. Any of us can do something radical and difficult for 10, 14, 21, or 30 days. And yes you will see some measurable results. You’ll drop pounds, lose inches, make some strength gains…but can you maintain that? What happens at the end of the challenge? I’ll tell you what I saw happen to nearly every single person who joined the sponsored challenges I used to facilitate…they made it through the challenge (our January challenge was always a Vegan diet, no added oils) with a reasonable amount of success—but as soon as the thing ended, minutes after their ‘graduation’ ceremony and celebratory healthy vegan dinner, they headed right across the parking lot to Chipotle. Yup. After 28 days of eating a vegan diet, after 28 days of daily email support, weekly group meetings, meal plans, recipes, shopping lists, and personal one-on-one help from yours truly, they went to a fast food joint and binged on carnitas, and sour cream. Why?
Because radical, extreme, short term challenges don’t address your unique underlying issues and roadblocks. They don’t lend themselves to the flexibility and choice we all need in order to feel and BE in control of our own health. No matter how much education I provided to the participants, ultimately I was still handing them a predetermined list of what they would purchase, cook, and eat that week. They didn’t really have to invest much of themselves into the process. And making that investment in yourself, in your personal WHY, in your own choices and goals, is what ultimately determines whether you willbe successful longterm.
And that’s a big reason why I left the corporate world to work with clients one-on-one. I love helping you figure out your why, and then your how, and helping you get there. And you don’t have to wait for January, or May, or whenever to start making better, healthier choices. You just have to decide that you are worth it, and that you are ready to start. No quick-fix program can do that for you no matter what they say.
And those are my thoughts on New Year New You programs.
If you’re ready to change your life, and want someone to help you clarify your goals, create your plan, and support your journey, I am accepting new clients. Not because it’s January, but because it’s always the right time to start.