It’s that time of year again where we create our list of goals — eat more vegetables, lose 20 pounds, go for a run once a week. At the beginning we are pretty good at them, but as the year goes by we all start to slip. It’s okay if I eat that cookie; I don’t really feel like getting up early to run today… we all know the drill.
The purpose of a New Year’s resolution is to spark a positive change in the coming year, and there are a few common themes year after year; these revolve around health and fitness, finances, and learning new things for personal and/or professional development. Do any of these apply to you?
Learn a new skill/hobby
Spend less money on fill-in-the-blank: some common items here are coffee, take-out, online, video gaming
Spend less time on the phone
Drink more water
Eat out less
Teresa Gonzalez is a mother of four, wife, nutrition enthusiast, and fitness coach at The Studio & Drop Juice Bar in Rapid City. After baby number four, nutrition became really important to Teresa. Struggling to lose the weight she wanted to, she began paying attention to what she was eating.
“Hormones and metabolism were all over the place, and executing proper nutrition brought things back into balance and took off the last 20 pounds,” Teresa says.
Fitness is important, but nutrition is almost equally important when trying to meet your weight goals. It becomes a challenge for most families not because of the balance, but because doing so requires better prioritizing. If your goal this year is to maintain a healthy lifestyle or lose weight, more than 80% of the results come from monitoring your diet and better nutrition. At her studio, Teresa teaches micro workouts, dynamic 30-minute workouts based on HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), only four times a week.
Switching up Goals and Starting Now
Why wait to start your goals? What is stopping you from dropping all those high-calorie sodas, cutting back on the extra sugary coffees, working out a few times a week, and working toward your weight goal? One of the biggest tips is simply to start now rather than waiting for Monday, for the first of the month, or a new year.
Once you start picking up the good habits, they’re a lot easier to maintain. “Delaying the decision or action is choosing your current situation over and over instead of changing it day by day. Every day, every meal is an opportunity to choose a better lifestyle,” Teresa encourages.
Keeping your kids involved and on board can be one of the trickier steps in meeting your goals. Anything you do, they tend to mimic. Your habits will become their habits, good or bad. Instead of compromising your health for your kids, Teresa coaches that you should be healthy for your kids. If you eat chocolate all day, drink five lattes, and splurge on potatoes at supper, your children will end up eating the same things later in life, creating an unhealthy lifestyle.
Determine a list of foods and varieties to start using by answering a few questions first. What is on your plate? How do you order at a restaurant? Are you cooking at home? Teresa says that based on your answers, start replacing unhealthy items with organic or healthier options when possible. “If your kids will only eat three foods, try introducing healthy options of the foods they like. In the end, children are better than adults at getting what they need,” she shares.
Now, every once in a while you’re going to be craving that chocolate cake or a scoop of strawberry ice cream, and that’s okay. There should be a balance of 10% out, 90% at home, Teresa states. Instead of rewarding good behavior with cheat days, the reward typically referring to splurging on junk food or sweets, ensure a healthy balance. There are even some recipes that you and your family can make that serve as a healthy treat!
When it comes to working out with your children, don’t worry about being too hard. It really isn’t about the deliberate exercise, but making sure that the family isn’t living a sedentary lifestyle. Don’t sit around and watch too many TV shows. Go outside for a family walk or hike. With the Black Hills in our backyard, it’s really easy to incorporate effective exercise into our lives while keeping the activities simple.
Make it a routine on Sundays to go for a walk before church or hike in the hills after a hearty, healthy breakfast. For the Gonzalezes, Sundays are slow, with brunch and PJs or “low-key adventuring through the hills.”
words by Sarah Richards photos by Jesse Brown Nelson