Are you tired of spending your precious time at the gym, day after day, and reaping little to no reward? Sick of reading all the latest magazine articles promising to have you lean and cut in 10 minutes a day (while eating cupcakes for breakfast)? Don't believe the hype, ladies! Fitness is a lifelong commitment. There are those blessed few that seem to be genetically geared towards physical perfection. For the rest of us, it's hard work, knowledge, and dedication that will get us brick bodies in 2012. If you're ready to put forth the effort required to achieve your goals, read on.
The following are a list of the 10 Beast Commandments
, and if you follow them to a tee, "get back in shape" will have no place on the resolution list next year.
1. Thou Shall Not Fad Diet.
The celery diet, the Atkins Diet, the 3:30 a.m infomercial diet: the one thing they have in common is they don't work
! Use our handy calorie estimator, and find a variety of clean foods that you like that will bring you to that number.
2. Thou Shall Not Starve.
Almost as important as what you eat, is when you eat. Any more than 3 hours between meals is a perfect way to make your body store anything you do eat as fat. Even if it's "just a salad."
3. Thou Shall Eat More Produce.
Bonus points if it's raw. Plant-based foods contain an incredible array of nutrients that you can't get anywhere else, and most of us aren't getting enough. This is the one time you really can "Eat all you want and still lose weight.". Not only do fruits and veggies have all the vitamins and minerals we need, they also fill us up with fiber so our grumbling tummies aren't reminding us of our "diet" every 20 seconds.
4. Thou Shall Keep an [Honest] Food Log.
This is one trick of the diet industry that actually holds some merit. Keeping a food log holds you accountable, and also serves as a reference point as to which foods work with your body, and which ones don't.
5. Thou Shall Get Off The Treadmill.
Cardio training has it's place in weight loss, but it's a very small place, at the end of the list, and should be thought of as a supplement to a program, not as the meat and potatoes of it.
6. Thou Shall Bid Thy Baby Dumbbells Farewell.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again...and again...and again....To build your dream body, you've got to tax your muscles enough to force them to grow in response. This will never happen with those cute little 2 pounders Suzanne Somers uses. You don't have to go crazy, but you do have to make sure that the weight you're using brings you to failure by the end of your chosen rep scheme.
7. Thou Shall Outsmart Plateaus.
Always keep your body guessing. Personally I change my workouts daily, but as long as you don't do the same thing for more than 2-3 weeks you will show consistent progress. There are infinite ways to switch things up, so have fun with it! Play with different rep ranges, experiment with drop sets, circuits, and plyo drills. You are an architect, and you can build your body however you choose.
8. Thou Shall Allow Thy Self To Be Human.
So you had a piece of cake or 3, missed a workout or drank a few too many calories in alcoholic form? So what! If you broke your ankle, would you continue to break all your other bones because "the damage is already done?" Didn't think so. Don't overanalyze the reasons behind a poor choice, don't punish yourself with more cardio, just let it go and make your next choice a good one.
9. Thou Shall Not Compare Thy Self To Others.
Or your former self, or your daughters barbie doll, or anything more than who you are today. Envy saps you of creative energy that would be much better spent finding ways to become the best YOU possible.
10. Thou Shall Not Give Up Just Before the Miracle
Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither were Jamie Eason's glutes. Stay focused, stay committed and always keep your eyes on the prize.
Follow these simple steps, and 2012 will be your strongest, healthiest and most fit year yet. Happy New Year!
Erin stays busy pursuing her own fitness goals, and helping to educate and inspire those she loves to live healthier lives. A hair stylist by trade, she manages a salon, and is chipping away at a degree, ultimately in dietetics and kinesiology. She lives in South Florida with her husband and a “pound puppy” named Pedro.