I’m begging forgiveness for not posting this sooner. I actually started drafting this a week ago. Between being swamped at work and getting ready for my trip home for the holidays, well you know, good intentions…
So here we go.
I’d never heard the term “January People” until recently. I was doing some research on what I could do after the holidays to increase my commitment to losing weight and getting healthy. Simply because it’s obvious I’m not doing enough, especially after my doctor’s visit earlier today.
Not only is this the time of year where I am more active – the opposite to most people – I have also been trying each month to make more changes to my lifestyle; tweak the engine if you will. It needs more tweaking.
You might recall in a previous post I also considered joining Plant Fitness but was worried about not being strong enough to go for fear of what other people might think or say. But also just out of fear that I just won’t go by myself – that I lack the commitment.
And while I also stated in a previous post that I don’t usually gain weight during the holidays, being back home in Windsor for two weeks really throws off any schedule I would hope to follow, so I don’t even really try to come up with any new things to try or do as the Christmas season approaches. And it approaches fast.
So in the course of my investigation for new ideas, I found out that I’d known who “they” (The January People, that is) were, I just had no idea they had a title.
For those not “in the know”, the term “January People” (also referred to by some as “Resolutionists” Ha!) refers to those people who every year make a New Year’s Resolution to hit the gym, lose weight and get healthy. This is the time when gym memberships increase exponentially beginning on January 2nd. Why not the 1st? you might ask. Well, if you’re like me, that’s a holiday as well and no one starts healthy living on a day that is meant to be another day of celebration or that one might be too hungover to really be “feeling” the need to start an exercise regime.
It’s not just in January either, with many people making these vows to join all the way into March, which is when apparently people start seeing the weather changing (for those of us in the Winter season from November to April) and want to get their bodies ready for the time when they’ll be wearing less clothing.
Of course, a lot of gyms will charge its membership fees upfront so January is their biggest pay day, therefore if people stop going on January 30th, it is no loss to the gyms. Plant Fitness, however, charges a small fee upfront (depending on which plan it can be free, $15, or $29) and then a monthly fee of either $10, $15 or $29. The $29/month has more “benefits”, the $15/month has no commitments so you can drop out anytime and the $10/month has a one-year commitment. I think this is new because the last time I checked they only had the $29 and $10 option but the $10 option did not require an one-year commitment.
In any case, it would seem based on what I’ve read in both articles and the subsequent comments on these articles, that there are many January People opposers or Non-Resolutionists, if you will. There are even memes and cartoons about this very subject:
The comments, even ignoring the obvious “trolls”, are quite revealing. Sadly, the majority of comments are not supportive at all. There is an ignorance, as well as a biased, against January People. But I have no doubt that many of the commenters aren’t even regular gym users, or they are and for some reason feel that they are superior because they do go to the gym regularly. Ergo: Me Important! You Not!
Some say that people wait until the new year because they are lazy and procrastinating. For some it bothers them that they suddenly have to wait to use a specific machine. For others, they are put off by the “fatties” who are obviously wasting their time.
One commenter stated:
I hate this time of year. Until about Fat Tuesday, the gym is packed with all of the fatties that thought this is the year I’m going to get fit. It is impossible to get a parking place and if I don’t get to the gym early, they may run out of towels. Oh, well, thanks for subsidizing my gym membership. See you next January.
Well, please join me in feeling so sorry for this poor fella because he has parking issues and oh my goodness, there might not be towels! But it’s so very nice in this obviously horrendous situation that he sees the positive in that all the fatties are keeping his membership fees down. Good for you, domkop!
Yes…yes, my friends, that was sarcasm.
Some say that people are too optimistic about what joining a gym can be for them. They set their expectations too high and then feel miserable when those expectations are not met. Some say that people quit sooner because they realize they actually don’t like to exercise; that it’s not fun for them. Wow. Really?
I don’t have to join a gym to know that exercise is not fun. At least not for a completely out of shape blob like me where every effort to even move can feel like you’re pushing a boulder up Mt. Everest.
Frankly, if they sign up and if they go, they shouldn’t be made fun or made to feel less than human for not only considering it, but for trying it. And hell, you know what, if they stop by January 30th, at least they tried.
And while some believe that the expense of a gym is a great motivator to keeping up with the gym visits, as someone who has tried that in the past…yeah, that doesn’t help. At all. At least not for me. But then I have had a lot of various forms of motivation over the years, any of which should have been enough of a motivator to get healthy, and none of them worked either.
And I have NO fucking idea why!
I, myself, also have seen the New Year as a new beginning. A clean slate. Of course, the question becomes – why wait until then? Why not start a new beginning tomorrow, or on Monday? And if you’re like me, and I’m guilty of this over and over again, you put off till tomorrow what you can do today. I’ve been on diets where if I make a mistake at Noon, I will not only write the entire day off, but usually the entire rest of the week and start “anew” on the following Monday.
And people wonder why they aren’t successful at losing weight.
This is a bad habit to get into. Trust me. And while I try not to continue this viscous cycle, sometimes I do slip up.
Now I’m not defending the January People because I think they will succeed. Most will not. That’s really a statistical fact. Most give up after the first or second week – no matter what their resolutions are. But you know what? At least they’re trying. At least they have a hope that they can make a change.
But frankly, I think trying to make and keep New Year’s Resolutions – no matter what they are – is a bad idea.
So I say to just stop making New Year’s Resolutions and just concentrate on making lifestyle changes one day at a time – no matter what time of the year it is because making resolutions places too high of an expectation on you and sets you up for failure. There’s no “magic” that happens at the beginning of a year that will mean success, any more than there is the rest of the time. So just keep plugging away and don’t give up.
That being said, whether you decide to make New Year’s Resolutions or not is up to you. Whatever you decide to do – I wish you luck. And if you choose to become one of the January People, hold your head high and look for the motivation you need to keep going and succeed!
Here are some tips to help you keep your Resolutions relating to getting healthy and in shape:
- Make a motivational list. Why you’re doing what you’re doing. Keep it with you. Refer to it often, especially when you need a pick-me-up.
- Think positive and kick all negativity to the curb. Every day strive to think all positive thoughts. I will succeed! I can do this! I am awesome! Don’t allow any perceived “failures” to get you down. If you slip up, don’t berate yourself. Plan on what’s next? What can you do better next time? And let it go and move on!
- Get support from wherever you can get it. Ask friends to go to the gym with you. Or help you stay motivated.
- Reward yourself when you’ve reached your small goals. I’ve found that if I talk to myself about doing just this one thing and then when I do it, I congratulate myself for doing it, I’ve found that I feel better. I feel proud because I accomplished something. Look for rewards that will help motivate you further.
- Be realistic. Don’t set goals that are absolutely unattainable. Don’t expect to drop 50 pounds in a month. Don’t plan to work out every day for 2 hours. Make a realistic goals list and schedule. You’re far more likely to succeed if you take baby steps and don’t try to do too much. Especially if attaining that goal is far beyond your reach (or anyone else’s).
- Be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day. You didn’t gain all that weight over night. Don’t expect fast results (ie: too high of expectations). Keep going. Keep trying. And you will succeed.
- While I’ve struggled with dealing with the weeks I’ve had a weight gain, when I mapped out my weight over a longer time period, it surprised me to see that while I had ups, I’ve also had downs and overall, the trend was down. So look at the bigger picture. Track what you’re doing and you’ll start to see the results. It can be your weight, your body’s measurements. The number of steps you take in a day. Any sort of measurement that can help you to see your progress will help you to stay motivated and keep going.
You. Can. Do. This.
I don’t know if I’ll be posting again until the New Year. I will try. But I will be back home and on a completely different schedule, but I will try.
In case I don’t, however, I want to wish all of you a wonderful, safe and happy holiday. Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukkah. Happy Kwanzaa.
I also want to wish you all the best for 2016! I hope whatever your dreams are that they all come true.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your support throughout my journey so far. It has meant the world to me and I hope you’ll continue to be here with me in 2016.