Resolve To Be More Like An Olympian
Five trim-tips in honor of the Winter Games
If you want to have the body of a Greek God, you need to start thinking like one. With the winter Olympics right around the corner, we’ve given you five reasons why you should make your New Year’s Resolution to be more like an Olympian. Here are some tips that will get you in the right shape to hang with your pals on Mount Olympus and who knows, maybe your mug will be the next one we see on a Wheaties box.
Pick Your Personal World Record
Olympians know how to keep their eye on the prize: be it running a seven-minute mile or finding the perfect balance of food and fitness. Former Olympian and author of The Happy Body, Jerzy Gregorek, says a common mistake people make when trying to lose weight is picking goals that are too vague to stick with.
“Rather than saying you want to lose five to ten pounds, pick a specific weight you want to be at, and make that your world record goal,” he says.
When you give yourself an imprecise target, there’s too much leeway for backing out. Picking an exact number to help keep you motivated and goal orientated.
“You’ll be better able to grab the brass ring if you can see it rather than having some vague idea of where it might be,” Gregorek says.
Don’t Just Exercise—Train
Stop thinking solely about the activity PointsPlus™ values you earn when you exercise, and instead think about what you want to do with the better body you are working to achieve. In other words, don’t just exercise to become thinner—exercise to become better.
“Train to be a better bicyclist or a better swimmer. Vanity isn’t always the most virtuous motivator. Focus on being more powerful and you’ll go much further,” says Gregorek. “When you focus on becoming better, you build drive. When you have a goal of being better at your craft, you never get bored of it—you’re propelled by it.”
Join a Gold Medal Team
Grab some friends. Join a sports team. Become accountable. Dr. Margaret Lewin, Medical Director of Cinergy Health and Physicians and Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, recommends joining up with a team of buddies to help each other reach your fitness and weight-loss goals.
Lewin recommends you not only report fitness successes and failures, but that you also agree to ‘fess up when you have an unexpected snack attack.
“Accountability is a great motivator,” she says. “When you have people watching your back, you begin to feel a responsibility to reach your goals together.”
Become a Long Distance Runner
…or biker or swimmer in your mind. Lewin recommends approaching weight loss as an endurance athlete. “You need to focus on going the distance,” she says. What that means is making perseverance a cornerstone of your weight-loss plan. Olympians stick it out when the going gets tough, and you should too.
To do that, Lewin recommends you break down your ultimate health and fitness goals into realistic mini-goals.
“The point is to focus on building the mental and physical stamina you need to reach your long-term goals.”
Get on the Podium of Success
Being more like an Olympian is more than getting to wear a pretty gold necklace, but winning one sure doesn’t hurt. Both Gregorek and Lewin say the key to being more like an Olympian is to realize that every great success deserves a great reward. For Olympians it’s the gold medal, but for you it can be small rewards you give yourself at each milestone.
“We’re all good, strong people. We can deprive ourselves for a bit, but not forever,” says Lewin, who recommends giving yourself well-deserved treats periodically along the track to success.
Forbidden fruits are always fun, but Gregorek also recommends rewarding yourself with a bit of inspiration.
“Buy yourself a ticket to a sporting event or to a show,” he says. “Big success deserves big rewards.”