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Sarasota Friday, Feb. 1, 2019 5 months ago

New Years resolutions can be hard to keep in Sarasota

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Here's how to maintain your New Years resolution in a healthy way.
by: Amelia Hanks Community Reporter

Sheila Connell's journey to being fit is bigger than just losing a few pounds. 

It started three years ago when Connell realized she had been taking care of people more than she had been taking care of herself.

"I worked with Deniese Kragel, my personal health coach, and I joined a fitness program," Connell said. "I've lost about 70 pounds, but that's not how I measure my health. It's more about how balanced I am and much stronger I am. Muscle weighs more than fat anyway."

Connell's health journey might not have started with a New Years' resolution, but she has set realistic goals to meet her fitness goals.

"For me, it's all about setting small goals and not getting down on myself if I don't reach them. I keep a journal monitoring my food so that I don't get discouraged," said Connell.

Carol Kangas started her journey in January with HealthFit. She had recently lost weight but gained it back,and wanted to lose about 50 pounds as part of her New Years resolution. She said when the weight came back it was a wake-up call that she needed to lose weight by working out and eating healthy, not taking an unhealthy way out. 

"I think the wellness program at HealthFit will work because it is a lifestyle change, not really going on a diet," said Kangas. "It's not going as fast as the ways I've lost weight in the past, but I know it's much more balanced and healthy."

Catrina Liott, who works as a fitness coach and a wellness trainer at HealthFit Powered by Sarasota Memorial, often sees people around this time of year who try to set unhealthy goals.

"I've seen people come in and say they want to lose 30 pounds by the end of January, which is just really unhealthy," Liott said. She agrees with Connell. It's much healthier to set smaller goals. "One or two pounds a week is a goal we can set."

The most dangerous thing someone can do, said Liott, when they're trying to reach a goal of losing a lot of weight really fast, is doing yo-yo dieting. 

"Yo-yo dieting can be like going on a fad diet or fasting or trying something you read about," said Liott. "It wrecks your metabolism, and you just shouldn't lose weight that fast."

Both Liott and Connell agree New Year's resolutions should be more focused on getting healthy for yourself rather than losing weight to look good. 

"If you aren't here to get healthy, you're not going to be able to keep it up," said Connell.

Connell said she has a group of women she works out with at HealthFit who have become good friends.

"I don't know if I would still be able to do this without a support group. They save my spot for me in classes and check on me if I don't come in."

Liott said it will be easy to get discouraged when you're first starting out on your health journey.

"There's going to be times where you get hungry at night and you eat a pizza or ice cream. That's OK, that happens. But it's important to move forward to forgive yourself. It's all about forgiveness," said Liott. "You don't have to be so rigid, you don't have to perfect. That's just life. There are birthday parties, and you might have kids that need to snack."

Setting healthy and realistic goals can be difficult.

"People can have goals with no idea how to attain it, but it requires scheduling and planning and making it part of your routine." said Liott. "You have to set a time period, and sometimes it might require keeping a diary of everything you eat. Sometimes we overeat for emotional reasons, but trying to have a workout plan is why people hire a trainer. It's important to retrain your instincts and break it down into small goals."

Connell agreed.

"My New Year's resolution was to keep a closer track of my food intake, which is why I'm starting the journal," said Connell. "I get it. Over the holidays, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I was eating and drinking a lot of stuff that wasn't good for me. But I want to get better at it, and I'm not mad at myself."

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