As mentioned in the first Health & Fitness post earlier today - click here if you missed it - I have let it go. My ass, I mean. And it’s award season which means I have to get my sh-t together. Hayley’s all over it. But she knows I scare easily so she’s starting me off gentle. It’s a good plan for this week before the really hard work starts next week. On Monday, she’ll start posting my weekly award season program for those of you interested in following along.

For now though, this is the warm-up. And here’s Ellen Pompeo leaving the gym yesterday.

And just a reminder, going forward Health & Fitness posts will go directly up on LifeStyle. Here’s Hayley’s Facebook. Over to you, Hayley:

So, it’s the first week of January and time to get back to reality.  One problem, all of the clothes in your closet are tight and you’re finding yourself having to lay down on your bed to zip up your skirt.  Don’t panic!!! I’m here to help you and I promise you that 2012 is going to be your best year.  So, forget about what was done over the holidays, you can’t go back and change it, and read the 5 tips I have below to help jump start you into a healthy and happy 2012.

1 – Drink water, lots of and lots of water, I can’t stress this enough.  Too many cocktails and salty appetizers throughout the holidays has dehydrated you and caused you to bloat, your skin to become dry and lose its elasticity; you feel tired and lethargic and you may be suffering from headaches and muscle cramps (just to name a few).  So, cut out the alcohol for as long as you can and carry a water bottle with you everywhere.  My favourite tip is drinking a glass of lemon water first thing in the morning.  This will kick start your metabolism and help curb your appetite for the day.

2 – In addition to drinking more water, go out and stock your fridge full of washed and cut leafy greens and watery fruits and vegetables and spend the first week of January eating lots of celery, cucumbers, peppers, watermelon, vegetable soups (homemade without sodium) and salads. These foods can actually hydrate you even better than drinking water alone.  Also, keep healthy snacks easily accessible (almonds and lara bars are my favourite) to prevent you from choosing high calorie snacks from the coffee bar or vending machine. Combine this with staying away from salty foods and your bloating will start to disappear, making it easier to zip up your skirt in the morning.

3 – Most likely your top resolutions for 2012 include losing weight, exercising more and eating healthy.  Am I right? To help make sure that 2012 is the year you get fit, start out small. Set attainable goals that aren’t overwhelming and then build on them throughout the year.  For example, instead of saying that you’re going to run 10km by March start with you’re going to get outside for a run or walk 3 times a week for 15 minutes.  Once that is accomplished you can start to add to that each week by increasing the time you’re out walking/running or the frequency throughout the week in which you are active.  Create the habit of being active first, then work on trying to do more. This will guarantee your success each week and keep you motivated to strive for more!

4 – When planning and preparing your meals try implementing the “5 colour” rule at least 1 time a day.  “What is the 5 colour rule?” Well, when prepping dinner, for example, try to include 5 different colours of food in it.  Make a stir-fry with red and yellow peppers, broccoli, eggplant and chicken (or tofu) over brown rice (or quinoa which is my favourite as it is full of amino acids and I find easier to cook than rice).  For dessert have some chopped watermelon and there you have it – 5 colours in your meal!  For breakfast you could make a fruit salad (oranges, kiwi, pineapple, strawberries, and grapes) with some low fat greek yoghurt (which is high in protein and will help to balance your blood sugars for the day). Doing this helps to increase the amount of nutrients you are getting in your meals and will challenge you to be creative with your cooking.

5 – My last tip for starting 2012 on a path to success is don’t think about the big picture and don’t worry about where you are starting from, we all have to start somewhere. So, create a plan for yourself and stay positive.  If you fall off the plan don’t get upset, just get right back on it. It’s ok to fail, just don’t get discouraged when you do and keep trying.  Set small goals that you can achieve on a weekly basis and be proud of yourself when you do.

(Lainey: remember, your body will consume the same amount of energy walking a mile as it will running a mile. This is one of my favourite tips ever.)