It’s officially the second week of 2019 and I’m not sure how many of you did what I did this week, which was look at your credit card balance (ouch) and step on the scale, but this is the week when any New Year’s resolutions you have set are at most risk of failing.

January tends to be the month where we decide to get into shape. To stop eating sugar. To give up booze. To finally lose those last 10 pounds we swore we’d lose last year. This pretty much makes January the most boring month of the year because even if you aren’t one of those January “give up every bad habit” kind people, a few of your friends are. So today’s post is to all of us, including myself, who are either trying to make 2019 the best yet, or just trying to undo all the ‘doing’ over the holidays.

First thing I’m going to say, which goes against all of the things you read elsewhere, is step on the scale. I had this discussion with my boyfriend the other day as we are both trying to clean up our acts (I drank WAY too much in December), and I told him I like to weigh myself every day and he said he won’t do it for 6 weeks. Neither are right or wrong, but here are my reasons for why you should. The first thing is it gives you a sense of how your weight fluctuates from day to day. You could be 3 or 5 pounds heavier one day then the very next you’re down 5, then up 2. You’re absolutely not going to see weight loss immediately, but I feel being aware of how your body changes daily will help you realize that weight isn’t the only thing that matters (it actually doesn’t matter). You may not be seeing the scale move in the direction you want but you will notice you’re feeling happier, stronger, less foggy, more energized and your clothes start to fit better. Why I’m not a fan of weighing yourself 6 weeks in is because what if you step on the scale on the day your weight has fluctuated up 5 pounds? It would be a shame to put 6 weeks of focus, dedication and hard work onto one number on one day. Pretty discouraging, if you ask me.

Which brings me to my second tip. If you are on a no booze cleanse or no sugar cleanse or no bread cleanse and you find yourself in the middle of the month with a box of cookies in your lap, don’t fret. Just pick yourself up and start fresh. It’s not going to affect your progress that much if you slip up once or twice. More than that, yes, but a little oops is ok.

You can track your progress (and your oops days) with a calendar and some coloured stars. Each morning when you wake up reflect on your day yesterday and if you hit your goals then put a gold star on the day before. Not so successful put a silver star and if you just had a really bad day, give it a black star. This doesn’t just have to be centered on food and exercise. Give some thought to your energy levels, your attitude, and how much sleep you had. Nobody is perfect. But this may give you some perspective when you go back and review your weeks and months about whether or not certain stars outnumber others and why. 

Another piece of advice is if you are doing a crazy no sugar (or whatever diet) give yourself an end point. You can’t possibly think you’ll never eat sugar or drink a glass of wine again. And if you’ve ramped up your fitness regime, also pick a day where you can step it back. Most of us live a pretty balanced life, where we push ourselves in our workouts and we don’t over indulge too much, so usually after a good month (or two) of some restrictions you can sort of pick up where you left off. However, if you’re really overhauling your lifestyle and making big, permanent changes, you need an exit strategy. You should work with a professional to help make sure you don’t fall back into old, bad habits.

My last piece of advice is to have fun with it. Suffering is a choice here so make the reward at the end of each day the satisfaction in knowing you were strong-willed and didn’t give in to temptations. And remember, send all smutty fitness questions to me here at [email protected]. I’m always here for you!