The end of 2021 was, in most countries, long waited for. With the ongoing pandemic, and the new vaccination roll out, a sense of normalcy to the end of the year was in the air. Kenyans were not left behind, with the annual “urban-rural” migration hitting back with a bang. Every one was eager to celebrate the holidays in style, to maybe cover up for the last hard year. December saw travel restrictions lifted, entertainment areas open and of course, curfew time was a tale of the past. And so, we showed up for “sherehe”( sherehe is functions or parties in swahili), however that looked like for us individually, we wanted our lives back and we showed up for them like never before.
In the spirit of re-defining the new normal, it is also about that time of the year when we go back to work and make new resolutions. One of the constants, ever occurring, resolution, is always weight loss. If you are anything like me, you did not resist over-indulging in all the extra calories over the holidays. After all, we were already over the threshold after a year of working from home. A few more could do no harm. Right?
But the new year is here now, we are no longer obligated to stay indoors. In fact, we are expected to bounce back and get it together. We are renewing our gym subscriptions, promising ourselves to walk further and take the stairs. Unfortunately, we all know that it is easier said than done. And chances of plummeting in a year that has so much pressure to remember how we used to be, how we used to live in all other areas, this goal might eventually elude us.
So how do we keep up the good fight, how do we regain and maintain our fitness goals without all the pressure? How do we keep up with 2022, all the ‘sherehes’ and still look like we did not just survive 2021, we thrived?
Well, the answer is easy, we might have to just calm down and lift all the pressure off. As a clinician, I can always tell you that aiming for a better healthy body is always like music to my ears. But I also understand how lonely and how challenging the journey is. Weight loss is a gruesome process with many wavy outcomes.
The best way to think of this process is adapting it as a lifestyle. Thinking of it critically and integrating it in our day to day life. It is about making the goal bigger than just looking good. It is feeling better, having the energy to run through the day errands and making good role models for our children. It is incorporating an aspect of discipline to it, making a routine out of it and eventually letting the journey become second nature to us. The truth is, there is no magic formula, all the different ways work, in fact they more than work. They produce results. The issue is often sustainability but the basic formula of weight loss remains the same; you have to create a caloric deficit.
And so, whatever way appeals to you, go at it this year. Stick to it, embrace it. Be the person who takes the stairs or goes for an aimless walk just because, who get off one bus stop away from home just because, and who plays football with their nephews and nieces just because. Be the co-worker who advocates, no, fights for ‘outdoorsy’ team building activities. Force yourself to make healthy meal choices, make your brain learn to eat two slices of loaf, to forego snacks, to pass by sugar. Become a whole meal, healthy life fanatic and be open to just listening and learning the beauty of leading that lifestyle. How, you ask? Watch the YouTube video, or that podcast your friend recommended or go for that hike. Do something and stick to it……….that’s how.
When it’s all said and done, live your life and enjoy all the ‘sherehes’ that come with it. Happy new year!!!