Happy New Year, Lazy Bones. Was that harsh? TOO BAD.
Yes, you’ve been stuffing yourself through the holiday season, and here it is Jan. 1.
This year, you’ll swear you’ll do it. You’ll start those New Year’s resolutions this week — eat right! get fit! feel great! — and this year you’ll keep them, goshdarnit!
Yeah, we believe that. Just like we believe that Jillian Michaels is a fried Twinkies addict. Relax: Even the former taskmaster of “The Biggest Loser” and national fitness guru gets it. “Life gets in the way,” Michaels says. “It could be a professional setback, a breakup, a crazy work schedule, a loss in the household. Bumps in the road just throw people for a loop.”
Based on a 2015 U.S. News & World Report study, by only the second week of February, the failure rate of New Year’s resolutions — many of them health-related — is a staggering 80 percent. That’s an improvement on an earlier study by the University of Scranton that put the flunk-out number at 92 percent.
Perhaps in 2018, Vegas can be a leader in giving those numbers a good goosing. How? In addition to Michaels, we sought advice from three Vegas-based experts: training guru Bryan Burnstein, head of performance science for Cirque du Soleil; holistic counselor/Pilates instructor/nutrition coach Delphine Perroud — a performer in the Westgate’s adult revue “Sexxy” and former “Le Reve” lead dancer; and trainer and “American Ninja Warrior” 2017 contestant Jelani Allen.
Let’s stop the whining, Vegas. As in …
Waaah. I can’t stay motivated.
Michaels: “You have to have a ‘why.’ You have to think in detail about how your life is going to improve. It could be, ‘Oh wow, I won’t be sitting on the sidelines of my kid’s life, I’ll be skiing with them, shooting hoops.’ It could be, ‘I’ll feel more comfortable in a bathing suit.’ It could be running a 5K to raise money for cancer. It doesn’t matter how superficial or profound your reasoning as long as you’re passionate about it.”
Waaah. I don’t wanna go to the gym.
Burnstein: “Being physically active doesn’t have to mean lifting weights. We’ve got amazing pools, great parks, Red Rock, Lake Mead, a million things. You don’t have to be confined indoors on an exercise bike, pedaling away. It can be walking the dog at a brisk pace or jumping rope in the garage. But you’ve got to start somewhere.”
Waaah. Keeping resolutions is so much pressure.
Perroud: “Forget about making a resolution this year. Focus more on a lifestyle makeover. If you don’t, it will be much harder to follow through because then it becomes things you must do instead of things you want to do.”
Waaah. I don’t have time to exercise.
Allen: “There is always time in the day to exercise. If you walk around the park, you can stop and do a couple of jumping jacks and squats every couple minutes. If you’re working a job at a desk all day, you can do a few squats and pushups. Just find a couple of places to fit in a couple of exercises.”
Waaah. I don’t know what to believe with all the diet and exercise books and programs out there — they all say different things.
Michaels: “You need the proper information or you won’t get results. It’s important to get the help of an expert from a proven source, someone who has evidenced the ability to get results. …The information you get has to be in line with what you’re capable of, your schedule, your financial resources, your personality.”
Waaah. I never know what the right amount of exercise is.
Burnstein: “If you haven’t been doing something before, talk to your doctor and find out what’s the appropriate way to start, the right dose and frequency and intensity, and find the activity. But you can’t do the same thing never-ending. Continually challenge your body in a way that pushes you toward physical fitness.”
Michaels: “You can look at the science of movement. If you’re moving at a lower intensity, you have to increase your duration.”
Waaah. I can never stay on a nutritious diet.
Perroud: “Most important is to make a plan. A lot of people don’t have a plan. Say, ‘On Monday I will meet with my trainer, then I will go grocery shopping,’ so then you have food options. You won’t be tempted to order a hamburger at a fast food chain if you have food in your refrigerator that’s prepped.”
Michaels: “You might say, ‘Well, (someone) wrote a book saying everybody eat 800 calories,’ but the question is, do you see yourself being able to eat 800 calories for a period of time? Others might say, ‘Oh God, it’s so fast, it kept me motivated and I kept going.’ For me, I would feel starved, depleted, exhausted. I would do better on 1,200 or 1,600 and go at a slightly slower pace.”
Waaah. Do I have to exercise every day?
Allen: “Starting out, you could do three days a week, and it could be at home. And as you progress and you see you’re getting better and better, then you can go to four and five. Anywhere between three to six days a week is good. But you want to rest sometime during the week.”
Michaels: “You absolutely need a day off. I personally like to take two days off.”
Waaah. If I don’t want to go to a gym, exercising feels … lonely.
Michaels: “For some people, it works really well to work out with someone else. Personally, I find it distracting, I need to focus and get it done. But other people need that accountability. That’s where you have to look at what works for you.”
Burnstein: “Find a buddy, find a neighbor, find a friend who will push you to get going.”
Allen: “You want someone whose skill level is about the same as yours, and the same physical fitness level you are. That way you both can push and elevate each other.”
Waaah. I never know if it’s better to plan my exercise in the morning or at night.
Burnstein: “The best thing is the morning. It’s a great way to start your day. You energize your body. It makes you more focused, more productive, and it can increase your mood and happiness.”
Allen: “It depends on what your occupation is, what the lifestyle is, to determine the best time.”
Waaah. I don’t know how to eat healthy during the day.
Perroud: “We have a tendency to start our day with sugar, then we make bad choices. So start the day with a high-protein breakfast. That would be eggs, avocado, maybe some turkey, some veggies in an omelet, maybe some bacon if you love bacon. And always have a snack on hand. A handful of nuts is good, and maybe homemade trail mix. And if you love chocolate, you could have a few dark chocolate pieces, it’s healthy. And fruit, whatever is in season.”
Waaah. I never know if I should stick to one exercise or try a whole bunch.
Michaels: “Try to give yourself a little diversity, so you’re not getting a repetitive injury from over-use and your body is adapting. Say, ‘OK, I’m going to hike two times a week and maybe take a yoga class or kick-boxing, or a zumba class.’ Take three things you like doing so you’re not going to dread it. (The routine) that’s going to be the most effective is the one you’re going to do consistently. And I believe in creating a balanced approach: You’re teaching someone how to live, not how to lose.”
Thanks, folks! You know what? This year, it’s time for a little huffing and puffing and sweating and (proper) eating … And no waaah-ing.
An app for that
Jillian Michaels’ “My Fitness” app — featuring Michaels as personal trainer, with customizable workouts, meal plans and dietitian-approved recipes — is available at JillianMichaels.com. Plans start at $9.99 per month.