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Slip ups don't mean the end


Liz Costigan  Personal trainer   Health &Living  Pix Ronan Lang/Feature File

Liz Costigan Personal trainer Health &Living Pix Ronan Lang/Feature File

Liz Costigan Personal trainer Health &Living Pix Ronan Lang/Feature File

Slipping up on a fitness regime isn't a health death knell – not if you get motivated, anyway

The New Year and its celebrations and resolutions probably seem like a lifetime ago. Can you remember back to January and the health and fitness changes you vowed to make, the activities you promised to take up? Are you still on track with those? Can you find the piece of paper you wrote that 2013 to-do list on? Did you even write a list?

If you are like most people, real life may have gotten in the way. Those cold winter-like months of March may have made you return to those winter habits of hibernation and carbohydrate craving.

If you slipped up or you didn't even make a resolution, do not feel bad, you won't reach these goals by beating yourself up.

What is important is why you made these resolutions in the first place; you wanted to feel better, fitter and healthier. And if that desire is there, it is this that will spur you on to start again a little wiser than before.

For many people weight loss and getting fit is their aim. The sun has finally reared its shiny bright head and we are all more than ready to don those skimpy summer bikinis right?

Or are we more than ready to panic about the summer holidays and the bikini bodies that we didn't work on during our Baltic spring? Do not panic!

Remember that life is not about perfection, it is about growth and persistence and there is time to change or improve your lifestyle and become healthier, fitter and beach ready if that's what you want.

Are You Being True?

This is the first thing you need to look at; is the resolution which you set in January really for you? Are you being true to yourself or are you trying to change or improve on something that someone told you to do? Being healthy and fit is fantastic.

Living a more active life can make you happier, eating well can help you live a longer healthier life and I would recommend that everyone embrace even some of this.

But please make sure the goals you are setting are the ones for you and not someone you are trying to please. This may be the reason it didn't work in January!

Set Goals

Whether it's a holiday, wedding or a sporting event, you need to pick something that you can focus on to keep you motivated when the going gets tough. This goal is your macro goal, your ultimate goal. But this isn't enough.

You need micro goals too, short-term goals that will take you from week to week. When you look at the macro goal, eg I want to lose 14lbs, it can be overwhelming and seem impossible to achieve. However, if you break it down to 1lb or 2lbs a week it seems more manageable, more realistic.

Write It Down

Write down your resolution and why you are doing this. Hang it somewhere to see it every day, on your fridge, in your car. Read it daily, this will remind you of what you are doing and why.

Adopt A Plan

Once you decide on what you want to do you must have a plan. This needs to take you, step by step, to your goal, so ensure it is comprehensive. For example, if your goal is to run 10k then you need a running schedule that ties in with your level of fitness and your lifestyle.

Tweak It

There is no harm making changes along the way. For example, if training four or five times a week is leaving you exhausted because you have a busy job and home life then this mightn't be the right choice for you right now.

Make a smaller version of that goal. Adjust it to keep your life and your dreams in balance.

Have Fun

Even though not every step of the way to losing weight or getting fit will be fun, you can make it as much fun as possible by trying fun activities that you've always wanted to do and spending time with friends and family while doing so. Why not learn how to cook healthy meals and invite friends over to enjoy these together?

Learn From Your Mistakes

You won't have a good day every day so when you slip up, learn from it and move on. It isn't the end of the world and you are only human. As Shakira would so eloquently put it: "Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, get back in the saddle."


Surround yourself with positive people. It is impossible to bring our A game all the time, so it is important that the people around you support you in what you do.

Train with people who inspire you – this will help you to stay on track with your fitness and health goals. And ask for help any time, there is always someone more than willing to help you along the way.

Health & Living