Nicole Sanders
Nicole Sanders

With the holidays fast approaching, you’re now thinking about how you’ll look in your family photos or at the holiday party.

Believe it or not, there is still time to take back your waist and fit into the clothes marked ‘too tight.’ In order for you to solve your problem now, you must begin now. No waiting until next week or the weekend. You must start today. Are you ready? If so, here are the 5 things that must happen.

1. Get a goal.

Grab an outfit, pick your event or just determine that you want to do whatever it takes to feel better. Decide that you want to be able to do things from simple tasks like carrying a tray of hors d’oeuvres to more taxing ones, like chasing your new puppy, without being winded.

2. Throw out EVERYTHING you have learned about losing weight, eating and exercising.

If it all worked, you wouldn’t be where you are today. If you lost a lot of weight in a short period but felt like you still needed to be toned, you were not doing what you thought you were. We are going to correct that this time.

3. Start eating.

Women have been told they need to eat less to lose. No. You need to eat MORE (of the right stuff) to lose. Weight loss programs don’t emphasize exercise enough and if they do, they talk about cardio or lower impact activities like women are babies. But, if they are telling you to eat less, you won’t have energy for real workouts so you wouldn’t be able to train hard anyway. You should be eating breakfast, like oatmeal and egg whites, not fruit desserts, parfaits and cakes. There should be real lunches that include protein, real veggies and a complex carb, not empty salad greens loaded with sugar and fat from fruit and nuts. There should also be snacks that are really small meals and then, of course, a sensible dinner.

4. Choose a series of exercises (4 or more) that challenge your body.

No gym required. Exercises like squats, lunges, burpees, jumping jacks, push-ups and bicycle crunches are all you need to get your body moving in the direction of feeling and looking better. The biggest mistake women make is to think that they must do a ton of cardio to lose weight. Wrong. You need to move your body in different ways. Most athletic bodies look the way they do due to training, practice and playing, which requires them to move their bodies in different ways. You are no different.

5. Be consistent.

Depending on your goal and how much work you need to put in, you should be getting a minimum of 3-4 days of exercise each week. This should be in your schedule as though it were a business meeting. It should be as high a priority as getting up and going to work. This cannot be dismissed or placed second to some other ‘fun’ activity. If you really want to make a change in your body, you must do something different.

So there you go. It really is that simple. You must eat properly and move in ways that you have not before. If you do that consistently, your smile won’t be the only thing people notice in your holiday pictures! Good luck!