Summer is winding down and now my favorite season of the year is here: fall. I have always felt nostalgic and dreamy this time of year. I think it's because I enjoyed school as a kid and still associate the autumn season with the start of a new school year that promised good times, good friends and even better memories that still live with me today, like the smell of bonfires, Friday night football games, donning my favorite new back-to-school clothes, and my feet crunching on leaves in the crisp weather. Fall even smells better, if you ask me.
Why not harness the magical power of this new season (which begins officially on September 23) to recommit to your healthy living goals and weight-loss program? You may not be heading back to school like you did in years past, but that doesn’t mean that you can't reinvent yourself all the same.
A strong re-start is just what you need right now, before October turns into a month-long celebration of Halloween and then the holidays are all around us. Don't wait for that to happen to you, or for January 1 to eventually roll around, finding you several pounds heavier and lacking in motivation. Here are five tips to help you get back on the wagon this fall.
How will you recommit to your program this fall to get a jump on the holidays and keep your program fresh and exciting?
- Reinvent your fitness program. Fall weather is the best weather, as the risks of heat- or cold-related emergencies plummet and the weather is especially tolerable. Try a new fall fitness activity, like trail hiking, mountain biking, or a recreational flag football league for grownups. Sometimes a new workout is just the ticket to get you excited again. Need more ideas? Look no further.
- Refresh your meal plans. So many delicious (and nutritious) foods make their debut in the fall, from squash to sweet potatoes to figs to apples. If your diet is starting to feel a little "blah," then spice it up with seasonal fall foods to bring a little excitement back to your plate.
- Reevaluate your priorities. OK, so maybe you no longer have an upcoming swimsuit season or vacation to light a fire under your butt when it comes to losing weight. Write a journal entry or blog listing all the other reasons you have to take care of yourself. Here's a hint: They're not all about appearances. Your health, your family, your hobbies, and your ultimate life goals are all reasons to be in your best shape ever, too. This list will serve as motivation later when you need help staying on track.
- Return to your goals. When did you last explore the goals you set a few months ago and assess how well you're taking steps toward reaching them? Now is a great time to look back, see how far you've come, and decide what you can do today to continue moving forward.
- Rejuvenate your wardrobe. As you pack up your summer essentials and let oversized hoodies and bulky sweaters return to your closet, don't let your body get lost underneath them. Remember that stretchy, elasticized and oversized clothes can make it harder for you to grasp whether your weight has gone up or down. They can also allow you to hide your body underneath until next summer's arm- and leg-baring styles make a comeback. By sticking with well-fitted clothes (not too tight, not too big), you'll keep weight gain in check and also notice more easily when you do lose a few inches!
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