By Kristian Gray
It will come as no surprise for readers to learn that January is a very busy time of the year for nutritionists as people begin the new year full of optimism about the 12 months ahead.
We have all been there and made the ‘new year-new you’ pledge and as someone who strongly believes that health and fitness form the cornerstone of a happy life, that is to be commended.
However, I am also a realist, and at the start of every new year I find myself urging clients, friends and family to be realistic about what can be achieved in a 12-month period.
You see, the main mistake we all make when setting targets is that we set ourselves up for failure. Of course we would all like to double our annual salary, buy a new car, build a bigger house and lose those excess pounds that have crept up on us over the years but we are certainly not going to achieve all of those things at once.
So, if this sounds familiar, I would urge you to prioritise your health and fitness over all of the above and pretty much anything else you can think of. My reason for saying this is very simple, without your health, everything else fades in comparison.
I am sure you have heard the saying about being the ‘richest body in the cemetery’ which means that you can have all the money in the world but it is worthless without good health. And so, your health must be a priority and thereafter you will find achieving all those other things will become a lot easier, because you will be fitter, stronger and more physically capable of going out and seizing the day.
By taking control of your health you will have more energy to play with your children; to be a loving partner; to fully enjoy a holiday; to go to the gym, and to put in the extra work that will lead to that promotion in less time that it would have taken you before.
My colleague Nicolas Tzenios, told me shortly before the new year how he is approaching the next 12 months.
He said: “I start every year by looking at my health and the health of others because it is so important to every aspect of our lives.
“Without our health it is difficult to be a successful business person, a good husband, wife, father, mother and friend, because every day is a constant battle. That isn’t to say that being unhealthy means we are bad at all those things, of course not, but it certainly isn’t helping you.
“Poor health in the context of being overweight for example might mean having no energy, living in pain, getting very little sleep and fighting inflammation, and it goes without saying that this is no way to live your life.
“We have to look after ourselves first and foremost and that will leave us with more time and energy to devote to everyone else around us.”
This is excellent advice. Anyone can buy a new car, new clothes, a new watch and even another house if necessary but we only have one body and that cannot be replaced, so we have to take action now to ensure it remains in the best condition possible.
Think about what you are putting in your body, be that food (sugar and refined carbohydrates), tobacco or alcohol and ask yourself: ‘is this making me feel worse or better?’
So, as we enter a new year and a new decade, be realistic; focus on your health and you won’t be disappointed… the rest will come in good time.