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Resolutions and Keeping it Simple

Resolutions and Keeping it Simple

It’s that most wonderful time of year again!  You know, that time when you go off the rails with your nutrition and trash that hard training you’ve been doing all year long.  All the holiday goodies are staring you down, hard. The candy, the cakes, the Christmas cookies (chocolate chip are my biggest weakness) It’s almost too much to resist!  

Most of us (this guy included) have fallen prey to this holiday trap in the past.  We indulge, then feel guilty about it later. The humorous part is when we start trying to rationalize it in our heads and justify what training we can do to “undo” what we’ve just done.  “Ok, so, I know I burn an average of about 700 calories per workout, but if I eat these cookies, I’ll just have to double down on the metcon tomorrow…….”. “Or maybe I’ll head out the garage and throw the sandbag around for an hour.” You know what I’m saying because you had this conversation with yourself after dinner last night.  But we know better. We know better because we’ve educated ourselves on training and proper nutrition. We’ve developed the discipline. We’ve also learned what moderation and balance is and how to “live a little”. We train hard, and accordingly, and we can still enjoy A holiday treat without ‘blowing up our plan”.  Those that may not have learned this yet follow a different path.

In the normal course of things at this time of year, what comes next?  You guessed it! The infamous New Year’s Resolutions. For the year-round gym-goers, there is approximately a two-week period after the first of the year where your favorite spot to get fit undergoes a hostile takeover.  Fortunately for you, this is a short-lived siege on your weight equipment. The “resolutioners” we’ll call them, disappear almost as quickly as they came. But they all come out with the same idea in their heads. “I’m going to get fit this year, or I’m going to lose 25 lbs!” Or whatever.  They show up fairly well motivated. So, what happens?

I believe more often than not, that most of these “resolutioners” want to adopt a similar lifestyle that most of us reading this already follow.  They have good intentions. As we know, it takes more than just good intentions. I also believe they fail because they make things too complicated.  

I am reminded of the acronym first told to me by my Assistant Chief many decades ago.  As he was instructing us on engine company operations, he said, “Remember K.I.S.S. KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID!” Many years later I find myself telling rookies the same thing.  Now I am not one to normally make New Year’s resolutions. However, if I were to make one it would be this: Keep it simple. Making small, gradual changes to your nutrition and training plans will make change easier to accept.  Committing to your plan each and every day – one day at a time makes it more manageable. There is no point in worrying about tomorrow yet – you must first make it through today! Extrapolating out weeks and months ahead of time is when things get complicated.  Sticking to your daily plan will eventually develop discipline. We’ll visit that topic in another blog.

If you are one of those who have developed that fit lifestyle that maybe another brother or sister firefighter, police officer, or medic is looking for, and you want to make a New Year’s resolution, make one that involves helping get them on the right track.  Help facilitate their learning. That is, after all, what our jobs are all about, right? Happy New Year and Happy Training! Jared Van Ek

Jared Van Ek

Jared is a 28 year fire service veteran and is an Engineer with the Spartanburg City Fire Dept. in South Carolina.  Jared is also the Peer Fitness Coordinator. Jared formerly served as an Assistant Fire Chief for the Hawthorne, NJ Fire Department.