New Year, New You

By Sam Armstrong

Once the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31, people frequently see and hear the phrase “New year, new me!” appearing on social media. While the New Year brings new opportunities, students do not necessarily have the information to help achieve their goals for the new year.

According to the Statistic Brain Research Institution, the most common 2017 New Year’s resolution is to lose weight or eat healthier — 21.4 percent. Although that resolution may sound simple enough, it’s not always easy to achieve. It’s a long process to start looking and feeling great.

Taylor Stewart, a Youngstown State University student and personal trainer, believes that working out and becoming fit is more mental than anything else.

Stewart tells her clients motivation is key to completing their workouts and getting in shape. She urges her clients to set attainable goals and stay in the right mindset to assure they succeed with their resolutions.

“I tell my clients not to give up if you don’t see results overnight; it’s a process. No one can do it for you, you have to want it for yourself,” Stewart said.

Stewart said achieving fitness goals is completely driven by motivation. She said she could tell you what to eat or when to work out, but ultimately, it’s a personal responsibility.

The Huffington Post quoted nutritional biochemist Shawn M. Talbott, explaining that weight loss is generally 75 percent diet and 25 percent exercise.

YSU dietitian and nutritionist Chrystyna S. Zellers said the first thing to do is to better your diet for the New Year. She said to get an overview of current eating habits.

“Completing and analyzing a three-day food log will help you see where you’re at and what you’re doing right,” Zellers said.

Stewart and Zellers agreed that motivation is an important attribute to achieving New Year’s resolutions.

“I can help students by tapping into their motivation but getting healthy is very individual. You have to be willing to make those [changes] on your own,” Zellers said.

Although no two bodies need the exact same coaching, she makes the general suggestion for every student to incorporate all the components of a healthy diet and step away from the unnecessary processed foods and sugary beverages.

Brandon Reyes, a junior nursing student at YSU, has his own New Year’s resolutions set for 2017.

In 2016 he suffered from strep throat multiple times which resulted in him getting his tonsils removed. He said this was a major setback for him.

“After I recovered from the surgery I had lost 15 pounds. I was the lightest I had been since high school, which was weird,” Reyes said.

After being sick for a large part of last year and losing muscle mass, Reyes put himself on a high-carb and protein diet, eating around four to five thousand calories a day.

“After that, I finally bounced back, and towards the last three months of 2016, I was able to start achieving the goals I set for myself in the beginning of the year,” he said.

Stewart said people fall into a bad habit of waiting until the new year to begin a healthy lifestyle. She said it should be a constant goal and not a once-a-year plan.

“You shouldn’t have to wait until Jan. 1st to improve yourself. You should always be eager to improve and learn — mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically,” Stewart says.