We are now well into the new year, and for most of us, we’ve made and broken those New Year’s resolutions. It’s a common experience for people to set themselves up with dreams and goals for the New Year, they start out all excited, go buy a new workout wardrobe, swear to start that diet and loudly proclaim “THIS is the year I FINALLY lose that 20 pounds!” Then comes January 2.

The leftovers, and the bowl of chocolates is still out. There’s Panettone just stale enough to be made into French toast, and of course, there’s the Rose Parade. And all those best laid plans, so sincerely made, fall apart. The self-recriminations start, and we say, what’s the use? Pass the turkey and gravy.

Okay so that was last week.

But this week’s it’s down to business. Most of us are back at work, there should be no leftovers and hopefully we’ve put away the holiday decorations for whatever holiday you celebrate.

People are about to get serious about making the changes they want in their lives, I know because this is the week that our phone rings off the hook with “just a couple of questions about a divorce.” Some people made it through the holidays gritting their teeth for “one last holiday with THEM” but are now ready to start their lives over as divorcees.

That also means it’s time to get serious about your health and losing that gut, since if you’re going to be dating, you want to be looking your best. This is the week that many people try to go it alone, they sign up for their gym, and jump in to a 45 minute treadmill workout, lifting weights that are well beyond their fitness level and trying a crash diet with no support network in place. That’s pretty much a recipe for failure. Which is why most people fail to make any lasting changes in their fitness routine.

I know from whence I speak. I’ve tried it all, and failed at it all. Which is why last August as my 50th birthday was approaching I took a different approach. I met with a nutritionist, a fitness expert, did a physical and met with my cardiologist to clear me. Then I took pictures. Embarrassing, unflattering pictures of myself.

I met with Stacey Whittle my nutritionist weekly to talk about my diet, and the changes I needed to make. Then Lisa Brisse from State of the Heart fitness did a bodyfat analysis (that’s fun! Not.)

Living on a modified paleo diet, which is essentially no rice, pasta, bread and grains, helped me to lose about 20 pounds in 2 ½ months. I also had to increase my cardio and weight training, which is increasing the muscle that helps with the fat burning.

Having the support of professionals, along with going public on Facebook about my journey, helped me to succeed. Then came the holidays in Mexico so I took a break, but I’m back at it this week.

If you want to get the support you need to reach your goals, this weekend there is an Open House / Health Fair at the Loews Hotel being put on by State of the Heart Fitness (www.StateOfTheHeartFitness.com) from 8 a.m. -12 p.m. on Saturday the 14th. This is your chance to meet Lisa Brisse (Exercise Physiologist, Wellness Coach & Founder of State of the Heart Fitness), Gigi Sutila (Fitness Coach), & Stacey Whittle (Registered Dietitian & Medical Nutrition Therapist) and get your blood pressure checked and experience some of the fitness classes they offer.

There will also be 15 minute mini lectures on various health/ fitness/ nutrition topics, discounts on State of the Heart Fitness services (personal training, wellness & nutritional programs), raffles for fitness and spa services, and complimentary 10 minute therapeutic stretch sessions with Gigi.

If you’re serious about your health, and want to move forward in the new year, stop by the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel on Saturday. There’s both street parking and a valet. Don’t let the failures of the past hold you back from a successful future. All you need is a little support, some dedication on your part to living a healthier life, and a game plan that is designed for you and your strengths.

As for me, even with my holiday break, I’m down about 20 pounds, and starting yesterday I’m back on the modified Paleo diet. I was in the pool at 7:30 a.m., and took more progress pictures of myself to post on Facebook. So no matter what you want to accomplish this year, whether it’s a divorce or a diet, it’s time to get started. If I can do it, you can do it.

David Pisarra is a Los Angeles Divorce and Child Custody Lawyer specializing in Father’s and Men’s Rights with the Santa Monica firm of Pisarra & Grist. He welcomes your questions and comments. He can be reached at dpisarra@pisarra.com or 310/664-9969.You can follow him on Twitter @davidpisarra

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