January Joiners 2013

in January Joiners

Are you sick of New Year’s Resolutions already?  I sure hope not.  It’s only January 9!  And actually, my #1 piece of NYR advice is to wait to start your resolutions until mid-January, especially if you’re trying to get healthy.  There are too many leftover Christmas treats and uncorked bottles of champagne hanging out. Winking smile  Other smart goal setting strategies are discussed in the Healthy Tipping Point book!


Anyway, my non-resolution is going well.  And I’m working on my behavior modification to go to bed earlier, too, but this one is really hard to maintain.  I always want to stay up and do grown-up things.


So, without further ado, here are this year’s January Joiners.  A January Joiner is someone who, well, joins a gym or commits to being healthy in the New Year.  I hope a little encouragement motivates them to stick to it!  And I’ll be following up with them in January 2014 so… stay tuned!


christine sChristine says:  “This year especially (and a few times in the past) I’m a January Joiner.  I’ve actually belonged to a fitness program through my health insurance for the past 6 months but didn’t visit a gym until yesterday.  I could feel the hate radiating off the regulars as I took my place on a treadmill yesterday. One person even approached me and said "It is 6:00 and that is my usual time on this treadmill."  I thought she might take a swing at me.  I’m thankful for all the things I have in my life.  My husband is wonderful, my job is great and I have wonderful friends and supportive family.  But, I use food as my coping mechanism, and the last two years have been difficult.  We’ve had to replace two cars because of accidents.  We’ve had to deal with large medical bills stemming from the car accidents and two unrelated hospital stays while dealing with a period of unemployment.  We just haven’t been able to get ahead of our own lives.


Luckily, the stress appears to be balancing.  Well, fingers crossed, at least.  My husband and I are both healthy.  We both have jobs we love, a great apartment in a nice community, money to pay bills and have some fun, great friends, and supportive families. But, I’m faced with the realization that I’m 70 pounds overweight and most days I don’t feel like my best self, or even like my average self.  I don’t have any energy.  While my self-worth is not tied into my appearance, I don’t feel like I belong in my own skin.  I don’t like the way I look and I don’t like the way I feel.  I don’t want to deal with issues like heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, or anything else related to my weight issues in the near or distant future.  I think my family, friends, and my husband deserve me at my best.  But mostly, I think I deserve to wake up every morning knowing I’m taking positive steps to be healthy.  I want to have more energy, sleep better, and gain a sense of general well-being that has been lacking for the past 10 years.


So for 2013, I’ve committed to a few things.  First, I want to lose weight  I don’t believe in setting weight loss goals that are dependent on time restrictions because, inevitably I don’t meet the goals I set and it tanks my motivation.  So, I want to lose weight.  I obviously have a lot of weight to lose and I’d like to start off with a significant chunk in 2013 but anything that can be sustained over the long term would make me happy.  Also, I want to start regularly exercising again.  With the help of GymPact (finally available on Android!), I hope to get to the gym, or at least outside for a walk, 3 times a week, as a start.  My final fitness goal for 2013 is to run a 5k.  But for now, actually getting to the gym and working out regularly would be a vast improvement.


Lastly, I want to change my relationship with food.  I want to actually pay attention to what I’m putting in my body and how it impacts how I feel.  Less eating for comfort or distraction, more purposeful decisions to listen to my body.  More fruits and veggies, less meat.  More cooking at home, less eating out.  More whole foods and less processed junk.  I’m not going to give up my favorites but I can eat them less and learn to add new favorites that are perhaps a little better for me.”


Molloy Jan Joiners

Maeve wrote, “When I moved from New York to India in 2010, my main measure of health was whether or not I had an upset stomach that day! My main focus was not getting sick, but I was not necessarily staying healthy. Transitioning to working in an office, takeout food, Indian food…it all should have meant that I put on weight. But to my great surprise, I was losing weight rapidly!  Before I made friends my main entertainment was trips to the gym in my neighborhood. In two years, I lost about 40 pounds. However, much of this weight loss was due to stress from moving and a demanding job. I had vitamin deficiencies and developed a stress fracture in my foot because I just wasn’t working out smart or eating enough nutritious food (paneer is delicious….it is not the backbone of a healthy diet). I’d become accustomed to eating whatever I wanted and still losing weight.


In 2012, when I got a handle on my health and was letting my foot heal, I quickly learned that those pounds wouldn’t stay off on their own, and regained about 20 pounds of the weight. I am entering 2013 far healthier but with a goal to lose those 20 pounds for good. I want to run smart and get through the year injury-free. And my biggest goal? A flat stomach for wearing Saris with confidence! “


Jillian wrote, “I have gone between Weight Watchers and My Fitness Pal for many years but I finally want to get on a track and stay there. I have approximately 125 pounds to lose but I don’t want to focus on the number, I want to focus on how my clothes fit and how much healthier I’ll feel. Seeing my number slowly drop, will just be an added bonus.


I had my son at the end of July and had only gained 30 pounds while pregnant but since I was already overweight, 30 pounds was quite high. However, a week after he was born I was back down to my pre-pregnancy weight.  But I’ve since gained 10 of that back and I need to get that plus more off once and for all. With my son, life is very busy so I want to focus on trying to fit exercise in even when life appears jammed packed.  My goal is to weigh less than I do at this moment but more importantly to complete my second half marathon later in the year. “


Christmas and Commitment Day 5K 103Sierra wrote, “January Joiners would be the perfect chance for me to keep myself accountable and to achieve goals I have wanted to for a long time. My first big goal of the year is to successfully raise all the funds for the Team in Training team I am participating in. My fundraising goal is $1300 and the race is the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon in Washington DC. For the most part, I walked the last Half-Marathon I did and came in at 3:49:56. I would like to do more running than walking for this Half-Marathon and am thinking a 3:15 goal time would be great! I am also eyeing the LA Rock ‘n Roll Half-Marathon in October.


My second big goal of the year is to really run. I take a lot of walking breaks right now and I would really like to be able to increase endurance and speed. I have started the Couch to 5K program many times and I will get all the way through the program in 2013. I did the Commitment Day 5K and while it was my slowest 5K race I have ever done, I did not let that discourage me. Instead, I felt something click and I look forward to how far I am going to go physically in 2013.


My third big goal of the year is to safely lose 3 pounds per month for 36 pounds lost in 2013. I went for 5 pounds a month in 2012 and was disappointed when things did not go right all the time. Instead of losing any pounds in 2012, I gained. I would like to lose a total of 60 pounds, but I want to do it slowly and steadily while making lifestyle changes that will stick. I do not want to make any changes I cannot live with.


All these goals have a bigger reason for me and one I have only told one other person, until telling everyone on Healthy Tipping Point. I would like to do the OKC Memorial Marathon in April 2014! Wow! I can’t believe I am putting this goal out into the interwebs! I want to do everything in my power to get my body in the best shape before I try a marathon. (I also want to work in law enforcement, so that is a huge reason why.) I chose the OKC Memorial Marathon because I originally from Oklahoma and while I joke I never want to move back to Oklahoma, it still has a special place in my heart. I also remember my parents having the TV on after the OKC Bombing and seeing horrific images on the screen. The OKC Memorial itself is one of my "favorites" to visit and reflect on. I’m getting teary eyed, so I am going to move on. I feel like running the OKC Memorial Marathon would be fitting for me because Oklahoma has been a huge part of my life and it helped shape me into the person I am. “


There are more JJ stories coming later this week, but for now, do you have any advice for Christine, Maeve, Jillian, or Sierra?  My #1 piece of advice for those who want to exercise more would be to really study their lives and figure out how to fit in exercise.  We often dive headfirst into our goals without addressing our schedule first.  If you get too overwhelmed, you’ll never stick to it!



  • Hillary January 9, 2013, 10:11 am

    I think my biggest piece of advice is to find a way to make exercise a habit—and a fun habit, at that! One of the major reasons I work out is because it is so embedded in my schedule and my life; it’s as much a part of my day as brushing my teeth! It took a long time to get at this point, but I got here and it’s made all the difference.

    • Whitney January 9, 2013, 11:50 am

      You took the words right out of my mouth! I look at working out just like brushing my teeth.. you may not like doing it but it’s something you have to do to stay healthy and it’s definitely worth it! It has to be apart of your lifestyle, not just a means to an end 🙂

  • Dani @ Live Lightly Everyday January 9, 2013, 10:14 am

    Sending good vibes to all of the January Joiners! There is something so refreshing about all of the positive attitudes.. I love it!

  • Jenni Warren January 9, 2013, 10:23 am

    Good luck to everyone!! All these goals for the year sound fantastic and certainly attainable as long as you continue to believe in yourself!

    Christine- I was kind of saddened to hear that some people can still have such a bad attitude at the gym, and I’m sorry that you had to encounter one. I have been lucky enough to not be faced with that. Even being considered fit by most of my friends, I still feel the stares at the gym sometimes. It’s important to put them out of your mind. You aren’t there for other people, you are there for yourself. Give it a few months, and you’ll be running laps around them with all the progress you’ve made!

    Sierra- As someone else who has a marathon as a final goal, good luck! Starting with a half is probably one of the smartest things I could ever tell someone to do. There isn’t really a proper way to explain the difference in running 13 miles around your local lake and actually tackling that distance surrounded by thousands of other people. I look forward to hearing about how you reach all of your goals this year and in 2014 🙂

    To all the JJs- Remember the most important thing is how you feel, that always outweighs the number on the scale for me. Number goals are good, but don’t let them get the best of you if you feel like you are making progress. If you feel better, then you probably are!

  • Summer P January 9, 2013, 10:41 am

    Christine, I hope you didn’t move from that treadmill. I would have said, “don’t see your name on it!”. What a jerk. I couldn’t even imagine that happening to me at the gym.

  • dotsie January 9, 2013, 10:44 am

    Horray for the JJ’s!

    Can’t believe that witch told the first JJ it was 6pm, her usual time on the treadmill. What the heck?! If there isn’t a sign up sheet, it’s fair game. Don’t let that fool woman scare you from accomplishing your goal of the evening/goals for the year!

  • Sara January 9, 2013, 10:48 am

    Good luck to all the JJ! I can related to Jillian with Weight Watchers. For some reason I found the old program easier to lose weight than the new program, but post-pregnancy I hope to go back to Weight Watchers. For some reason, counting points really helps my brain more so than counting calories. Good luck to everyone!

  • Sarah @ Yogi in Action January 9, 2013, 11:11 am

    I’m huge into organization- as otherwise life gets way too busy. I plan out my week on Sunday- including what I’m going to eat and when I’ll work out. I find having a meal plan to be especially helpful, as the hardest part of cooking is figuring out what to make. Once I plan out a workout, I try to treat it like I would any other appointment- something I have to do, with no excuses why I can’t. Finally, I try and plan to go with friends- as I’m more likely to go if I have someone else who’s depending on me to be there.

    Good luck to all January Joiners! Don’t let people at the gym intimidate you- remember, they were once newbies too.

  • Christine January 9, 2013, 11:35 am

    Summer, I did not move! I waited for that treadmill and it didn’t kill her to have to wait, too. 🙂

    • Summer P January 10, 2013, 9:42 am

      Awesome! You go girl!

  • Sara @ fitcupcaker January 9, 2013, 1:01 pm

    Definitely try to make a schedule and stay with it.. it only takes 10 days to form a habit!!

  • Debbie B. January 9, 2013, 1:05 pm

    Good luck to all the January Joiners. As I am focused on my help, I am trying to remember that sometimes the small things make a huge improvement in our health. I have a desk job but we are encouraged to get up and walk. I have added a 20 minute walk break in my day. That extra mile a day means that I walk an additional 5 miles a week and in a year I will have walked 250 miles (2 weeks vacation time not included).
    Of course the little things add up with food as well. Instead of my usual chocolate candy bar, I am substituting tea or fruit.
    With these small changes, I have already lost 5 pounds since 12/26 and I know you can do it too!

  • Aerevyn Harteis January 9, 2013, 1:08 pm

    Are you looking for more any January Joiners? I’m setting a signifigant goal for myself and would love the added incentive of putting my goal out in front of a bunch of people.

  • Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nut January 9, 2013, 1:46 pm

    I love the “January Joiners” theme…although when I saw the title I thought it was going to be a complaint about all the newcomers to the gym every January (which slowly fades through the year).

    I am a big fan of New Years Resolutions and goal -setting! Some tips would be:
    1. Start with little things, little habits you can keep your WHOLE LIFE. Otherwise it’s just another diet.
    2. Know that slow weight loss is best, otherwise you risk messing with your metabolism.
    3. Have fun! Learn new ways to cook and different ways to burn calories throughout the day…this should be a challenge, but you shouldn’t feel awful through the process! 🙂

  • Carrie January 9, 2013, 2:19 pm

    So proud of all the January Joiners! A word of caution, however. I see many of us ladies/gents that set long distance running/walking goals (which are awesome!) paired with weight loss goals (which are great!), but it can be difficult to lose the body fat we desire when training for endurance events. I think many people overlook this and get very discouraged by not losing much weight despite their awesome increase in fitness. It can be a frustrating/demotivating experience. Caitlin, with all the endurance events you’ve done, it would be an awesome post to talk about fueling for endurance and the slowing of weight-loss that can happen while training for these events. Sending long-lasting motivation to all!

    • Christin January 9, 2013, 9:45 pm

      I would be interested in a post about this, too. You could even have other healthy living bloggers weigh in, maybe!

  • Anne Weber-Falk January 9, 2013, 2:52 pm

    Hurrah for all of you! Don’t let a few negative people get you down. These people forget what it’s like to be new to a place. They were there at one time too.
    Set reasonable goals, like losing 3 pounds a month if you want to lose some weight, or starting with the smallest hand weights or an empty bar for strength and toning. The confidence you will have when you reach that monthly weight loss and when you have to grab a heavier hand weight because the former is too easy will be your great reward. The greatest being when you start to SEE the results that you worked hard for.
    In order to stay a regular visitor to the facility, be sure to schedule your workout days and times on the calendar and treat them as if they were a doctor appointment. You would never miss a scheduled appointment to the doc would you? No you wouldn’t. You go to the doctor to stay well and/or to get well. This is the same thing. You are all off to a fabulous start. Keep up the great work.

    • Anne Weber-Falk January 9, 2013, 3:02 pm

      Oh, I almost forgot to mention! While I was not a JJ, I did all of these things at the beginning. Now my workouts are a habit. If I’m away from it, say a week off for vacation, I truly miss it, both mentally and physically. Working out makes me feel strong and happy and empowered. I still have a way to go before I reach my fitness goals but I love it. I enjoy the work so much that I became an instructor. I lead six aqua classes a week at our two fitness centers and I’ve made so many new friends and acquaintances.

  • Ali January 9, 2013, 3:06 pm

    Congratulations to all of you! My piece of advise is to lose weight sloooowly. In my experience, the faster it comes of the faster (and more) it comes back on. About 2.75 years ago, I decided to make a change (triggered by a bridesmaids dress not fitting!) and have since lost 103 pounds. I still have about 20 more to go but have been torn and stressed with work and life stress since June and have just been focusing on weight maintenance and being healthy. That being said, I’ve learned enough during my slow weight loss period to be able to maintain for 7 months! I am so proud of myself for that. Do worry about what other people say, do it for yourself, and don’t ever let yourself get discouraged! It takes time and you will slip up but it’s those slip ups that help you learn how to deal with stuff and develop tactics for the future! Take a few small steps at a time and before you know it, you be healthier than before. Good luck, I KNOW you can all do it! 🙂

    • Jillian January 9, 2013, 8:04 pm

      CONGRATULATIONS! That is an astounding loss and very motivational!

      • Ali January 9, 2013, 10:24 pm

        Thank you! I just reread my comment and meant to say “do NOT worry about what people say”. 🙂

  • Sydney January 9, 2013, 5:15 pm

    Sierra– I am running the OKC half! I love your goal to run the marathon– I know several people who work for the memorial museum and it’s truly a touching event. I’m also blogging about my training!

  • Ginger January 9, 2013, 6:28 pm

    Caitlyn, I absolutely love that you do this. To those who gripe about new people at the gym in January, I say, “Give ’em a break, you should be happy that others are exercising.” January Joiner: Big Congrats for getting started, you can do this!

    • Ginger January 9, 2013, 6:29 pm

      *January Joiners*

  • Claire January 9, 2013, 7:33 pm

    When I lost weight a few years ago one thing that really helped me was to surround myself with positive motivational mantras. I wrote them at the top of my planner and stuck them to my mirror, places where I would be sure to read them daily. Some of my favorites are “Don’t let self doubt become a self-fulfilling prophecy” and “Tomorrow you will wish you had started today”. GOOD LUCK!

  • Ellen @ Wannabe Health Nut January 9, 2013, 7:52 pm

    I think the most important thing is to STAY POSITIVE. If you have a setback, allow yourself to be disappointed for a moment, but then brush it off and move on. Don’t tell yourself untruths like “I’m not meant to do this..” or “I just like food too much to change.” A positive attitude will propel you forward because it helps you use your attention and energy in a helpful way. If you take a second to reflect after a binge, you might be able to realize what triggered it. If you allow yourself to get down in the dumps, chances are you’ll eat more and the vicious cycle will start all over. I also think it’s important to ACCEPT that it takes work. Wishing it was easy will get you nowhere. It does get easier though and when you start feeling and looking better, you’ll realize just how worth it it is! Best wishes everyone!

  • Kerry January 9, 2013, 8:05 pm

    Good luck everyone!

    Christine, I can’t believe she said that to you! Don’t give up – some people might think I’m looking at them sideways at the gym, but this week I’m trying to catch the eyes of as many new people as possible to smile and say hello! I hope that you also experience that, because when I joined a couple years ago I got through the initial fear of being at the new gym because some people were friendly to me.

  • Kristin January 10, 2013, 3:55 am

    I think it would be great to have a few check it points for the new JJers. Could be interesting for both the readers and the JJers.

    • Kristin January 10, 2013, 3:56 am

      *check in

    • Caitlin January 10, 2013, 8:14 am

      Great idea!!!

    • Christine January 15, 2013, 2:48 pm

      I think this is a great idea, and would be happy to participate!

  • jameil January 10, 2013, 6:00 am

    Ignore the naysayers! I used to be one of them, too. But I also said I was going to run a 5K every January for 4 years before I actually did it. It caught on in 2011. And last year I ran 2 5Ks, 3 10Ks & a half marathon. Once you really want it, you’ll move things out of the way to have it! You can do it! Can’t wait to hear your success stories next year!

  • Nina January 10, 2013, 7:30 am

    Good luck everyone! I know it is not going to be easy so I wish all of you the best of luck!

  • Meagan January 10, 2013, 12:55 pm

    Yay JJs! We love you Jillian! ♥

    • Jillian January 10, 2013, 9:12 pm

      Thank you Meagan! Muah!

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