Success in setting, meeting personal goals starts with commitment
RESOLUTIONS a re a common topic of conversation as the new year approaches. Here are some people profiled in the past and what they resolve to do in 2016:
High school teacher, exercise lover For this Winnipeg high school teacher, New Year’s resolutions tend to get in the way of her success.
“You hear people talk about resolutions. You have to hold on to them,” says Margaret Murray, who last spoke with the Winnipeg Free Press in 2006 about her slow but steady 25-pound weight loss she didn’t even realize she’d achieved until a doctor’s office weigh-in.
“I think that when you’re constantly checking in all the time, it’s too much work.”
But just because Murray doesn’t make resolutions doesn’t mean her 2016 won’t be a health-conscious one. More than a decade after she lost weight through making quality exercise part of her daily routine, the Kildonan East teacher says she’s fitter than ever.
Rather than making unrealistic promises to themselves, Murray and her husband, Darryl, are living their goals. The pair works out at the Rady Centre five days a week and has run three half-marathons together.
They walk for their coffee, lunch and dinners — even when the snow is piled high. “I even walked to a lunch in Osborne Village. That took 40 minutes,” Murray says proudly.
Their recent move to River Heights from North Kildonan has helped fuel their good health, since their new neighbourhood is full of sidewalks and fun destinations.
“It’s the commitment that we have built into it to lead a better lifestyle. The important part that people have to realize. It shouldn’t be that you counted calories or lost weight,” says Murray.
“What I indicate to my students: measure success through small improvements. That’s led us to our success story. Leading that balanced lifestyle. You do need that exercise and you do need that nutrition.”
Lost more than 200 pounds through healthy eating, exercise and a 12-step program For 2016, Roy. B. wants to do a headstand.
“It scares the hell out of me. Your arms and shoulders are taking up most of the weight,” says the St. Vital resident, who uses yoga classes to improve his flexibility and ease aches and pains.
“With proper supervision, I can certainly achieve that goal.”
Goals aren’t new to Roy. Once, he could barely walk for a few blocks before he was ready to collapse.
It was Christmas Day three years ago the Winnipegger began to change his life. That’s when he started his transformation from a 400-pound compulsive overeater to the fit 186 pounds he is today.
Roy, not his real name, continues what he calls his “abstinence” from the foods that triggered his overeating. (In August, he told the Free Press about his struggles with overeating and how Overeaters Anonymous — a 12-step program — saved his life.)
Another 2016 resolution? To help others achieve their goals.
He’s already started by sharing his story regularly at OA meetings. Roy’s physician has asked him to speak to a group of patients about his accomplishments. And fellow OA members are welcome at his place if they need to talk.
“I’ve opened up my home on Christmas Day for people who want to have a meeting and who are struggling with eating around the holidays,” says Roy.
He loves being an OA sponsor — a mentor for someone else struggling with overeating. It’s a way of giving back. He says he will spend every day in 2016 being thankful for how far he’s come.
“To me, it’s a miracle, basically. If I didn’t have sponsors to help me along the way I don’t know I would have made it.”
Fitness leader, owner of soon-to-open Orange Theor y Fitness Fitness pro Ruth Asper wants to get her Sugar fix in 2016.
But it’s not the white, sweet stuff she’s after. Rather, it’s her horse — a six-year-old Friesian gelding — named Sugar.
She got Sugar late last summer. Asper says she will try to visit the horse, located in Arizona, as much as possible in the upcoming year.
Having a horse reminds her of her father, who encouraged her to take lessons as a child. Today, riding helps her unwind.
“When I’m in the saddle, I don’t think about anything else — the business issues and the errands. You just have to be very focused on riding well and communicating with the horse,” says Asper, who, in the early 1980s cofounded Tights, one of Winnipeg’s first aerobics studios.
She is also the founder of Strategym — and she’s getting ready to open a new business, Orange Theory Fitness.
Asper says riding when stressed can affect the horse. “They know it and they tend to get scared. It’s not an easy ride.”
She says riding a horse isn’t just an exercise in meditation; it’s also physically gruelling. She understands why so many horse riders are fit.
“It’s a lot of co-ordination and a lot of core training,” says Asper. “You really have to focus on so much of your technique and the 2,000-pound animal that you’re in control of... It really makes you strong.”
Margaret Murray, a high school teacher and fitness enthusiast, is committed to doing lots of walking in her neighbourhood.