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Kelvin Gary, owner of Body Space Fitness, a bootcamp-style workout center in Manhattan, says that, when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, “the myth of perfection is a setup for failure.”
1. What is the biggest mistake people make setting a New Year’s resolution?
Resolutions have to be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. Rome was not built overnight. You didn’t gain 30 pounds over two weeks. There’s a good chance you’re not going to lose 30 pounds in two weeks either.
2. How do you stay committed to your resolution after you get off track?
The only thing you can control now is the next thing that you do. Coach Krzyzewski from Duke constantly encourages his players, “Next play! Next play!”
If you get knocked down 10 times and you get back up 11, great. If you keep making the same mistakes, we have to find out what those roadblocks are, but remember to keep reminding yourself, “Next play, next play, next play.”
3. What advice do you have for maintaining healthy eating habits?
The myth of perfection is a setup for failure. We need to plan imperfections into our resolutions. If you eat healthy 80% of the time, and live a little 20% of the time, that is going to get you where you need to go. The big thing is we’re not consistent enough for long enough to see the change actually start to take place and stick.
4. What is your go-to cheat meal?
My weekly cookie.
5. How can people be healthier during the 22-23 hours a day that they’re not working out?
Making sure you recover right is first and foremost. Supplementation with Sojen is a huge part of recovery. As you can imagine, balancing running a gym with 10 trainers and hundreds of clients with a wife and two kids (ages 5 and 7) can be a bit stressful. Keeping it all going during a pandemic adds to it. Now that I’m using Sojen, my recovery hasn’t been this good since COVID hit.
After recovery, get up and move around. For people who are working from home, go for a walk around your neighborhood.
Finally, eat unprocessed foods. A bag of chips takes fewer calories to break down than a bowl of fruit. For people who say a calorie is a calorie is a calorie, that’s bull. Food that you have to work harder to break down is going to be more valuable to you.
6. What is your 2021 resolution?
World domination. Just kidding. I want to get back to running the marathon. I didn’t run the marathon last year because there was no marathon. I want to break the 4:30 mark this year.
7. How helpful is a community to achieving your New Year’s resolution?
It’s huge. At Body Space Fitness, we primarily focus on semi-private training, which means you’re doing your own customized training program but you’re doing it in a group. Research shows that people who train in a group see significantly better results, on average, than people who train one-on-one. Having people to help pick you up and refocus you is huge.
This interview has been edited and condensed.