I often find that the first few months of the year can be very demoralising in terms of self image and feeling good about yourself, and it's natural with darkness coming so early to want to stay at home, eat something comforting, and maybe even open a nice bottle of wine or two......
Combine this with new year resolutions that have gone awry, healthy food getting ever more expensive in the shops, and the effort of just getting started, it becomes too easy to observe your increasing waistline and feel like you're resigned to your fate.
As a quick boost to self esteem I find this time of year to be the ideal time for a trip to the doctors office.
Right now I'm sure you're thinking "How can that help me to feel better?"Well it's easy.
Going to see the doctor for a health check is something that is easy to do and can gain you amazing results. You will often find you can be pleasantly surprised by the outcome too. At the very least you should get him or her to look at:
BMI (body mass index)
By getting the results of these tests, and going regularly at the same time every year, you can keep an eye on how you're doing, and if you notice an improvement year on year, it makes you feel good! Or if you don't see any improvement, or there is a deterioration, you can monitor it, get the appropriate care or find out what you need to do to get back on track. There's nothing more motivating than seeing a health care professional give you your results in black and white, and you know their advice is not going to be pulling the wool over your eyes either. They'll tell you the truth, and point you in the right direction for further help.
Most health centres do a "well man/woman" clinic, and if you have any concerns then this is the place to air them. The last time I went to see the nurse, I walked out with a spring in my step after being told I was lighter, thinner, and with a lower blood pressure than the last time I attended, and I went away with leaftlets, diet information, ideas for healthy meals, and the knowledge that I had done something very positive for myself. It gives you a great benchmark to work from, and it is an instant motivator to not only get started or keep going with your fitness routine, but to the competitive amongst us it's great to have a target to beat, or a result to improve.
Even if you know that what you'll be told is not what you wanted to hear, then it's best to hear it anyway and then do something about the situation. You'll be glad you did, and it really does take a lot of pressure off you, because that little voice that tells you that you're old, overweight, past it and ready for the end is very often wrong!
As the holder of a Commercial Pilot's Licence, I get a thorough medical every year, I go for another medical voluntarily every year in my job as a Firefighter, and I also get a well-man check every 6 months from the practice nurse at my local health centre, so if any new condition crops up, then I'm ready to deal with it straight away. Men often neglect their regular health checks, and so it is particularly important for us to make sure we get a good check at least once a year.
Make the appointment, take the advice, and have a fresh start. It will make you feel much better.