I have worked in and in support of the fitness industry for the last 12 years. Over this decade, I have observed a classic pattern from many of my clients and friends I call “The Wet February Storm.”

It goes like this…

Many people get motivated to wipe away the sins of December with a Tibetan monk like January. And they crush it! During the month, they work out 25-30 times, trade in the booze for a mindfulness/cold shower routine, and do Whole Thirty (or some other super food-restrictive diet or time-restricted eating diet).

The results are incredible. People lose 10lbs. The booze puffiness goes away. Sometimes, chronic joint pains are healed. Lives are freaking changed.

Then, a storm comes. It’s called Wet February. It starts on Super Bowl Sunday and sticks around until late April or the beginning of May. The storm is an indulgence in all of the food and drink that was removed during the month of clean living. It lasts until folks realize they must wear a swimsuit in public again. Then there is a mad dash back to the gym and crazy fad diets to try and undo the battering effects of the storm.

This yo-yo-type pattern of extremes is common. Sometimes, the hardcore January does create lasting change. More often than not, the net result at the year’s end is a gain in weight year/year, loss of health and in January, the cycle kicks off again.

I am talking about this not to disparage anyone doing dry January or Whole Thirty. I am doing this to encourage you to have a plan when January comes to an end. Living a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle is a collection of small habits that add up to one giant thing. Things like

1. Make a meal plan each week
2. Going grocery shopping
3. Prepping food so it’s easy to make good choices
4. Looking at restaurant menus before a work meeting to know what you are ordering
5. Getting 10k steps every day, even when it rains or is cold

These are all critical little habits that add up to keeping the momentum of a health boot camp like dry January and, over time, make it so you don’t need a dry January because you live a healthy, well-balanced life where you can have drinks and cookies, but not gain weight or lose control.

So, the challenge here is to know that the February storm is coming and prepare by writing down three core competencies (habits) that were gained from dry January and then plan to stick to them for the rest of the year. Ask a friend to help you with accountability even, or go full David Goggins and write it down on post it notes and put them on your mirror so you have to look at yourself and your new habits every morning in the mirror. Whatever it takes just find a way to commit to these 3 big habits.

It is ok if you don’t know what to write or do. It’s hard and confusing. That is where getting a little guidance and accountability from a professional like our team dietician, Shawn Pitcher, can help.

Shawn’s program is built around developing core behaviors to help people live healthy and happy lives. He doesn’t just get people to lose weight or quit the drinks. He gets his clients to change the underlying behavioral pattern that gained weight in the first place.

If you want to learn more, set up a free 15-minute phone consult with him. It’s free and you may find you already have all the tools you need.

If you have been doing Dry January, stay strong, my friends. Do not let Wet February take you down!!!

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