Every new year, it’s the same thing: New Year’s resolutioners coming into the gym saying “this is the year”.

I applaud all of them.

I applaud them whether being active, working out, trying a class or simply just getting off the couch is new for them, or if this is the 20th year they’ve tried again. Each and every one of them deserves a pat on the back for starting. The hard part is the continuing.

This year will be my fifth year competing at the Arnolds. Like most of you, my training and diet went a bit array in December and, with the renovations in November, that added up to two months of being a little “off”.

The stress of it all didn’t help either.

This year has also been the hardest year for me to make changes. It could be that my body is changing as I get older, it could be I have higher expectations, it could be that my body is used to my old diet and it needed a change up, or it could be that my body was holding on because it was under so much stress.

Whatever it was, it reinforced the need to journal and the need to KEEP GOING. Check in four weeks after no changes, make some minor adjustments to my nutrition and change up my program a bit and, blam! Back on track with changes weekly.

After a month of no changes, most people (especially people who are new to training) would quit. Write it off and “it doesn’t work for me” and then turn back to crazy crash diets and buying crazy items off the late night TV.

The truth is that training, cardio and eating whole foods are the only things that work long term.

Read that sentence again.

If you’ve been struggling, just keep going. Be consistent with your activity and your diet. Be honest with yourself.

Are there days when you don’t make it to the gym because you are just too tired? Or days when you let work get in the way of you? Or days when you had an extra chocolate or two?

To all you people who had a goal in January and have since given up on yourself, don’t stop! Even after babies, weight gain, very poor eating habits, depression, loss of parents, etc. Through it all, being a healthy, active individual is the only thing that brought me back.

You’re not alone in your struggle … don’t quit!

This column is provided by Mrs. Lee Randell, independent fitness consultant, who is an ACE certified advanced health and fitness specialist and personal trainer. You can reach her at www.mrsleerandell.com.