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Experts weigh in on health resolutions
Jill Thornton
Jill Thornton, left, coaches Becca Lopez, who is a fulltime mom, at Cumming Strength and Fitness. Below, Thornton encourages Kyle Porter through his workout of the day. - photo by Bradley Wiseman

Every year, people go through the same routine of “new year, new me.”

Gym memberships skyrocket in number for a few weeks of the New Year, before slowly petering out as school, work and everyday life takes priority and goals are forgotten.   

According to health and fitness experts in the Forsyth County area, the key to holding onto those goals might be simpler than one might think. 

“I think a big problem that people run into is that they don’t have a long term focus,” said Elyse Sartor, outpatient nutritionist for Northside Hospital, including Northside Hospital-Forsyth. “They fall for quick losses, when they should really be thinking for 10 to 15 years down the line.”

Sartor said that the best fitness and health tip he can offer is for people to establish habits for healthy foods and activities.

“Crash diets where people lose 30, 40 or 50 pounds in a month really aren’t healthy, because most of those people gain it all back plus more,” Sartor said.

She said that there are three foundations for long term health that can lead to healthy habits: eating healthy foods, practicing portion control and setting goals to think about every day. 

Jill Thornton
- photo by Bradley Wiseman
According to Sartor, the first two are very important, because “abs are made in the kitchen …

People need to be eating non-starchy vegetables, drinking fewer sweet and sugary drinks and eating more nuts, seeds, beans and legumes,” she said. “At the same time people need to know what a portion of non-starchy vegetables is and what a portion of protein is.”

She also said that knowing how to set the right goals is also crucial. 

“They need to set goals, that are written down and kept around,” Sartor said. 

She tells her clients to make goals that are SMART or specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.

Lastly, Sartor said that if someone feels like they need help they should talk with a professional, think about what they need and find a person or group to inspire them. 

“Finding social support is a big one, and gyms are great places to find social support,” she said.

She explained that many gyms will often have a dietician on staff, and nearly all of them will have a trainer or someone else to help with motivation.  

Jill Thornton, owner of local CrossFit studio Cumming Strength and Fitness agrees that people looking to make a change in their physical health need more than just a yearly resolution.  

“It’s very hard to go into a new year with goals and resolutions alone,” said Cumming Strength and Fitness owner Jill Thornton. 

“So for someone who is really looking to make a change in 2018 — lose weight, get stronger, run a 5K, no matter what their goal is — it’s going to be important for them to find someone to hold them accountable to that goal.” 

Thornton and her trainers are planning to do just that for anyone hoping to better themselves in the New Year. 

 “It’s just knowing what the goal is and being willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen,” Thornton said.    

Thornton, a mom and small business owner, said that she still has time to keep in peak shape because she manages her time well and is dedicated to improving herself. 

“There’s no such thing as too early for me. I’ll get up at 6 a.m. and get my first lifting session in my basement done before my kids are even awake,” she said.

“You have the same amount of hours in the day as everyone else; it’s how you use them that matters. If you are dedicated to the goal, you will find a way to make it happen.”