I don't do the whole "New Years Resolution" thing. Don't get me wrong; I think making and working toward goals is great, but calling it a "resolution" is a sure-fire way to doom your goal right from the start. People don't give themselves any wiggle room at this time of year: "I WILL go to the gym every day, and I WILL stop eating all junk food" are way too rigid for people who are just starting into a lifestyle change. People expect immediate gratification, and when it doesn't come, they give up.
Another reason resolutions fail is that there isn't enough motivation to keep people going until they do start seeing results. I've talked before about how finding what makes you happy is the only way to keep your motivation. Sometimes though, we need that horrifying reality check to give us the jump start we need. For some people it's seeing a picture of themselves, or finding that their clothes don't fit anymore and they need to go up another size. Unfortunately, that's not always enough. Sometimes, like me, it takes a health scare to make you realize what you're doing to yourself.
If you're a resolution-ist, I want you give you a strong enough motivation to help you hold out until you start seeing the positive changes in your health. At the bottom of this post, I'm going to give you a link to a picture I found this weekend. I'm not posting the picture itself because you probably don't want to see it if you have a weak stomach, or if there are little kids around, since it's a little graphic. It's a picture of two body scans. One woman weighs 250 lbs and the other weighs 120 lbs. You can see their muscles, fat, bones, and organs. The bigger woman has enlarged organs surrounded by fat. Most of the time people think they need to lose weight because of the fat we can see, but the most dangerous kind is the "visceral" fat, or the fat that's under your muscles, surrounding your organs. That stuff WILL KILL YOU. And the worst part is, you can still be skinny, and have that hiding inside of you if you're not taking care of yourself.
I'm not saying you need to weigh 120 lbs. In fact, I'm tall enough that I'd be a skeleton at 120, and I'd probably be in the hospital. I'm just saying that I want to live for a long time, and when I forget why I'm trying to change my lifestyle, this picture is just the sort of reminder I need. I hope it helps you too.
Remember: Don't look at this picture if you have a weak stomach! Don't say I didn't warn you. Here is the link: body scans of a 250 lb woman vs. 120 lb woman