New Year, New You 2011

The New Year always brings with resolutions and the best intentions to break bad habits. Laura Burgoine talks to a personal trainer, a dietician and a psychic about what’s on the cards for 2011.

Personal trainer Petros Pappas says he always has an influx of new clients coming into his Melbourne fitness studio in February, fuelled by New Year’s resolutions to get fit.

“Most people are still in holiday mode during January, but in February I get people coming in and everyone talks about New Years resolutions,” Pappas says. The trend has shifted in the past three or four years though, he says, with people less focused on losing weight instead aiming towards feeling healthier.

“I think it’s changed, people want to feel better, which is more real. It’s a whole approach about lifestyle rather than weight loss, like wanting to lose weight within
2 or 3 weeks,” he says.
“I don’t agree with mainstream industries, I don’t believe in diets. A lot of people come in and say they want to train four or five times a week but the last time

they trained was 20 years ago. The slow approach is always better, and it’s a common misconception that the longer people work out the more beneficial it is, which is not real, it’s all about intensity.”

Pappas says you can work out for ten minutes and if it’s intense it’s better than an hour of really light working out. “You’re not burning calories if you’re not pushing yourself, it’s about burning more calories than you’re taking in,” he says.

After people get into a good exercise routine this kick starts a domino effect of healthy lifestyle, Pappas says. “Then you become conscious of eating right, you start changing the way you feel about yourself, you start feeling lighter and feeling better about yourself.”

Pappas, at age 40, says he feels better now than when he was 20. “It’s from a personal perspective. A lot of people will feel guilty about eating chocolate but you should have everything, you shouldn’t limit yourself,” he says.

For the summer months, Pappas does more outdoor training, but says he has never written up programs for clients. “I visualize the workout for today, you change it according to how you feel, you train in the moment but still make sure it’s intense. I incorporate a bit of everything, interval, working through the core, understanding what you’re doing, using your own body weight, and ultimately making you feel like you’ve achieved something and feel good.”

Many people rush into the new year with aims to lose weight, but clinical dietician Dr Antigone Kouris-Blazos says extreme diets are not the answer. “I would never eradicate a whole food group from a diet; you need wholegrains, oats, wheat,” Dr Kouris says.

Dr Kouris says she advises different dietary plans depending on individual cases.

“If someone is very overweight and has sleep Apnea and needs to lose weight quickly I’d put them on a strict Optifast diet. That’s for fast weight loss for a medical reason, like if they’re going in for lap band surgery; they need to lose weight in order to be able to operate,” she says.

“Otherwise depending on what they want I might recommend a combination of healthy eating and partial meal replacements; using a meal replacement for one meal a day, which is designed to help cut calories.”

Dr Kouris says the current “detox” phenomena doesn’t make a lot of sense. “The liver is always detoxing,” she says. “What can happen is some people might have a fatty liver or a liver that’s not working 100 percent but you need to find out if this is the case from a professional,” she says.

“Basically upping your intake of plant foods and reducing animal foods for a while can be cleansing because it takes a load off the liver. If the liver has been overworked with fatty foods and alcohol, backing off these things will help the liver break down excess fat.”

Different patients respond differently to different diets, Dr Kouris says. “If a person comes from a family with a history of diabetes they generally respond better to reduced carbs, but you can’t eliminate entire food groups.”

Clairvoyant and psychic Lisa Andreou, of Melbourne’s the Healing Heart, says she has a really good feeling about this year and especially next year. “I can’t really explain what I’m feeling but it feels like there’s an awakening.

Even coming into the new year I was looking forward for that turn of the year; I’m feeling there’ll be something like a mass awakening or mass consciousness that will affect people on a larger scale,” she says. Andreou believes there will be a lot of devastation this year but that it will bring people closer together and ultimately result in a shift in energy.

Already this year people have been coming to Andreou looking to resolve things from last year. “Basically they’re looking for something more. Lot of clients this week are saying they feel something different about 2011, like there’s something in the air. They’re all quite optimistic, and looking forward to the year, so there’s a positive vibe,” she says.

Shifts in attitudes are prompting exciting change, Andreou says. “I’ve already done a few past life regressions in this past week, some from existing clients who haven’t really been into that sort of thinking previously.”

Andreou suggests making a vision board as an effective way to map out resolutions and plans. “I find having a vision board helps me stay grounded and focused. It’s a really good idea to have a solid foundation of who you are and where you want to go on a spiritual or soul level,” she says.

“I’m a great believer in that what you put out there comes back to you; it’s all about manifestation. If you can visualize yourself in a certain way you’re more likely to shift energy to make that reality. It’s all about the power of thought and manifestation.”

“Each year things change and evolve; every year is different. From what I feel on a spiritual level I get a sense that people are looking for a higher aspect of themselves; material things are not as important anymore, people are focused on learning to trust and love themselves and find their higher selves.”