Research shows that nearly half of us make New Year’s resolutions, but only about 10% of us keep them. For many people, better exercise and nutrition are common January 1 goals.However, Tova Eastman, the Modi’in-based owner of Ignite Fitness for Women, says it does not have to be that way. A personal trainer, nutrition coach and busy mom of two, Eastman said the key to keeping one’s 2020 health goals starts with setting the right goals.“Don’t take on anything too fast,” Eastman said. “Going from zero to 60 will feel like too much and it won’t last.”
She recommends setting weekly – rather than yearly or lifetime – goals, and adding on a little more each week. This, she said, will ultimately lead to healthy habits.“I always tell my clients, it took me two years to completely cut sugar out of my coffee,” Eastman, 28, said with a smile. “I went from two tablespoons to one-and-a-half tablespoons and on until one day I tried my coffee with no sugar, and it was sweet just with milk. I slowly retrained my taste buds.”On her Ignite Fitness Facebook page, Eastman shares many personal stories that help inspire her clients. She shared some of them with the Magazine, too. For example, when she was a teenager in Baltimore, Maryland, she used to travel to school in Silver Spring. She’d come home tired and in a terrible mood. Then, one day, she started going to the gym.“I went as a social outlet, but I got all this energy and felt so good,” she recalled. “I decided I wanted to do this for the rest of my life.”At 18, she came to Israel to learn in seminary and decided to immigrate. At the same time as she completed a degree in psychology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, she became certified as an ACE personal trainer. When she graduated, she started her own business. Eastman’s original goal was just to “help people get toned like me,” but quickly she realized that “health is about so much more than how you look. It became very meaningful.” When she became pregnant about a year into opening her business, nutrition became a focus, too, first because she wanted to make healthy choices for her baby-to-be, and then to lose the 30 pounds (not counting baby) she gained during pregnancy. SO SHE studied to become a fitness nutritionist as well, and her coaching became more holistic. “It is not just workout or eat or sleep or stress management, it is all of it. I teach my clients to incorporate all of it and improve their quality of life.”Her next piece of advice? Someone’s goal should never be to look like someone else. “Everyone has a different shape, different bone structure. Your goal should be to become the healthiest version of yourself,” she told the Magazine. A third tip is balance. As an observant Jew, Eastman said she allows herself to “eat a little more on Shabbat or holidays.” “A lot of people get hyper-focused on food and they cannot stop thinking about it,” she continued. “The biggest thing is to not go into a holiday saying, ‘I am going to lose weight over the holiday. Rather, before the holiday, plan out what you want to do and be OK with it.”This could mean allowing yourself to eat a piece of cake, for example. “If you are aware of what you are going to do and you are OK with it, it changes the whole picture,” she said, noting that people don’t realize how easily one can convert unhealthy food into a healthier one, such as by using date honey instead of white sugar in their desserts.Eastman added that consistency is king.“Don’t give up when you hit a roadblock,” she said. “It is the people who keep going that see these beautiful, amazing, mental and physical results.”Most recently, Eastman launched an online course to share how busy moms can achieve their health goals, which can be accessed via her website or here. “A lot of women don’t have time to come in for personal training or the finances,” Eastman said. “So many of my clients are moms that are busy and on a budget.”The course can be done on your own time, it’s cheaper than personal training and includes everything from basic exercise plans to how to meal prep – and everything in between. “It teaches them how to make health happen for themselves,” she said.Her final tip: “Don’t say I want to look a certain way; say I want to be healthy. If the goal is health, you’ll keep going – you want to be healthy for your life.”
How to stick to your fitness New Year’s resolution.