New Year's resolution: abs, please!

my diet.

I’ve decided to cut out soda, candy, alcohol, and…Five Guys burgers. I know, I’m giving up my two favorite loves: a fun, wild Friday night full of booze and my all-time addiction to those juicy Five Guys burgers.  And naturally, I also plan to watch my carb intake.

“You won’t get a flat tummy by coming to this class,” the YMCA ab class instructor barked. “You need to eat lots of protein—eggs, chicken, steak."

Last night, I cooked myself a humongous pot of lentil stew with spinach, tomatoes, carrots, onions and potatoes.  How’s that for upping my protein intake?

In addition to the various core exercises that I’m incorporating into my routine—most of which include lots of crunches, plank position exercises, and leg lifts—I read that maintaining a healthy sleep schedule is key, as well.  So, I plan to work on getting to bed before midnight.

With the recognition that this will be a huge challenge for me, I realize that there may be slip-ups -- but I’m not planning to keep this behavior up forever, which I’m hoping will be my motivation to stay strong. On Feb. 28, I'll be running the Gasparilla half-marathon. And as soon as I cross the finish line, receive a 10-minute massage, and boogie down at the post-race party, I will most likely be found at Five Guys enjoying at least one (and possibly more) hamburgers.

If I had to name one aspect of my body that I’ve never been able to perfect, I would choose my midsection. Flat? Yes. Strong? Not exactly. For my 2010 New Year’s resolution, I’d like to adjust my diet and reevaluate my gym routine to achieve rock-hard abs that I’ve never had before.

Already, I run close to 15 miles a week and that is not including the other cardio-intensive activities I’m involved in, like spin classes or tennis. It would be pretty safe to say that I lead a very active lifestyle.

My legs and arms are in great shape. I feel very strong and balanced, but when it comes time to show off my abs well, let’s just say it's rather disappointing.

“You should pick up yoga again,” Catherine said.  Catherine, my roommate in college, spends three hours a week in yoga classes and, while she might be right that yoga includes several positions and stances that whip your abs into shape, I think my dilemma is beyond fitness.

Since making this decision, I’ve realized that I need to face the cold, hard truth that I’ve been avoiding for quite awhile:

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