Crystal Martin knows about keeping resolutions. Seven years ago, Martin was overweight and in an abusive marriage. Today, the mother of four is a fitness trainer, life coach and model on a meteoric rise to fame. She is now happily married as well. The self-stylized “Fit Mom of Four” and founder of CM Lifestyle runs a bootcamp in Katy, but she’s also a sought after lifestyle coach who has inspired hundreds of clients to improve their lives, both physically and emotionally.
Martin sees a decline in New Year’s Resolutions as the month of January wanes. The post-holiday intentions come out strong but fizzle as routine sets in. Martin shared some of her best tips on how to turn New Year’s Resolutions into permanent life changes. The first step, according to Martin, is to find someone who will help you be accountable for your goals. “Even as a coach, I feel like I always need someone who will hold me accountable,” Martin said. “It’s hard to do on your own. Even as a coach myself, I have my own coach who helps me stay focused.”
Martin added, “You need some kind of support, whether it’s your best friend or your spouse. Find someone who is positive about your goals. If someone’s not supportive, don’t talk about your goals, because they’re not going to help you feel good about what you’re doing,” she advised.
Be realistic about scheduling
One of the biggest impetus to failure that Martin sees is people who don’t fit their workouts in a way that makes sense for their existing schedule. Many of Martin’s clients are mothers who have a schedule focused around their children. As a mother of four, Martin understands how valuable that time is and how hard it can be to work around their schedule.
“I can relate to the tiredness with the long days and not having enough time,” Martin said. “So my programs for these mothers, whether they’re stay at home moms or working moms, I tell them, ‘Let me know your schedule’.” No two people have the same availability, Martin said, so trying to force a workout in at a time that doesn’t make sense will make it harder to maintain.
Learn about nutrition
“The single biggest problem I see is people who just don’t know how to eat,” Martin said. “I recently had a client who thought she needed to stay under 1,000 calories a day to lose weight. Not only is that wrong, it’s dangerous.”
Martin suggests seeking a nutrition specialist before starting any diet. If that’s not an option, she said, thorough research from reputable medical sources will help. Martin also warns against fad or restrictive diets like the popular high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet. “You can make healthy food choices without cutting things out of your diet. You can still have your favorite foods. We’ve gotten this idea that carbs are bad. They’re not bad, but you have to eat the right kinds,” she said.
Think outside the gym
There are many approaches to a fit lifestyle, not just going to the gym, Martin said. “Sometimes beginners walk into a gym and feel overwhelmed and walk out,” she said. Martin now works out at bootcamps and a gym, but she started her fitness journey with running. She even suggested starting out doing simple workouts at home before transitioning to a gym or running regimine.
“If they’re a beginner, then let’s start off as a beginner,” Martin said. “You can’t just start running. Build that up. When you see the result and you’re loving it, then see about taking the next step to a gym.”
In addition to finding someone who will hold you accountable to your goals, Martin says that it’s equally important to have emotional support. “A fitness journey is an emotional journey,” Martin said. “Many of my clients come to me depressed, either because of their weight or the fact that their depression is making them eat more.”
Martin can relate. “I went from 115 pounds to almost 200 pounds in a few years because of the (domestic) abuse. I emotionally ate. My husband at the time was an alcoholic who never came home, and I was a single young mom in Katy with no family. So I used food as comfort,” Martin recalled.
A lot of Martin’s job is making sure her clients are doing OK mentally as they go along their journey. “There are many ups and downs. You’ll need someone who is there for you emotionally if you want to succeed,” she said.
She also stressed the importance of self-care, especially for parents who feel guilty taking time for themselves. Martin said, “I understand that, because I have four children, and there are days that I say, ‘I’m not going to do this today. I’m going to focus on my kids’, but I feel that as a good parent, you need your own time. An hour away from your children does not make you a bad parent.”