DALLAS -- Year after year, it is the No. 1 resolution: Lose weight. At a time when the United States is statistically at its fattest in history, many of us stare at our growing waistlines with dismay.
Fresh off holiday gluttony, we promise ourselves this will be the year of change. Gyms lower their joining fees, run two-for-one specials and tantalize you with images of fit people grinning through their workouts.
One of the biggest fitness chains in the country, 24-hour Fitness, allowed people to use their facilities free the week leading to New Year's Eve -- hoping, of course, that well-fed consumers will sign up while still under the influence of fruitcake guilt.
Experts say the majority of people who sign up for gym memberships right after the holidays, vowing to slim down, lose interest by February.
However, there are those who succeed, who manage to stick with their resolution and even renew it year after year. At World Gym in Dallas, Kelly Gabliks is one of those people. She succeeded in keeping a New Year's promise she made to herself two years ago.
In 2004 Gabliks joined the throng of people flooding gyms across America.
"Well, my News Year's goal for the last few years has been to lose weight and to be easier on myself ... no one can be harder on me than I am on myself," Gabliks said.
She said working out had always been a priority with her, but as she entered the gym in 2004 she had promised to shed pounds and learn to be more efficient with her workouts.
"I started taking the Pilate's class and realized that I could get better results by working on the core and that was a huge revelation for," Gabliks said.
During a two year period, she slowly lost a more than 50 pounds.
"She lost a lot of weight, and she did it the right way," World Gym co-owner Jackie Lawson said.
"It came off slow and steady, and she modified her behaviors."
According to fitness experts, nutritionists, and doctors that is the only way to do it. Be more active, learn to eat correctly, do it slowly, and make yourself a priority.
And, do something fun. Something that gets the blood flowing for at least 30 minutes every day.
"I think my exercise routine has been key to my weight loss," Gabliks said.
"I take the Pilate/yoga class at World Gym, it has reshaped my body ... and you also get the mental benefits of it, because you really have to concentrate on the class. It's the one time of the day that I can't think about work or my kids ... I do that three days a week, then there is a mind/body class, and the other days I run or walk. I work out five to six days a week."
It's a commitment. Often, a tough one to keep -- because it's easy to place the needs of others ahead of your own, to not take time each day for yourself.
The other side of Gabliks' success was joining Weight Watchers. She said two aspects of the program drastically changed her life. She learned about proper portion size (nutritionists say that the typical American portion is two to three times bigger than is necessary). And she was able to eat regular food.
She just had to keep strict track of it.
"Journaling is a huge part of the Weight Watchers program, and it is so helpful, because at the end of the day you may think you haven't eaten very much, but when you're forced to write everything down, it's impossible to deny," Gabliks said.
"Also, everything is done with points. So, I am able to eat a piece of cake, I just may have to work out a little more that day. That's the best part, because it's just human nature, the minute something is denied to you, what do you want more than anything?"
Gabliks weight loss is not the only indicator that she has found a workout routine that works for her. During the past year she has faced numerous person challenges. Many people close to her and her husband, Eriks, passed away, including their fathers.
"It was a challenging year, but working out actually helped me deal with it. It (the class she takes) is something to look forward to at the end of the day. It's the one class that I've taken where even though you worked very hard in it, you feel refreshed."
Jackie Lawson said that she hopes the expansion she and her husband are planning for their facilities, coupled with new year's resolutions, will encourage more people than ever to make daily workouts a part of their lives.
"The most important thing for people to remember when starting a program," Gabliks said, "is the old saying: 'Progress not perfection.' Even if you only lose a half to one pound a week, over the course of a year that adds up."
For more information: on fitness memberships: World Gym, 503-623-4440.