Before there were personal trainers everywhere, there was JJ Virgin. An early pioneer in the wellness world, Virgin was studying exercise science as an undergraduate at the University of California, Los Angeles. "I was one of the first personal trainers in the United States," she says. "And at that time, we were told that if you wanted to lose weight you had to eat less and exercise more. As a result, I was eating 10 grams of fat per day—I was a mess!"
But the conversation around health and wellness has shifted in the years since Virgin started building her health empire, and she couldn't be more thrilled that the emphasis is now centered on paying attention to your intuition. "The No. 1 thing we can do is take personal responsibility. The minute you pick a diet and it’s based on points, you stop being able to connect the dots between how we feel and what we’re eating," she explains. "I used to be a marathon runner, I was tired all the time, and I was 25 percent body fat versus 15 percent body fat, which is what I am now. It wasn’t working for me, but that’s what we we were told we were supposed to do at the time. So I really had to go back to connect the dots."
And if you ask Virgin, she'll tell you the main thing people do wrong when they set exercise goals is follow a specific program. Here's her recommendation for actually sticking to your exercise goals this year.