Already 23 days into the new year and I’m finally getting around to this post as it’s been floating around in my head for a couple weeks. This post will be one of many to follow that contain more of my life and who I am. I will continue to post about photography and sneak peeks here on this blog (in fact I’ve got a few in the works that I cannot wait to share), but I’m also planning to add in a little about me and my home, my projects around the house, my plan to reshape my lifestyle to a much healthier one and other random tidbits. The last few months of last year my younger sister and I were working on a blog together and over the holidays I wrote up this post about changing my lifestyle. I’ve decided to revamp that post and put it here on this blog instead as I’m wanting to incorporate more of me here.
If you read the other blog post you will see that I attempted some big changes right in the heart of the holidays…and, how did that go? Well…not as well as I had hoped, but far better than if I hadn’t made a choice to try and change my eating habits at all. I didn’t gain over the holidays and I did make some very healthy food choices – as well as some not so healthy ones. As the new year began I continued to incorporate healthy choices into my daily life – and my family’s life as well. My plan with placing this post here is to do a weekly check in with how I’m doing, where I might be struggling and to share other recipes and tips that I come across.
Something to revisit are my thoughts on this health challenge and what it means to me. This is my journey, and yours may be different. I need to lose weight. I need to make better food choices. I feel strongly about the chemicals found in many (notice I said many, not all) foods. I feel strongly about my sugar intake. I want to be more active. I need to replace the peeling tri sticker on the back of my car window but I won’t do it unless I’ve competed in another tri. I am not a dietician. I’m not a personal trainer. I’m not a doctor. I’m a mom who is trying to make better choices for herself and for her family. If you are looking to make a change for yourself, you should, of course, contact your doctor about all of this 🙂 right? We know this…
These are my steps that I am going to take (many of them I have already incorporated into my life…somewhat):
Now let’s explore those steps and what they mean to me a little more:
Step one: eliminate processed foods from the house
What this means to me may mean something else to you. This is something I struggle with. I can eliminate many foods, but there are still some that I’m holding on to…like my whole wheat Market Pantry bagels. I kinda need those right now. Someday I might not. I still need Coke Zero…and pita bread. There are other foods that I still choose to have in my diet. And that’s ok with me. That might not be ok with you. You need to find what works for you and be ok with it. This is something that the family struggles with when we have visitors, it’s hard for others to understand my reasoning on many of these choices, but my feeling is that the things I can control, I will. I’m also needing to stay consistent with recording my food intake on myfitnesspal.
Step two: create a list of go-to meals and snack ideas
Sometimes it’s hard to make the right choices, but when you’re armed with a good list of go-to items that can make your decisions easier…that’s a good thing. I’m a pretty picky eater, as is one of my littles, so it’s important to have some choices available that we all like. I have some lists that I’ve made for myself and for my kids that I will share soon. The kids use these lists when making their breakfasts and lunches in the morning and in choosing their snacks…it’s great on the weekends when they ask for a snack, I can just say – check this list and make a good choice 🙂
Step three: drink more water
Less soda, no more Crystal Light stuff…more water. It’s really as simple as that. I’m not one that likes lemon or other flavoring in my water. Ice cold water is really the only way I’ll drink it. But a coke zero or a cherry coke is really what I want. And that is something that I need to cut down on and aim to eliminate from our diets. My oldest son has eliminated Crystal Light from his diet and I love that. My daughter loves to drink water. I’ve given them the option of one cup of orange juice a day and my oldest son will happily drink V8 juice (he’s a little crazy I think). I also need to find a substitute for the gatorade that they drink at swim meets…plain water isn’t doing it for them right now.
Step four: enlist your friends and family
That’s you. And my kids and husband. And my mom and my cousins and my friends. Surrounding myself with like minded people makes this journey a lot more manageable. And at home I’m the chef and the shopper…and I’ve never been a mom that makes more than one meal to satisfy the needs of a picky eater…so we’re all in this together.
Step five: check sugar content in foods
I’m not planning on eliminating all sugar, natural or otherwise (I need fruit and my kids do too). But I am cutting down drastically on my sugar intake. I’m looking for foods with less than 5 grams of sugar per serving. Preferably no added sugars and really trying to eliminate sugar substitutes (goes back to that whole no processed foods idea). We had a bit of a peanut butter debate here at the house and the result is only Adams Natural Peanut butter will be served here from now on…the kids might be struggling with this one a little bit still, but we’ll get there.
Step six: get moving
ugh. I’m still kind of in that place where I don’t want to do this. But I know that it’s an important part of a healthy lifestyle. And I do need a new tri sticker. So for now, I’m going slow…my knees hurt (I wonder why) and I’m a bit frustrated that I’m not where I used to be with working out, so the workouts themselves are pretty tough these days. But if I can convince my kids to workout for over an hour everyday (and they do) then I need to be on board. My current plan is to workout while the kids are swimming (this starts back up tomorrow…no not the “tomorrow” that I often state, but the real tomorrow) and Wednesday morning workouts with my trainer. And skiing. I also have a fitbit that I got for Christmas that I’m loving.
Step seven: create a resource list
There are several books that I have read over the years that have helped me in this whole health challenge. I will devote a post to those books soon as I think that many are a must read. There are also lots of blogs out there with amazing content and great recipes and motivational stories. Pinterest is also a great resource and I have a board there with my healthy ideas that I have found looking around the internet.
Step eight: find and record your starting point and your goals
My starting point is very different from yours, just as my goal is quite different from yours. I need to take a close look at where I am and where I intend to be. What is this challenge going to do for me…how long is it going to take for me to get there. I need to write my goals down and revisit them often….and I’ve done this since I wrote the first version of this post. And I need to keep reminding myself that this is a journey…that the time will pass no matter what. That this isn’t a “diet” and that I’m really choosing to change my eating and exercising habits for the duration of my life, not just until I see that magic number on the scale.
Step nine: establish a reward system
This is a going to be a long process and there may be times when I’m struggling to reach my goals. I think it’s important to set up a system to reward myself for reaching little goals along the way…which means I need to set short term goals as well as my full long term goal. Once this is in place, I will share what I have come up with…I’m still working on this….still.
Step ten: establish a setback system
what??? Am I planning to fail? No. I’m planning on real life. I know that this isn’t going to be perfect and that there are many things that are going to get in my way. What I need is a plan of attack for those days that are less than perfect. A plan for how I’m going to react to these situations. What is my inner voice going to be in these situations? These things need to be sorted out…and quick! I’m still working on this…trying not to beat myself up. Finding a balance between being tough on yourself but not making yourself feel like crap when you slip.
So…who’s with me?
Jan 23, 2013