The new year is a common time to make resolutions. 4 years ago I did just that and lost a bunch of weight, and I needed to. 2 years ago I was wearing size 8 jeans and was feeling pretty good about myself. Then I had emergency gall bladder surgery and things went downhill.
Obviously, I couldn’t exercise post surgery and I got out of the habit. It was easier to not exercise than to get back on the wagon. I don’t like exercise at all, so it’s easy for me to make excuses not to do it. Weight gain after surgery is not uncommon. The weight came on, my motivation went down and now I’m back into the size 14 jeans. Still down from where I started, but not where I want to be.
So, it’s time for a massive lifestyle change again. No, it’s not a diet, it’s a whole change. Many things need to change and for anyone who battles with their weight it is overwhelming. So, I start with one change at a time, or try to. I’m kind of an “all or nothing” person, so it’s hard not to jump in full force, but I find it easier to make small changes and develop good habits. Making a change a week seems to work best.
So, what are the major changes I need to make? Well, they’re pretty simple, but hard at the same time.
- Drink more water. I drink too much Diet Coke and not enough water. In the past I have started my morning with my soda (I don’t drink coffee) and then don’t allow myself another one until I have consumed my 8 glasses.
Exercise. I hate exercise, so I have to force myself to do it. Starting with a goal of exercising every day is too overwhelming, especially when starting from nothing. Week 1 goal is exercise 1 day a week, week 2 – 2 days a week and so on.
Healthier eating. The last few months have been busy so it’s easier to eat take out or drive through. These foods are not friendly on the waist line. Now is a good time to stock up on healthy good. Grocery stores aren’t stupid. They know that people make resolutions to lose weight, so they put healthy food on sale at the new year. Stock up on what you can now!
Portion control. Most of us do not know what a portion really is. A serving of pasta is about the size of a tennis ball. A serving of cereal is about the size of a tea cup – yes. Really! Read packages and find out exactly what a portion size is. A pint of ice cream is NOT a single serving.
Keep a food journal. Most of us don’t realize how many calories a day we consume. There is a website that I love that is free (remember, I’m frugal) that allows you to input what you eat and calculates your calories for you and keeps track of them through the day. It also calculates fat, protein, carbs, sodium, etc. Check out Sparkpeople.com. You can also join support groups online. It’s a fantastic website.
“They” (I’ve read this in several places, but can’t give the sources off the top of my head) say it takes 21 days to develop a new habit.
Another thing I’ve done is to set goals and rewards. It keeps me motivated when I want to grab a soda or skip exercise. I start with small goals like drinking the 8 glasses of water, or 7 days of exercise, but I don’t make them consistent days. It would become discouraging having to start over again each time I “fell” so I just make it 7 days or 30 days or whatever. I make short term and long term goals for each habit I need to change.
The rewards start small and get larger. A new nail polish, a new water bottle, building up to things like a massage, a new pair of shoes. Do what motivates YOU. The more days I miss my marks, the longer it takes me to get to my rewards.
In a few months there will be a new me. A healthier and happier me, and a thinner me. If you need support to reach your goals, post or message me. Knowing that you have support or an accountability person can make a huge difference in achieving your goal.