So many of us make the New Year’s Resolution to become healthier, with either no real goals lined up to help us make this resolution happen, or we have such unrealistic expectations, that the goal will likely never come to fruition anyway. So, hold on to your reigns, you can learn from some of my experience this year.
Number one: Create realistic goals. My goal for 2010 was to workout atleast three to four times per week. Now, I have a fairly active family and I felt that this aligned with a my lifestyle, was clearly realistic. Sure, I still have to force myself to get up and work out, or to stop doing things around the house and take a jaunt around the block. The point is, the goal itself was attainable. Goals can change. If you find that you set a goal too high, take a look with a fresh perspective and tailor your goals so that they are attainable. The same goes for goals that are too simplified. You can always go back and make adjustments to make them more challenging.
Number two: Find your motivation. Everyone is motivated by something. My motivation was that I wanted to feel better about myself, and I wanted to be able to look in the mirror and see a version of myself that was healthy. I realized that while I was working hard, I didn’t always see change in my body, which kept me from being motivated by looks. So, I signed up on sparkpeople, a health and nutrition website that allowed me to track my progress in many ways, from BMI, how much I was exercising, foods that I was eating, as well as measurements. The measurements were what helped me stay on track the most.
Number three: Create healthy habits. If you drink too much soda, start bringing water with you wherever you go. You’re most likely to purchase beverages on the go when you’re thirsty, so if you have a beverage waiting for you, your craving can be easily met. Choose foods wisely ‘” foods that nourish you while satisfy your tastes are the best route to go when you’re trying to lose weight. Many people lose focus when dieting, because they look at food in the wrong way. Food is meant to help fuel your body. Choose foods that will satisfy you, that you enjoy, and eat less of everything until you start to feel satisfied. You’ll be surprised at how much less food you need than the foods we pick up to eat throughout the day out of habit.
Number four: Do not stress eat. I fall into this trap of being a stress eater. When something is bothering me, I will grab the extra brownie or extra whatever to satisfy a craving. Instead, what has worked for me is drinking more water, chewing some gum, and taking a walk. I have found other ways to distress that also work and keep my focus away from food. Since I know this weakness, I tend to be more intentional about what I do have in my home for snacks and stay away from the pantry if I am getting stressed.
Number five: Find some accountability. For me, I started the year tracking every single food item I ate. I wrote it down, not for the sake of calories, but just so that I was actually taking a mental picture of what I ate every day. I grew more health conscious because of it. I also learned of an opportunity through work that was a competition of sorts. They called it Meltdown. Every week, we paid into a pot to weigh in, and at the end, the winners received a cash payout. I ended up being one of the winners, not because of my total weight loss, but the calculations that went into body percentage lost. I was ecstatic. I joined the competition because I was getting married and I wanted my wedding dress to fit nicely without the stress eating that I knew could get in the way of that. The opportunity came at the perfect time. I also got in the habit of weighing myself more regularly and in the mornings. This helped me a lot.
What Didn’t work:
Counting calories. This isn’t fun for me and I want to create healthy eating habits for myself, not obsessive behaviors that make me nauseous. It works for some people, but not for me.
Beating yourself up about mishaps don’t work. Just get back into the healthy routines you
need and crave. Make sure you readjust your focus on the right behaviors.
Buying something new. This motivation method doesn’t work for me. Plus, if I continue to lose weight and be the most healthy me, I might not wear something that long. I’d rather focus on how I feel.
The bottom line is to make something work for you, you have to know your strengths and weaknesses and you have to be able to dismiss temptations to meet your goals. Create healthy habits that will guide you and help you stay focused on the direction you want to head. Good luck!