Monday, September 24, 2012

don't call it a diet

At the beginning of the year, I made two goals. One for better health and the other to bake 52 cupcakes this year. On the cupcake front, I'm not doing so well. The good news is that I'm behind on the cupcake baking partly because I'm doing really well adjusting to a new, healthier lifestyle.

Since the beginning of the year, I've lost 20+ pounds. There were no drastic measures taken but a series of gradual changes. As a chronic yo-yo dieter, this was hard. I wanted results, and I wanted them now. The magic moment happened when I finally realized I needed to stop approaching my wellness as though it were a diet.

There are fad diets for everything now, and I've tried far too many of them. They only make me feel as if I'm in nutritional prison. I've tried dieting and it didn't work for me. I had to find another way. Instead, I made three general health goals for myself and went from there. These goals were about as basic as you can get. Happy surprise, my strategy paid off! While it's still evolving, here's what works for me.

1. Drink more water. Should be easy for a girl who doesn't drink soda, right? Wrong. Even though water is pretty much all I drink, I still wasn't drinking enough of it. I drink a glass right after I wake up, another right before bed, and then as much as I can in between. Now, you can drink too much water and hurt yourself, so I don't go too crazy with the water. I just want to stay hydrated. Plus, losing water weight is an easy way to see a drop on the scale and it makes me feel fuller longer.

Untitled2. Eat better. I don't really like vegetables. There, I said it. If I had the choice between a cookie or a carrot, I totally want the cookie. No surprise, this is the goal I'm putting the bulk of my focus into right now. I started out using a calorie counting app to keep track of my food intake daily. I still ate what I wanted, but I gave myself a calorie limit.

From there, I made better food choices instinctively because I wanted to stay within my allotted number of calories but still feel full. I got creative and tried new things. I also started to try sneaking vegetables into things I already liked. Eggs for breakfast? Okay, throw in a handful of spinach. Pasta for dinner? Sure, but substitute it with spaghetti squash.

It's not all happy happy, joy joy though. I try hard to fight the good fight against junk food and calorie laden treats, but sometimes they win. I enjoy baking. It's going to happen. And you know what? That's okay. When I slip up, I jump right back into my routine. I try not to look at eating a slice of cake like it's the most colossal mistake I've ever made. Believe me, I've made many a mistake and cake isn't one. But I do want to work toward making those treats a planned choice that I can account for in other ways.

3. Exercise more. Can't get more basic than that. I'm not a huge fan of sports unless it involves me watching someone else play (Go Colts!), so this is a tough one. I'm not flexible and after a few attempts at C25K, I'm pretty sure I'm not a runner. But I'm going to try. Right now, my exercise consists of early mornings walking the dog and evenings with Jillian Michaels shouting at me from the tv during the 30 Day Shred. These are small changes, but gradual is the name of the game.

If you have a favorite way to get your fitness on or any sort of health tip, I'd love to hear about it in the comment section!

1 comment:

  1. I'm inspired. I NEEEEED to start using my gym membership again and I NEEEED to take more advantage of this perfect "exercise weather"! Love that you are sneaking vegetables into things...need to remember that :) GO YOU!


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