Like most people, I set goals and resolutions at the end of 2010 in hopes that I would see changes in 2011. I’m sure the most common New Year’s resolution would revolve around weight loss and healthy living. I was one of the many people that set a goal about achieving a healthier lifestyle in 2011. While I’m not the picture of health (I had Oreos with my lunch today), I have made some changes that have paid off and I have discovered some fun tools that helped me along the way.
My last day of eating whatever I wanted was January 14th. Since that is my birthday, it seemed appropriate to go out with a bang on that special day before I started to become the disciplined eater that I had once been. Instead of setting my calorie goal as low as possible from the beginning, I decided to take my calorie intake to 1,500. I knew that I was eating quite a bit above that number. Scaling back was all I needed to do at first.
I’m the type of person who needs to be disciplined in my calorie counting. I know that this form of dieting is dreaded by most people. Logging your food and counting up the calories really can be a chore. My sister introduced me to an app on my phone called My Fitness Pal and it has made the calorie counting process so much easier. The app has a database full of foods. If you can’t find exactly what you are looking for you can add it to the database or chose an equivalent food. You just tell it what you ate and it knows the calories and totals them for you. This app also helps you to track weight loss and set proper calorie intake goals. Another great feature of My Fitness Pal is you can add in your daily exercise to keep track of how many calories you are burning. The ones I use most often are related to walking and cleaning. Because I can add cleaning as an exercise, it has made house cleaning part of my weekly exercise routine. Spending the day shopping can be very rewarding when you see the calories you’ve burnt just by walking around for a couple of hours.
My Wii Fit has also come in handy turning this process of getting healthier. I love the features of being able to track your weight and set new goals for yourself. Throughout this process I’ve weighed myself about every 2-3 weeks. I know most people in hard core diet mode, like to weigh in every day, but I have decided not to make that the point. I want to see that over time I am getting better. I don’t want to get hung up on how many ounces different I am today verses yesterday. As long as I was losing weight in the time between my weigh-ins, that is all that mattered. The Wii Fit also offers many fun exercises. My personal favorite is the step aerobics and yoga. I randomly like to throw some hula hooping into the mix or boxing.
Now those of you who know me, you know that I love sugar and all things junk food related. The hardest thing for me is cutting these elements down in my life. Notice I didn’t say out… I do believe that food can be comforting and rewarding. If I decided to eat like a rabbit, I would probably enjoy my life a lot less because food makes me happy and I would miss my goodies. Portion control and allowing myself just one goodie has been a great decision. I also have tried to use the moderation rule when it comes to soda. In fact, soda has been one of the hardest things for me to limit. I’m hopelessly addicted to Diet Pepsi. I do believe it is psychological because Diet Pepsi really doesn’t have a lot of caffeine in it, but for some reason, I feel like I need to have a soda to get my caffeine jolt. On a bad day, I’ll have three to four sodas. Not only is that not good for me health wise, but it’s also a lot of money. My goal has been to cut myself down to two sodas a day – one with lunch and one with dinner. At any other time, I drink water, which is always a healthier option.
I’m happy to say that I was able to reach my weight goals before June. Even though the process spanned months of time, doing it slowly was okay with me and actually better for my body. Now I’m learning how to maintain my goal weight. I’m finding that it is easier to lose weight than maintain it. While I’m still learning the tricks of maintenance, I can see that healthy living is always going to be a choice. It’s not going to just happen on its own. I wish I could reach my desired goals and just stay there with no more effort, but that is not the case. Effort is always going to be necessary or I will once again be resetting my health goals at the beginning of another new year. My hope is to avoid this now that I have fallen into a good routine. I’m obviously not a professional, but I have learned a lot over the last six months and it has helped me to make wiser choices. I just wanted to share with you what has worked for me and inspire you to come up with a plan and routine that works well for you!