Here we are, in a new year. I am sooooooooooo glad. I want to leave last year in the past. There were some good times, some beautiful times with my children, so those are the things I will choose to remember about the year 2013. The rest, I leave behind.
I feel GOOD and in a new place mentally than I was a few weeks ago. My eating over the holidays has been less than stellar, but I gave myself a little slack and compassion. I let it be, knowing I am making changes for the better in 2014.
First I will get the painful part out of the way. Last January 1, I weighed 218 pounds. Today I weighed 230. That is a 12 pound gain for the year and a 2 pound gain from my last weigh in a week and a half ago. I cannot remember the last time I weighed this much. My weight averaged about 217 pounds for more than two years now. I was proud of keeping 60+ pounds off for this long, but now I am scared. 230 is a big deal. I don't like this at all.
I have spent a lot of time lately thinking about all the stuff I want to do: all the things I want to change about my eating, and my activity level, and my emotional outlook. Heck, I could make a list of 50 things I'd like to change in those 3 areas alone. But instead, I am going to make small, cumulative changes on a monthly basis. I still have this end goal/vision of what my eating, activity, and mood will be like after all the steps are complete, but jumping into all of it at once has not worked for me lately. So I am going back to what worked in the beginning: small, doable, significant changes on a regular basis that grow and compliment each other.
For example, I have a goal of walking a couple of miles every day. But it would do me no good to set that as my goal for tomorrow. I cannot physically do it. I can't even do a mile. So in my mind, the first step towards that goal is reducing pain in my feet and joints. And the best, most tried-and-true way to reduce that pain is by avoiding sugar. It hasn't cut the foot pain completely, but it makes a big difference. So it makes sense for one of my changes for January to be not to eat sugar. Right? Cut the pain. Small step, but you have to start somewhere. I have found that the natural sugar in a serving or two of fruit does not cause me pain or cravings, so I will have fruit in moderation, dark (88%) chocolate on occasion, but no artificial sweeteners or sugary stuff. Another example is that I want to eat a nearly completely whole foods diet. When I say "whole foods" I am talking about mainly stuff like vegetables, fruits, meats, eggs, fish, nuts, and other things that grow and were once alive. I am not talking about cakes. I am not talking about hot dogs. Not Cheetos, either. Real food. But I know it would be a huge leap for me to go from having Christmas cookies and birthday cake last week to salads and chicken breast tomorrow. So to me, a logical first step is to draw a line as to what I will and will not consume. And here is the simplest change, which is my change for January: I will eat whole foods, but no grains and no soy (giving the grains a rest for inflammation and cravings purposes). Aside from whole foods, the only other thing I will consume is food from my Medifast/Bariwise stash. I don't have a whole lot of it left, but I still find it useful for travel or a quick protein-rich snack. When it's gone I won't be buying anymore of that stuff.
Those aren't big, flashy goals, but I think they are positive changes and they're doable. My plan is to adjust, reassess, and make decisions about my eating and exercise at the beginning of each new month. Maybe next month, I will decide to remove legumes or nuts. Maybe I'll decide to try cutting out dairy, or cutting back my overall carbs. I might make a goal of eating a certain number of vegetable servings a day, or of having fish twice a week. As my feet get better I could set a goal to walk or bike a certain amount each week. Gradually, as I stay with it over time, the changes will add up to a healthier lifestyle.
This is our year. Let's get to it!
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