A new year and everyone knows the #1 resolution is to lose weight. I hope that those who have made this resolution really resolve to be healthy, not just lose the pounds. I've taken that approach over the past year and while I do track the numbers and can't wait to see a certain number on the scale, my energy level and overall health are my number one priorities. I know a lot of people make a New Year goal to lose weight and get healthy; I've been one of them for as long as I remember. Last year with my surgery on January 12th, it was the perfect time to make some changes. My lifestyle and goals do not have a time frame, as they are ever evolving, but I do think I've learned a lot over the past year and I'd love to share this "wisdom" with you. I am FAR from an expert, but maybe you can get some inspiration from these thoughts of mine :).
1. Don't give up something entirely (except maybe pop/soda). In my brain, if I give up something altogether, I only want it more. My exception has been coke, because I know that if I don't give it up entirely, it will just sneak back in more than it needs to. I haven't had one in over a year and I do not miss it one bit. I have had french fries, cake, ice cream and other indulgences.... but they are intentional and infrequent... and in small portions.
2. Keep track of what you eat. I used the MyFitnessPal App for several months, and am starting it up again. It is SO helpful to see what is really going into your body. And don't just pay attention to the calories. I also keep a careful eye on sugar and fiber.
3. Take progress pictures. You see yourself everyday and you won't notice a big difference until you look back at a picture of yourself and see how far you've really come.
4. Share your goals with others. I know this isn't for everyone, but it has been a big part of my journey and it's been so helpful. There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of when trying to lead a healthier lifestyle and you never know who you'll inspire.
5. Find workouts that you enjoy. I look forward to going to the gym, seriously, I do. Right now I'm doing a combination of individual and group training, along with a dance class and running. I used to just get on an elliptical for 30 minutes, mess around with the weight machines and call it a day. There's nothing wrong with that, but I didn't like it. And I didn't stick with it. Try new things and always remember there are others there who are new too!
6. The best advice I can give... be realistic and remember this is a lifestyle adjustment, not a "diet" that you'll stop once you've dropped the weight. Your life is not over because you are not eating as much fast food - in fact, you'll feel better soon enough. While it's a big deal to make these changes and strive to meet health goals, I've also found if I treat it like a big "life-altering" event, it becomes just that. A one time event. And when it's over, what happens? Find a balance that you can stick with.
If I can do it, you can do it. I am still a work in progress, as we all are, but I can tell you I feel 2000 times better than I did a year ago. It's so worth it, I promise.