Sunday, May 1, 2016

Here's to a Healthy May!

Like most moms, I've carried around an extra pound or thirty ever since my first pregnancy.  I've tried a variety of methods in the past to help me focus on healthier eating and trimming down.
-I've carried around a little notebook and meticulously counted calories.
-I've worked out regularly.
-I've tracked my weight.
-I've tried out a couple of different smart phone apps that track eating and workout data.
None of these methods ever stuck for me.  While I would start out with the best of intentions, I would never last more than a week, if that.  I always dug in hard but after a few days thought, "Eh...I'd rather eat whatever I want and just be a little overweight".

Lately it seems like I've resurrected every bad eating habit I've ever had and I'm bingeing on them all at the same time.  I still work out regularly; usually 3 or 4 times per week, but I notice that I keep on creeping up in the weight department.  I recently heard something on the Around the Table podcast that opened my eyes.  Of course, I've known this all along, but hearing it put so simply was a good wake up call.  One of the hosts of the show, Maggie, said,

"You cannot eat well enough to make up for not working out and you cannot work out enough to make up for poor eating."

Well, that's what I'd been trying to do.  I've been telling myself that as long as I keep working out, I can just keep eating whatever I want, whenever I want because...well, because I worked out!  I actually used that as my motivation to work out, telling myself, "you're doing this so you can drink pop and each junk food".  As I said, it's not working for me because I'm the heaviest I've ever been other than when I was pregnant.  And besides that, I'm setting a bad example for my kids.  It's a hard sell to tell them that pop is fine only in moderation when I'm drinking it every day.

Every article I've ever read with advice about weight loss and healthy living says to just make one small change at a time.  But I have so many things going wrong right now that I don't think that's a good idea.  In the past when I've tried to focus on making one change, it's just been a license to let the other areas fall waaaay off course.

I've come across a new and simple plan.  Besides Maggie's comment I shared above, a different episode of Around the Table featured her talking about her Healthy Christmas Crackdown.  See the show notes and listen to the episode here if you're interested.

I modified her idea.  I love to check something off a list and I need the program to be very specific but simple to follow (i.e. no counting calories).  So here's what I came up with for myself.  Introducing my healthy plan for May (complete with cheesy play-on-words):
Simple, right?  If I don't have a workout scheduled for a certain day, then I better make sure I can check off all the other good habit boxes for that same day.  If I get through the whole day and have checked off all my boxes and then get a little hungry after dinner, well I can sure grab a snack since I checked off everything else already.  Of course, maybe that will be motivation to check off ALL the boxes that day instead - or at the very least it could be the motivation to choose a healthy snack.

I'm taping this bad boy up on the wall right over my pillow.  I hope that is motivation enough to start breaking my bad habits.  If I start forgetting about it during the day, I may have to fold it up and carry it around with me instead.

I figure if I meet my goal of only one empty check box per day for most of the month, I'm almost guaranteed to start feeling better and noticing a trimmer body.  Even with the new plan and mindset, I know it won't be easy.  I'll have to forget about my past failure and lack of commitment.  Wish me luck!  No, I take that back.  Wish me will power and dedication!

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