Every year I plan to lose weight and improve my health. Every year I vow to eat better, exercise more, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…
Come on, admit it, you do the same thing.
We’re Americans! It’s the American way! Christmas guilt guides our grandiose plans to “get in shape and stay in shape”! We start cleaning out the pantry and the refrigerator on December 29 and hope that by New Year’s Day we will be a new person, ready to tackle the task at hand with new resolve!
Gym memberships go up in January and are abandoned by Valentine’s Day.
Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and Nutri System are bombarding us with advertisements this week. Even MSN says “Get your diet back on track after holiday splurging.”
Well, you know me. I have to be different. If I’ve failed at everything else, then there has to be a better plan. I’ve been thinking about several health-related things for the past month, yes, since John’s heart attack. My first major conclusion was that this is within my control. It’s my body. I’m the chief cook, shopper, and food manager in my household. Gary has very few food issues and will eat nearly anything I put in front of him. I don’t have children to nourish. I’m not trying to be a gourmet. Just trying to feed two old people who need to control their high blood pressure and cholesterol. If we eat too much salt or meat or desserts there is no one to blame except me. So I need to be the one to make the major changes. Gary is just going along for the ride. (Poor guy always takes the back seat and seldom complains!)
My next conclusion was that I need to start this New Year with a commitment to the people who matter most to me- my family and friends. So instead of the standard resolutions of yesteryears, I’m going to put a little structure into our time together. Each and every Monday I’m going to give you the health and diet tips I’ve gleaned through the previous week and I’m going to report my progress toward wellness. I will not tell you my starting weight because that doesn’t matter. I will tell you my how much I lose each week. I will tell you my progress in adding more movement to my daily life. I will tell you if my numbers on those pesky lab tests improve (checkup time in February). Fair enough? If you don’t like that plan, you are welcome to skip Mondays, but I expect you back here promptly on Tuesday morning!
Okay. Here is the beginning of my new plan:
1. I plan to move. I don’t get enough exercise, especially in the winter. I have a perfectly good treadmill and I need to get on it. I’m not going to say “I’ll walk 30 minutes each day”. I’m just going to say that I’m getting on it today and I’ll let you know next Monday how many days I continued to walk. I also have to stretch and I’m incorporating that into some key activities, such as sitting here at the computer. Have to get up every so often and move! I’m not going to tell you how to add movement to your day because there are dozens of options- stairs vs. elevator, farthest parking spot at work, walking breaks, less television, etc. Let’s just aim for more and see what happens.
2. I’m making a list. Instead of concentrating on what to remove from my diet, I’m going to focus on what to add. There are all kinds of lists available- super foods, brain foods, cancer-fighting foods, heart-healthy foods. I plan to create my own list of foods that I like that are also good for me. My theory is that if I’m adding more healthy foods to my daily diet, there won’t be room or desire for the unhealthy ones. I’ll post my personal list here, in the left column, later in the week. First on my list is fruit. I love fruit, but for some reason I’ve gotten away from eating it on a daily basis. This week I have fresh, frozen, canned, and dried fruit in the house. My goal is to eat at least one fruit each day.
3. I’m going to do some healthy reading. I have a subscription to Prevention and I’m also going to find some websites to add to my weekly browsing. If you have a magazine or website suggestion, let me know.
4. I’m changing my plate. I’ve read that we like to fill our plates and I think that is true. I have huge dinner plates. I don’t want to switch to my salad plates because they are a little too small for a successful transition. So…I’m going to treat myself to a special plate. I’m going shopping today anyway, so I’m going to look for something pretty and motivating that is just the right size.
5. I’m looking for hidden sodium. I’ve already made an amazing discovery- there is a cereal that tastes good that has zero sodium! It’s Kashi Cinnamon Harvest. Did you know that already and you forgot to tell me?? Don’t keep secrets. If you know about a packaged food that has very low sodium, let me know.
Enough for today! Let’s make this the year we get serious about our health.