New Year’s Resolution: A Healthy Lifestyle
With a new year just beginning, also begins the first days of everyone’s New Year’s resolution. Some may make a resolution to be more grateful, to be more successful or to be more positive, but many of us set some sort of resolution that revolves around diet or exercise or healthy living. For me, I think I have had that exact type of resolution for the past 10 years. But this year, for some reason something has changed in my resolution. I’m not sure if I’ve come to grips with the likely outcome of the typical resolution or if motherhood has somehow made me more realistic. This year, for me, is all about establishing healthy lifestyle initiatives, with the understanding and acceptance that there will be off days.
Think about it…how many of us set resolutions at the beginning of the year and then we have one bad day and we throw the whole idea away and say maybe next year? I know I am guilty of doing this practically every year! But this year is different! This year, I am approaching my resolution through a new lens. It’s the “don’t give up, keep making progress” lens. I think this approach is especially beneficial for anyone trying to make a healthy lifestyle change. It is not a simple change and is certainly not one that can be made fully overnight. It takes time and commitment. Let me share with you my journey in new year’s resolutions….
About 7 years ago I started a weight loss journey…in fact I started it on January 1st of 2010. It started out as a “typical” New Year’s resolution; I was going to lose weight. That entire January, I ate spinach salads and cottage cheese for lunch and stir fry for dinner and I worked out twice a day, 4 days a week. My approach was successful; I lost 15 pounds that January. But then classes started again and work and other time commitments and I very quickly realized I could not sustain that resolution to maintain lifelong results. There was no way I could live off a spinach salad for lunch for the rest of my life and I didn’t have time to spend 15 hours a week in the gym. It was in that moment that I realized, this resolution is not a one day thing, it is a long term plan! From that day on I made changes in my diet and in my exercise routine to be a healthier me each day. Some days that meant I didn’t have an afternoon pop and that was a victory. Other days that meant I went for a 1 mile run, without stopping. See each day was different and each day had a new challenge and a new victory, but I didn’t give up and I still haven’t. Here I am 7 years later, 60 pounds lighter, still facing challenges every day but still counting the victories daily too! You see, it’s not a one day journey; it’s not a one year journey that can be tackled with a new year’s resolution. It is a life long journey with constant challenges.
Here are some things I plan on doing with my family throughout the year to maintain this commitment to a healthy lifestyle:
Evening walks after dinner
Making sure everyone has eaten 1 serving of fruit and 1 serving of vegetables a day
Using the baby (or household items) as a weight to do squats or arm curls or chest presses (He giggles the whole time through it and I get a little muscle toning. Talk about a win-win!)
Use healthy alternatives in our baking (ie: applesauce instead of butter or oil)
Dance parties in the living room to end the day. Burn off some energy for the little one, while burning some calories and blasting the heart rate up.
Talk about the importance of healthy eating on a regular basis. Will serve as a reminder for my husband and I as to why this is so important.
Remove the temptations from the house. If they aren’t around they become much harder to eat.
Enjoy a cheat meal every once and a while. Like I said, it doesn’t happen overnight, there will be slip ups. It’s about allowing those slip ups and starting fresh the next day, not giving up!
Here is my hope for you in 2017: I hope this year provides you the strength you need to not give up. I hope this year you are able to celebrate numerous victories. I hope this year you accept the challenges you face with bravery and a don’t quit attitude. But most of all, I hope this year you start taking steps to achieving a healthy lifestyle (whatever that may look like to you). Remember it is not a one day or a one year journey, this is a life long journey that you take one day at a time. So here is to 2017 and becoming a healthier version of ourselves!
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