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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Lifestyle Overhaul

One of my goals for this new year is to get my health back under control. There's been far too much overindulgence over this holiday season (and really, much of last year) and it's time to turn the ship around. I've gained back weight I had lost in 2015 and then some. It's embarrassing to me and so I won't go into specifics, but I have a significant number of pounds to lose. My blood pressure was edging up into the high end of normal the last time I had it checked, and I'm not a kid anymore. With my family history of heart problems, diabetes, and obesity I need to take better care of my body and that's what I've resolved to do in 2017!

I plan to keep up the extra walking I did at work through the holiday. I have a pedometer app on my phone and during the past 4 weeks I've been easily meeting my 10,000 step per day goal just at the store. Then Gregg and I take a long walk each night with the dogs, too, so I was getting in about 12,000 steps total. Things at the job will be dramatically slower now that January is here, so I'm planning to start each day with a fast paced, hour long walk with the dogs before work to make up for it. And of course the nightly family walks will continue, too. Eventually I would love to be able to run again, which I did every morning when I was in my 20's, but for now I'll settle for two long walks each day while I try to drop some of these excess pounds. Baby steps.

I'm changing my diet dramatically, too. My biggest problem is a crazy shifting schedule that makes it too easy to eat lots of takeout, fast food, and highly processed food. Too much junk, too much soda, too many lunches and dinners at restaurants with friends. Then it was Christmas. Now that the holidays are almost officially over, it's time to do better. I went grocery shopping yesterday with a detailed list I'd made while planning healthy dinners and work lunches for the rest of the week. I'm cutting out sugar, simple carbs, and processed foods for now. I'm committing to better eating, the extra exercise, to drinking 10 to 12 glasses of water each day, and to giving up some mild self-medicating habits I've been indulging in. It's not going to be easy, but I've planned carefully and will do my best. Today is day one.

Wish me luck (and a good dose of willpower!) to make it through this first week or two, which I image will be the hardest part. Is anyone else making changes for the better this year?

22 comments:

  1. Jennifer, I do admire your determination, and wish you every success. It will probably be a struggle to begin with, but I'm sure you'll soon fall into a healthy routine and then it will be plain sailing !
    Please let us know how you're doing. Good Luck !

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  2. An excellent goal. As long as you find an exercise you really enjoy and prepare food you like eating you will succeed. At least you've got the dogs to encourage you. Not convinced about the 12 glasses of water though.

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    1. I had 10 yesterday...it wasn't too bad. I try to keep my water bottle filled with filtered water so I can sip all day long.

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  3. Thank you for sharing this information Jennifer. I think it is easy to put on weight in America as portion sizes are too big and so many people seem to go everywhere by car. Get some fruit in - that's my tip. When you crave a snack, eat an apple or some grapes etc.. Also - why drink sugary Coke when you can have Diet Coke instead? I wish you the best of luck in maintaining your present mindset.

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    1. Portion sizes are huge here. Gregg loves Canada Dry ginger ale and that's usually my soda of choice, but not so good when you're trying to cut out excess sugar.

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  4. Good Luck and wishes.
    If you only have this kind of food in the home that helps also.
    I don't know how many evening I wanted something sweet (not chocolate) that I have taken up diet soda again (gave up years ago) Diet A&W Root Beer with crushed ice just the best.

    cheeers, parsnip

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    1. My friend Meg drank diet A&W root beer when she developed gestational diabetes, and loved it. I tried it, and it wasn't too bad. I may have a diet soda once I start having cravings, but I'm trying to make plain water my main drink!

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  5. As YP says, keep plenty of fruit in the house. Also a good quality Bio Muesli, with plenty of added plain rolled Oats, is a wonderful way to start the day. Very good for you, and keeps you going almost until mid-afternoon.

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    1. I like steel cut oats with fruit. I'm also trying to add a bit of protein to my breakfasts--an egg, or some yogurt, etc.

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  6. Do be careful with drinking too much water. I have just heard an item this morning on our local radio about people being hospitalised through taking too many fluids in an attempt to " detox" after Xmas excesses! Good luck with the weight loss.

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    1. Don't worry! I was drinking 10 or so glasses a day for a month last year, and had no ill effects. Yesterday I almost hit my 10 glass mark, and the only problem I had was running to the bathroom multiple times!

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  7. YP's suggestion about sugar-free drinks was first on my mind, too, when you mentioned "too many sodas".
    Anyway, I wish you good luck and all the necessary willpower to fall into a more healthy routine. Then it won't be so hard to keep up what you have planned. Just don't let yourself be discouraged too much if you break your new "rules" a few times - some indulgence, if balanced out the next day, won't do so much harm.

    Personally, I believe any radical change in a diet, such as cutting out something completely, is more likely to be given up soon than a gentle takeover of more and more healthy eating and exercising habits would be.

    I said it to O.K. yesterday morning when, out of curiosity, I stepped on the digital scales in his bathroom (I still have my grandmother's old-fashioned scales at home, they are not very precise): I must be the only person I know who has not put on weight during the Christmas period - quite the contrary, and I am really NOT keen on losing more.

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    1. I'm trying to not fall into the "all or nothing" mindset where every setback becomes a failure in my mind and makes me give up. I'm aware that there will be slip ups, and occasionally I'll want to treat myself. I'm okay with that.

      You're so lucky to not put on weight easily. I can look at a dessert and feel my pants getting tight! ;)

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  8. Wishing you success and joy in the process!

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  9. I think 2017 will be an all around great year for you. Healthy eating is a habit that can stay with you for years to come, and you have a great plan.

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    1. Thank you Terra. I hope you're doing well.

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