This post has been rattling around in my head for a while now so it’s time to get it all out in to fully formed ideas. I never start my New Year’s Resolutions the first week of January-Hello! There are still leftover Christmas chocolate, cookies, cheese, what have you to be cleaned out of the house.
So I embarked on my New Year’s plan starting this week. Of course, the biggest one is the old standby to lose weight/get in shape/be more healthy. For the last two months, I’ve been eating pretty much every day like I’m going to the chair, and haven’t run since the end of September. In the back of my mind, I kept telling myself it was no big deal as once I stopped eating all the junk and started exercising it would be such a drastic shift that any added weight would just fall right off.
I’ll hold while you finish laughing at the depths of my self delusion.
So, yeah now it’s January and I am pushing 150. A buck fifty may not sound that big, especially when you’re looking at the record breaking fatties on the Biggest Loser, but it is not a healthy weight for someone who is 5’1”. It is at least 20lbs more than I should be carrying.
So this whole lose weight/get in shape/be more healthy resolution is actually comprised of a number of changes I want to make so it really breaks down into a number of specific steps/changes I want to make.
1. Rather than focusing on simply cutting calories and fat, and carbs, etc., I want to eat better overall by:
- Reducing the amount of processed foods, unidentifiable ingredients and chemicals I eat. Reading labels and knowing what I’m eating.
- Buying organic when I can, but being mindful that “organic” does not always mean healthy-the amount of fat, sugars and sodium can be excessive in these products.
- Cutting out artificial sweeteners-I’ve dropped my usual morning coffee Splenda habit from three to one packet and will eventually start drinking it unsweetened. I typically have one Coke Zero with my lunch and another Zero or caffeine free diet with dinner. I’m keeping the lunchtime Zero, but cutting out the evening soda.
- Making the food I eat count more by incorporating more whole foods/vegetables that have health benefits-not just rely on plain chicken tenders and steamed veggies. This means I’m going to have to work on the way I grocery shop and cook, make more time to cook and cook smarter. I started this last weekend by making two large batches of lean turkey chili and sloppy joe. I incorporated lots of red and green peppers in to both, and actually hid a cup of pumpkin in the sloppy joe sauce for more fiber and vitamins (it was really good!). Half of each batch went in the freezer for a quick healthy meal later.
2. Increase my physical fitness by:
- Of course, duh, getting more regular exercise. It’s hard to fit in, especially as the winter months make walking/running with Squidgey out of the question. So uh, I don’t really have a concrete plan for this besides trying harder, which we’ve seen how that worked out before. I do have a couple goals to work towards again-a party in mid-February I’d like to feel comfortable buying new sassy jeans for and on the fitness side, the Shamrock Shuffle 5K I need to be ready for in March. As further motivation to hopefully make this time different, I took a “before” picture the other night. Not pretty. Maybe someday if I have a significantly better “after,” I’ll post them both here for your amusement/horror.
- Making little changes like ALWAYS taking the stairs to my third floor office rather than frequently making excuses like, “It’s Monday,” “My bag is heavy today,” and “I’m rushing back from running lunch errands and don’t want to delay cramming food into my mouth by wasting precious time catching my breath.” Another frequently suggested one is parking farther away but, eh…it’s cold outside. Maybe this spring on that one.
- Taking better care of my posture. I’m having a lot of trouble still with carpal tunnel pain in both hands/arms and also pinchyness and pain in my shoulders. Most days, I sit at my desk pretty much from 7 am until 2:30, with only a couple short bathroom and grab my lunch breaks. I have terrible posture, slouching with my chin propped in my hand as I squint at the screen. I have a computer program that prompts you to stretch at set intervals, but I’ve been closing the window when it pops up more often than I do the stretches. So long story short, be aware of and use good posture at my desk and move around more by actually using the stretching tool I have.
3. Get more sleep. Typically, I don’t turn the lights out until 11 and I get up at 5:15. Six hours a night is not enough sleep for me. In addition to all the study evidence pointing to lack of sleep as a factor in weight gain, I feel like shit all the time. This one is hard because it seems no matter how hard I try to go to bed early, by the time I’ve done any household chores, any work that has to be done at home and maybe sometimes worked out, or maybe gotten to sit slack in front of the tv doing nothing for a little bit, it is inevitably, always at least 10. By the time I’ve gone through the going to bed routine it’s at least 10:30.
One of the things I love to do is read, and I always use it to wind down from the day before bed. I’ll get in to bed promising myself I’ll only read for 5-10 minutes, but I’ll often get so engrossed it’s at least 11 before I turn out the lights. I hate to cut short/let go of something I enjoy so much and consider a luxury but something has got to give somewhere.
I don’t know where the answer lies on this one…be more organized so I have more free time at night and can go to bed earlier? Try to get more done in the afternoon when I’m home with Squidgey, which kind if negates the whole purpose of me being there with him if I’m busy emptying the dishwasher and sorting laundry? Give up on some of the time consuming things I do, even though I consider them important (making Squidgey’s food, couponing which saved me almost $40 this week alone, etc.)? Stop reading? Stop watching any tv at all? (I usually have it on for company while I work in the office, which admittedly is distracting and probably slows me down, plus I DVR a small handful of shows and then zip through them when I have a spare minute. Overall, I follow a fraction of what I used to pre-Squidgey. Our DVR was constantly chugging, often recording two shoes at once (and still I had conflicts with a third show). So I’ve cut way back, but maybe I should give it up entirely? Or hey, how about stop wasting time bitching about life on a stupid blog?
God, now I’m feeling discouraged before I’ve even begun. How am I supposed to add in all these other time-consuming tasks like cooking more and working out more when I can’t figure out how to manage the shit I have now? I mean really, you don’t even want to know the last time I cleaned my bathroom. Because I feel like this whole thing boils down to “be better.” “Stop sucking.” Be someone I’m not-the perfect soccer mom who seems to have all her shit together and manages the kids and the household and maintains a perfect figure and dashes about town, perfectly made up, wearing her coordinated little nike workout outfit, who doesn’t waste time on silly tv shows or other indulgences.
Wow, we quickly spiraled from determined optimism to excuses and panic. I’m not even done detailing all the resolutions I wanted to make this year.
And…and…and…the sky is falling. I give up.