January Reset

Happy New Year!  Where did 2017 go?  It went by way too quickly for me.  But it’s January again. This is the time when everyone takes a moment to reflect on the past year and make resolutions for the new one.  I hear a lot of people talking about health and wellness and what they need to do this year to lose those few extra pounds that creeped on over the holidays or over the past year.  More exercise!  Less Eating!  No Carbohydrates!  No Fat!  No Breakfast!  No lunch! No…fill in the blank with whatever may be popular in the moment!  There seems to be a new craze every week that promises a quick fix – lose 15 pounds in 2 weeks – wow, wouldn’t that be great!   

Unfortunately, most of the “crazes” are not based in reality or may be good for short term fulfillment but they lack staying power.  I prefer to think of this time of year as one for permanent changes not quick fixes.  Wouldn’t it be nice to get off the diet roller coaster?  Wouldn’t it be nice to finally lose those 5-15 pounds and keep them off?  I think it’s time to make a change – you deserve it!  But where do you start?

Start simple!  A lot of us have an all or nothing mentality.  We either exercise everyday for 1 hour or we do nothing.  We either avoid all carbohydrates or we over eat them.  We either eat healthy or we eat all junk foods.  It does not need to be all or nothing.  Let’s start with simple moderation. 

1.       Eat something for breakfast every day.  You need to get your metabolism going first thing in the morning so that you can continue to burn calories all day long. 

2.       After breakfast, eat something (I am not saying a whole meal, but something small) every 3-4 hours to keep your metabolism burning.

3.       Eat more vegetables.  Most people I talk to do not realize that they should be eating 5-10 servings of vegetables each day.  That is ½ cup cooked or 1 cup raw.  That may seem like a lot, but it can easily happen if you put your focus on eating some vegetables at every meal.

4.       Fruit does not take the place of vegetables.  Limit your intake to 1-2 pieces every day.

5.       Eat protein at every meal and every snack. Protein is what makes you feel full.  It also helps to keep your blood sugar stable which helps to keep sustained energy all day long.

6.       Make sure that your diet contains some good fats.  Olive oil, coconut oil, walnut, almond, flax, MCT, and fish are all good sources of healthy fats.

7.       Walk for 10-15 minutes every day.  This might mean parking a little further away at work or the grocery store, taking an extra flight of stairs instead of the elevator, taking a few laps around your house or office because the weather is bad.  It is not difficult to include more movement in your day if you know that it does not have to be an all or nothing. 

8.       Take a moment to think about what you are eating, be mindful of how quickly you are eating and why, and be thankful for the food on your plate.

9.       When all else fails, seek out some extra help.  I have seen many people through the years who have struggled with their weight, only to find out that they have food sensitivities.  Once they remove the offending foods, the weight just comes off. 

Wishing you all health and happiness in the New Year!

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Lent

“Maybe you should give that up for Lent,” He said.

Many of my non-practicing Catholic friends still give up things for Lent. I laugh when they tell me that.

I think it is like a do – over for New Year’s Day. All the promises have already fallen by the wayside; gathering dust in the corners of every room. Those resolutions that we felt so sure we would succeed at this time around; all gone now as winter hibernation and lethargy have taken their place.

And

so, here comes Lent, another chance to make a commitment to do something good for yourself. ( I can almost hear my Dad at this point letting me know that is not why we give up things and certainly not what Lent is about. ” I know Dad,  but I am taking creative license here. Don’t worry, 12 years of Catholic education was not wasted, and many other fine blogs are out there about the true meaning of Lenten sacrifice.”)

OK

I do see that most of us need external reasons for growth and change – so what will it be?

~ Giving up Chocolate/Ice cream

gowith~ Limiting your Carbs

~Putting exercise into your daily routine

~Writing in your journal or meditating every morning

~Not cussing or swearing

~Loving your partner and showing that love daily

This is a chance to take advantage of an external prompt and goal. Plus, it is only a short time compared to those 2015, 365 day promises.

I am warming up to the idea.

For me, I am musing giving up working on myself.

That is the question that was posed to me. Could I do it? I am definitely addicted to self- help and constant self-evaluation. I have a pile of books surrounding me that are spiritual, psychological, and therapeutic in nature. I talk process constantly – I mean constantly – it is my work, my play, and everything in between.

What would I do with myself for 40 days?

What would be the reason to give it up? Maybe to take some of the pressure off of myself? Maybe to spend some time being more creative, more relaxed, and more _________?

I am not sure.

I still have a few hours to mull this over.

Chocolate seems like a better and safer bet at this moment!