Happy March 4th! Thee breakfast plate looks a little something like this:
The return of bagel thins (hey, I’m almost through the bag now!) Cream cheese, sun dried tomatoes, eggs, cheese, and turkey bacon with a side of strawberries-which I’m munching on right now.
My goal for this year is not to “lose weight”. If it comes off naturally, that’s great. But I am trying to focus more on making healthier choices every day. Sounds simple enough, but really, it’s a whole different thought process. Making it a habit is most definably “easier said than done”.
When I first starting blogging about what I was getting myself into, I heard a lot of comments from family and friends about my new healthy habits.
“Oh, you’re not eating dessert?”
“You’re going to eat dessert? I thought you were trying to be healthy?”
“How can you just eat raw vegetables? I could never do that.”
“Why do you want to go to the gym today? You already exercised this week.”
I knew they cared about me, but these comments often made me feel uncomfortable and even angry at times. Why couldn’t they respect my choice to get healthy? I wish I could say that I am “getting healthy” all on my own, but I quickly realized that I needed the support of those around me. What these people said and did could impact just how successful I was with my everyday decisions. Instead of getting upset with everyone, I got serious about my goals and looked to a few strategies to help me make the right decisions once and for all.
Here’s what I did, and what can help you too:
When I decided to begin making more healthy choices for me each day, I announced it to my friends and family. I didn’t scream it from the top of a mountain (this was before beginning this blog of course), just slipped it into conversation, but I made sure to really let them know that I was committed to improving my health. I knew if they really cared about me, they’d respect my decision and want to help me achieve my goals. I also wanted them to understand how I planned to improve my eating habits and exercise more regularly to get them on board with my new way of life. Plus announcing my desire to lose weight held me more accountable for my actions because now my loved ones were watching me.
Buy Your Own Groceries
In the very beginning, I lived with a roommate, so I bought my own groceries separate from hers. This worked out well because I purchased exactly what I wanted to help me stick to my new healthy way of eating. She still bought her favorite foods (chips, cookies, etc.), but since I didn’t pay for them myself, they were off limits and didn’t tempt me. Since my cabinet in the kitchen was filled with my favorite healthy foods, I didn’t forget about them when I wanted something to eat or was tempted by the box of Cheez-Its that my roommate offered to share with me.
Educate Others About Healthy Choices
When I first started to make healthy lifestyle changes, my family and friends often questioned my actions. They didn’t understand why I was doing what I was doing, so I explained myself with the help of some scientific research. Really! I know this probably sounds sort of crazy, but it actually works. Once they understood the reasoning behind my choices, they instantly backed off their criticisms. I also think knowing my stuff inspired them to make some changes in their own lives, too!
Offer To Cook
Most nights, like anywhere else roommates are too tired to cook, so ordering takeout or popping a pizza into the oven is a must. Of course, this way of eating makes life seem easier, but it isn’t good news for your health. If you want to stick to your healthy habits, introduce those around you to a new way of eating and offer to cook for them. Plan a couple of meals a week that incorporate fresh ingredients, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats. It’s a great feeling knowing that you are in control of what goes into the meals, including the amount of fat and calories in the recipes. Often use fresh herbs and spices to amp up a flavor profile and make a healthier version of favorite recipes. Then roommates will see that healthy eating can be delicious.
Find Healthy Options You Love
Friday nights are often meant to be a stay at home watching movies and relaxing on the couch in sweats kind of night. You typically break out a bottle of wine (or two) and a bunch of not-so-healthy snacks to munch on. Of course, you don’t want to miss out on your Friday night traditions, so find healthy food options that you love just as much as the unhealthy stuff and share those with friends. So, instead of Doritos, eat pita chips with goat cheese; instead of chips and spinach-artichoke dip, snack on hummus (here’s my DIY & Save On Hummus Recipe) and veggies; instead of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, enjoy peanut butter-stuffed dates. It actually won’t seem like “diet” food because you will enjoy it just as much.
Your resolution may be to lose weight, so ask friends if they want to start exercising together regularly. You may be members of the same gym, but your workout schedule may not be very consistent. So make plans to exercise four mornings before work and once on the weekend. If you’re not motivated to wake up early for a workout or want to sleep in on a Saturday morning your friends will always manage to get you to the gym. Having this type of team mentality in which you rely on each other will help you get into a groove with your workouts. After a few months of regular workouts, it will become part of your routine, and you won’t always need roommates’ encouragement to get to the gym. This fall when I move closer to Nate, he will be joining the college gym membership so that we both can take full advantage of healthier options when we are together. Instead of sitting watching movies, we will be having full blown racquetball and basketball matches.
Just Do It
I’ve decided that there are two types of people in this world; those who would rather be horizontal on the couch, and those who possess innate motivation to just do it. Actually, I should clarify: I think some people are more easily self-motivated in certain areas. I should really give myself some credit; I have zero issues getting myself to read healthy lifestyle magazines and blogs. I can read, read, read, until my eyelids droop. But I do find myself occasionally making excuses for exercise, which is exactly why I need to sign up for some races soon! Nothing like a deadline to light a fire under my horizontal booty.
Almost done with the strawberries.
Guess what this means?
It’s time to pack for camping!
Yes, the weather outside looks a little like this:
But that won’t stop me from my birthday wishes of going camping! According to one Canadian Border Crossing Patrol Agent, Nate and I are “hardcore campers”.
Last year for my birthday Nate and I jumped into chilly Lake Michigan!
Hardcore. Right There.
My next two days will be filled with bridge inspecting with Nate, hiking, camping and some birthday icecream!
Fun Fact of the Day:
Why do my fingers and toes wrinkle in the water?
Here’s the leading hypothesis: The top layer of your skin absorbs more water than the layers beneath, increasing its surface area, says Richard Scher, M.D., professor emeritus of dermatology at Columbia University. Since the newly baggy skin is still attached to the non-bloated layers, it bunches up, causing a prune like effect. Fingers and toes are especially prone because o their thicker shell of dead keratin, an absorbent protein on the skin’s outer layer.
Have a great day everyone. I’m off to finish packing and get in a run before the adventures begin!