Saturday, January 25, 2014

Good health habits in 2014

The day after Christmas I finally got in gear and developed some healthier habits.  The first step was joining the YMCA as a family.  We knew this membership would be helpful for my husband to have a place to walk as he continues to recover from back surgery (we live on a busy street).  For my oldest son, he could continue training for 5k the warmth of the gym and not the bitter cold.  And my younger son is playing basketball and there is a full court and training room for his sport.  Our daughter loves it all, especially the hot tub and swimming pool, which we need to visit more often.  We have required the children to exercise at the Y with us at least 3 times a week, which is such a good pattern for them to learn now.  Personally, I set a goal of exercising 30 days in a row, without missing a day.  I achieved that goal on Thursday, so I am pressing forward and setting a new goal for 60 days in a row!  I have found that the track and the Zumba class scratch my itch.  Maybe I will venture out and try new things this month!

Besides the exercise habit, I have given up my beloved, but evil-on-the-hips, Dr. Pepper habit.  Instead, I am drinking 72 ounces of water each day.  I have found that it tastes better in my Tervis cup.  That cup has magical powers that make any water taste cool and fresh.  In the past, the 8-glass-a-day water rule was really overwhelming for me.  But with my magical cup, I have only missed the mark a day or two in the last month. 

Along with these two big changes, I have been extremely careful with my nutrition.  I eat around 1500 calories a day.  Because sugar and carbohydrates are so high in calories, and I am hungry at meal times, I do not eat them hardly at all.  It's not that I am trying to only eat certain food groups, I just want the most food for my calories!  I eat a lot of fruit, vegetables, yogurt, and proteins- nuts twice a day usually.  We drink and eat organic as much as possible, but always with chicken, milk, and beef.  We are in the process of planting container gardens on our deck to have access to organic produce again, since we left the farm.  I am so excited about that opportunity, as it is so expensive and there are no farmer's markets open this time of year!  Salads and vegetable-based soups are a favorite, as well as hummus and almonds.  I usually have meat or chicken at dinner and always a banana and peanut butter smoothie for breakfast.  I am thinking of trying almond butter this week.  Love all-natural fruit popsicles, too!  I think I have found a reasonable, healthy diet. I keep reminding myself that this investment in my nutrition is more valuable than I could realize.  It's not cheap or convenient, often.  But it is valuable!

I have been very pleased with the results.  I feel very energetic, and have no problem exercising after we get home from school or later in the evenings.  Before, I would often drag myself through the rest of the afternoon and evening.  Also, I have had some pretty intense digestive pain and issues since going back to teaching in the classroom.  But that issue has gone completely away!  I was thrilled when I weighed on Thursday (4 weeks in) and I had lost 10 pounds, which exceeded my goal of 6 pounds a month. 

So I am going into month 2 with excitement and hope.  I have a few goals I want to reach between now and March:
-exercise 60 days in a row (total)
-lose a total of 20 pounds
-stay the same course!!

"People are fed by the food industry, which pays no attention to health...and treated by the health industry, which pays no attention to food." ~Wendell Berry

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