We’re approaching the end of January, and I’m overall feeling good about how my quest to get healthy is going. There is still plenty of work to be done, but I’m confident that the steps I’m taking are the right ones.
Right now I’m focused mainly on my eating habits and not so much on exercising yet. But I am trying to move my body daily. I just don’t have an exercise program in place yet.
I’m the Tortoise, Not the Hare, in this Get Healthy Race
I’ll be honest; I’ve failed many times to get healthy. There are various reasons why, but one stumbling block has always been unrealistic expectations. Often created in innocence and exuberance, I wanted to reach my goals as quickly as possible and show my commitment. You don’t make aggressive goals, unless you are committed—right?
Honestly, it depends.
Everybody talks about why you need to set aggressive goals and I get it. Otherwise it can be easy to procrastinate, leaving the status quo in place. At the same time, too aggressive and unrealistic goals don’t lead you to success but to another failure and another reason to quit. Or in my case, it might just be self-sabotage. I’m no dummy. I know you can really lose 20 pounds in a weekend and go from no exercise to running a marathon overnight. But those are the types of so-called stretch or aggressive goals I made.
And I failed every single time.
So this time, I’m going slow and working on one thing at time. No longer am I pressuring myself to do more than what I can do well. And I accept that my weight loss may be slower than others, but as long as it’s long-lasting, I really don’t care.
My 3 Eating Healthy Challenges and How I’m Fixing Them
This time I didn’t immediately swear off all “bad” foods and make promises that I had no intention of ever keeping. Instead I took my time to figure out what I needed to change.
1. Better Meal Planning to Avoid Too Many Carbs
I love carbs and don’t want to or plan to give them up. But I do need to do a much better job of moderating how frequently I eat them. It would not be unusual for me to enjoy a carb-laden breakfast, lunch and dinner.
My Fix: I am not overly concerned about fruit as I feel their benefits outweigh the negatives. I am focused more on starchy carbs such as bread, potatoes and pasta. These are also known as my three favorite foods. 🙂 Now if I am going to have carbs at dinner, then go light or no carb for breakfast and lunch with either a egg/veggie scramble, salad or non-starchy soup.
2. Moderate Portions and Don’t Eat until Stuffed
More is always better … at least it appears that way when it comes to food. Super-sized fast food meals and massive restaurant portions are commonplace. And I have grown accustomed to those humongous portions and even worse—to feeling stuffed.
My Fix: To pay attention to what my body is telling me. To know what feeling full, but not stuffed, feels like. To stop eating when I feel full, even if there is still food my on plate. To make less food to avoid wasting food and money.
3. To Stop Emotional Eating
Once I was probably more of an emotional spender, but now I am an emotional eater. I fear this step the most, which just triggers more eating.
My Fix: Some people enjoy delving into their inner self and uncovering why they feel and act a certain way. Some days I truly enjoy this and other times I run away as fast as my short legs can carry me. It’s time to face the music and ask myself “why”. And when I find myself heading towards the kitchen at non-meal times to ask myself, “Are you really hungry or are you feeding an emotion?” And most importantly, be honest with myself.
Don’t Stop; Won’t Stop; Can’t Stop
This is the first time I have felt genuinely excited about getting healthy and feel like success is within reach. Partly, because I’m fed up with looking in the mirror and wondering who that person is. But also because I’m not “dieting”. Nope, I’m getting healthy. Diet equates failure, deprivation and general unhappiness to me. Getting healthy, now that is something I want and feels empowering.
Yes, I did and now I’m ready to embrace it.