- No chips. No way, no how!! I'm a chipaholic. I love junk food, I love snack foods. And if they are in my house, I WILL eat them. For me to be successful in creating healthy eating habits, I have to eliminate the temptations. So, the chips have disappeared, yet again. I haven't snacked at all this week at work, nor in the evenings at home. I decided not to go on a hard-core "diet" right off the bat, just make this small tweak to get me eased back in to the game again. Thus far, I've been successful. The real test will be this weekend, when I go for groceries. I've had a hard time avoiding the chip aisle in recent months...
- Evening exercise. Honestly, I have never quit working out, despite gaining back all these pounds, and that's frustrating to me. Yes, my morning workouts were dialed back in length and intensity, but I've still been getting up every morning at 5:30 to get half an hour of exercise in before starting my day, 6 days a week, and I hoped that would be enough. Obviously not. I have always intended to also do something active in the evenings too, and yet, that has ended up being more hit-or-miss. I'd take any excuse to forego the evening exercise - I'm too tired, it's too hot, I don't feel like it, there's too many bugs. You name it, I've used it as an excuse. Not this week, though. I haven't missed my evening walk yet, and I've actually been quite enjoying the 40 minutes of walking around town listening to my tunes. This shouldn't come as a surprise to me - the walk has always been my most preferred method of exercise - it's just a matter of making myself do it. No more excuses.
- Back to logging with Myfitnesspal. I struggled with this decision, because my goal all along has just to be able to eat responsibly without having to write everything down obsessively. Unfortunately, that way hasn't worked too well for me, so I decided to go back to my practices of logging my daily food intake and exercise with Myfitnesspal again. It keeps me more aware, helps me plan a bit better ahead of time, and keeps me more accountable. I still hope that someday I'll be able to ditch the daily journaling and just be smart about it, but for the purposes of getting back on track right now, I figured I'd better go back to something that worked well for me before.
- Finding healthy lunch alternatives. About a year ago, I had to give up my beloved Shakeology. I had a shake almost every day for lunch for two years, and I really credited it with helping me lose weight and keep it off, as well as curbing my cravings for junk. But sadly, it was too expensive. I couldn't afford it anymore. And I haven't found a meal replacement protein shake that I liked even half as much since. So, I'm back to eating "real food" for lunch again, and that's a bit of a pain in the ass. The shake was just so easy. Thankfully, I have a supply of healthy soups in the freezer from last winter, so I've been taking that on my lunch with some healthier snacks, and soon I'll start re-stocking the freezer again for the future. I also want to get in the habit of making some homemade healthy snacks - muffins, granola bars, etc. instead of buying that crap all the time. Homemade is always better. I like knowing what's in my food!
- Earlier to bed. This one isn't difficult for me - I love to sleep. Going to bed earlier might seem like a strange one, because I rarely stay up late anways. It's not like I'm a nighthawk - I'm actually kind of the opposite. But for the past year, I've got into this nasty habit of falling asleep on the couch watching TV, usually around 7:30-8:00, then going to bed whenever I wake up (usually between 10-11 pm), and then having trouble falling back asleep. So even though I've been getting plenty of sleep, I think I've developed a poor sleep pattern, making me more tired, grumpy, and sluggish than I would be if I got a solid 8 hours of good sleep in my bed. So I've been doing my damndest to keep myself busy and awake in the evenings, then going up to bed around 9. I've tried to start a new bedtime routine, beyond my usual teeth brushing and face wash - taking more time to wind down, doing silly little things like taking the time to put on nighttime face moisturizer, old lady eye wrinkle cream, moisturizing my feet, And then reading, even if it's just a page or two. It's like sleep-training a new baby, I tell you. ha!! So far, so good, though.
There are a million different things I could be doing to get myself back on track, and thankfully I've hung on to a lot of my healthy habits despite my weight gain over the past year (like water - I drink water like it's going out of style!) - but these are the 5 things I've really focused on this week in getting myself back on track.
Now if I can get through the weekend without falling completely off the wagon again, I'll really have something to celebrate...