How are you feeling? I’m not just talking about whether you’re sick. I’m asking if you’re happy, and that opens up a whole host of options: are you well-rested? Relaxed? Busy? Content with your life? Or are you exhausted, stressed, bored, unhappy…or somewhere in between? I hope you’re closer to happy than not. You can’t really expect to fix every issue with your life and reach nirvana in a year, after all.
I hope you at least made some changes to your exercise habits, though. You love doing Zumba and you’re pretty good at it, too, but you don’t do it often enough or for long enough. Zumba classes are typically about an hour long; you need to be moving at full power for that much time. It’s fine that you can’t get to a class — that’s what DVDs and YouTube are for, and you can’t afford it (or find a babysitter) anyway. No worries. You created a YouTube playlist, and now all you need to do is to get into your space and run through the playlist. You can do that, right? You used to dance, and you’d go for hours at a time. Sixty minutes shouldn’t be a big deal for you.
The biggest issue, though, is your diet. It doesn’t help that you were raised on McDonald’s and macaroni and cheese, but you can do so much better. You’ve been working on that, too, and I’m proud of you for that. I’m so happy that spinach has become one of your favorite sandwich components and that you’re using whole-wheat bread instead of the white or potato bread you grew up eating. I’m also happy that you’re educating yourself about food and what goes into it. You’ve learned that, in most cases, if it gets cooked in the microwave or comes prepackaged, it’s probably not your best option. You’ve also learned that, if you can’t easily spell or pronounce an ingredient correctly from memory, it’s also probably not good for your body. That being said, you don’t have to completely let go of the stuff you love. You can still have soda, but you should really start buying cases of cans; the cans provide automatic serving sizes that are much easier to stick to than pouring glasses from bottles — and only drink one every day, or even every other day. Oreos and Santa cookies are okay too, but one or two at a time, and not daily. You can also keep eating those cinnamon-sugar pita chips and the honey-mustard veggie straws with Joshua; they’re not the worst things you could eat and they’re fun to share with Joshua. Maybe you could even figure out ways to make your own even-healthier versions at home!
I do have one word of advice, though…one that, more than anything else, is especially important for you to heed:
Drive through the drive-thru. Keep the foot on the gas, and don’t even think about braking by the menu.
It’s not good food, and you really should stop eating it. It’s okay to have some fries once in a while, but their portion size is all wrong and the fries are exactly that: deep-fried in oil. You don’t need that in your life. Make your own fries at home from real potatoes — sweet, red, white, it’s up to you — and a touch of olive oil and spices. They taste better and they’re much better for you. You’ve made them before, and your entire family devoured them. On top of that, I’ve noticed that, once you hit a fast-food joint once, you get addicted and want to keep going. It’s really unhealthy and it has to stop. Remember: Wendy’s needs you a LOT more than you need her. Limit yourself to once a month, max. Got it? Repeat after me: “once a month.”
Once a month.
Good. Now, keep this in mind as you’re going through this year. You have friends who will help and support you, and call you out when you need to be. Becca at Glow by Beauty Gala and Katie at The Lil’ Life of Lil’ Lady KT are going to be your teammates in all this. They’ve both already started their journeys and have a lot more knowledge and experience than you do. Don’t be afraid to ask them — or anyone else — for help. They will be there for you, I promise. In fact, they’re going to blog weekly with you so you can all lean on each other and share your experiences as you go through the year. You’re going to blog about your journey every Thursday; you could call it “Thin Thursday”, but thin isn’t your goal, is it? Sure, losing the post-baby weight would definitely be a plus, but you’re trying to take control of your health. That was one of your goals this year, wasn’t it? Yes, it was — it’s right here. Taking control of your health doesn’t just mean losing weight and toning up; it means adapting healthier habits, too. You’re working on that so, as long as you continue, you’ll be on the right track.
I’m not going to bother talking about how much you weigh because you’ve done it yourself before, and because it really doesn’t matter. Your goal for this year is to become an all-around healthier individual. That’s your word for the year, so live by it!
Healthier body, healthier mind, healthier home, healthier habits.
Now hop to it! You can do it! Good luck!
**Here begins a new series I’m doing with my real-life (and blogger!) friends Becca and Katie. We’ll be posting every Thursday about our journeys to better health and linking to each other’s posts so you can keep up with all three of us. If anyone else would like to join us, please let me know! We’d be thrilled to have you blog along with us!**