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December 2016

Starting in January… (long entry)
December 29, 2016

I want to cut the yo-yo string in the new year and I've been thinking about how I want to tackle this. This is what I've come up with (for January)…


Food
I'm hoping to take a break from sweets for a week or month… however long it takes to get out of my system. I will not buy store-bought junk ever again and opt for fruit and/or healthier homemade desserts instead. I'd also like to examine and cut out or cut back on other processed sugary foods, including hidden sugars.

I'd like to try a flexitarian diet, which I think means being a flexible vegetarian. We don't eat a lot of meat when we do eat it, but I'm curious to see how much we can cut back. I rarely eat pork and seldom eat beef, so those will be easy to give up. I love chicken and fish/seafood though. I'm hoping to eventually be eating meat no more than twice a week.

I'd like to eat more veggies, both in amount and variety. Right now, I'm not going to worry about what veggie I eat. As long as it won't kill me, I'll try it. Maybe later, if I have to watch my carbs, then I'll be more picky about what veggies I get.

I want to cut out heavily processed foods and unhealthy packaged foods. Other processed foods can be cut back. And healthy packaged foods are safe for now. If I can be successful here, then I'll revisit this in a few months and see what else I can cut out or cut back on.

The one exception I want to make for now is dark chocolate. I would love to find good, quality dark chocolate, get as dark as I can tolerate, and limit myself to one small square a day.


Drink
I'll continue to drink plenty of water. I might not always be hitting 64oz of "just water" a day, but I do drink water throughout the day. I've also been trying to drink a glass of water when I feel like eating but don't really feel hungry.

I drink black tea once or twice a day, but I often have to sweeten it. So, I'm going to cut out black tea once it is gone. I'll still have my other teas, like Bengal Spice from Celestial Seasoning, which I don't have to sweeten.

I never want to buy Mio again. While it was fun for a while, I can find healthier and cheaper ways of getting flavored water. For example, this week I've been adding a squeeze of lemon juice to my water. Not only is it refreshing, but it's not full of added chemicals.

I currently drink a 20oz bottle of diet soda once a week, but I would like to cut further back on that. For the first few months, I would like to aim for no more than twice a month. Eventually, I'd like to have it no more than once a month. I'm thinking flavored seltzer water could be a good alternative if I'm craving something carbonated, but I might even cut back on that when the time comes.

Caloric drinks will be a bigger battle, even though I try to limit myself to a 16oz drink once a week. I really like the chai and hot chocolate from our local bookstore's cafe, so I might have to wait for warmer weather to tackle this problem.


Exercise
I love walking, even if it's difficult to do outside in winter. So my plan is to aim for at least 5,000 steps every day, even if I have to walk indoors. On really good days, where I can get outside, then I can aim for 10,000 steps.

I need to be active every hour, even if it's just 5-10 minutes of moving around. I'll pace the apartment if I have to. With the Fitbit's activity challenge, I need 250 steps every hour for 8-9 hours to get a virtual star. Hopefully, I'll find other activities to do as well.

My main issue will be finding exercises that I can stick with past a few days, other than walking. I have to "fall in love" with other activities that'll help me be strong, fit and flexible. I'll need to research stuff and hopefully find a few things to do before the end of January.

I am not going to join a gym in January. That seems to be the busiest month for a gym, I think. I'm probably better off waiting till March for things to slow down. And maybe by joining in March, I'll be more likely to stick with it. Until then, I can do some things at home.


Measurements
At the beginning of January, I will measure my neck, arms, bust, waist, hips, legs, etc. I'll also take pictures. Then I'll do the same thing at the beginning of February and make note of any changes. Hopefully I remember to do this for each month.

I plan to officially weigh myself and evaluate my overall progress on Mondays. I will write down my weight every Monday. I will also check to see if I'm keeping up with my goals. And I can adjust or reinforce where needed.

I want to track emotions and energy levels throughout each day to begin with. I want to track more than just basic emotions (happy, sad, angry, etc). I want to see what emotions have me heading for the kitchen the most. I also want to see how my energy levels are at the same time. Hopefully I'll find some answers and maybe even adjust some of my emotions, if possible.

I'll also track my goals every day for at least a month. I can do it on SP, a spreadsheet, or pieces of paper.


Rewards
I was thinking of awarding my daily goals with points (for fun), and having rewards for reaching certain milestones (to keep me going).

Points are fun. I was thinking that each goal could be worth a certain number of points based on how difficult I think the goal will be. And when I reach a certain number of points per goal, I could get a sticker. I could also get a sticker if I reach all my daily goals for that day. Maybe even reward myself from time to time for earning a certain number of stickers.

Rewards are even better. I could have rewards for reaching weight milestones and for being consistent with my goals for a certain length of time. For examples… I could have a small reward for a month of consistent goal-keeping or losing 1% of my starting weight; a medium reward for 3 months of consistency or losing 10%; and a bigger reward for a year of consistency or losing 28%. I'll just have to think of things I'd like that could be used as rewards.



TL;DR…
Food: cut out crap, eat healthier.
Drink: continue drinking water, cut further back on diet soda, and worry about caloric drinks.
Exercise: continue to walk, be more active, and find other exercises that I can stick with.
Measurements: Track weight, measurements, emotions, energy levels and goals throughout the month.
Rewards: I'm thinking of having points for fun and rewards to keep me going.


I hope to write in here at least once a week, probably on a Monday, to share how I'm doing.


PS: I have to remember that these goals are for January and/or the first three months. I need to know if I can stick to these goals before worrying about the rest of the year.


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Weighty Issues
by Christine
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