Tis the season for losing weight and getting into the gym, but before you jump onto that bandwagon, stop and really think about what you hope to accomplish with your health and fitness goals. Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to learn to make better food choices? Do you want to be healthier? Do you just want to get moving? All of these questions may seem like they are asking the same thing, but when you stop to think about your answers, you will find they are very different.
Not everyone cares to lose tons of weight, but better food choices and getting in motion can be on the top of just about anyone’s to do list when trying to get healthy.
So, although I do hope to slim down a tad (we are just getting past the eating-est 3 holidays we celebrate, after all), my aim is more about having a healthier mindset when it comes to food and activities. I want to train myself to make better food choices on the regular, not just for the moment. And also to teach myself that when you are active you feel better! This could be a long process…
To give some scope, here is a bit of my background with healthy living…About 7 years ago I moved to a new state, on my own, with my then 2 year old son. My husband stayed behind to sell our house (I had gotten a job that required me to head out early.). I was traveling 2 hours round trip for work each day and handling drop offs and pick ups as well as the regular daily care of a toddler by myself. You can imagine I had ZERO time for exercise, and even less motivation for eating healthily. So I packed on a few, or 30, pounds…
Fast forward six months. We sold our house. My husband moved, and all was right with the world…almost. We still had the task of buying a new home in our new state. In the end, we decided to build a house…also not the best for the waistline *enter stress here*. About six months after that we moved into our new home and I dedicated myself to getting healthy. I joined Weight Watchers and started on their Point Program. I lost 43 pounds and felt amazing!
Weight Watchers is a great program. I really think everyone should be educated in their way of eating. Even if you aren’t trying to lose weight, it teaches you HOW to eat. You really start to see how the foods you are putting into your body impact your health, and subsequently, your weight. I won’t delve too much into this part because it’s not the focus here, but it does play a part in my mentality so it is relevant.
I no longer rely on Weight Watchers to make me feel “safe” when I am trying to be healthy. For one, it is an expense I’d rather not have. But two, I’ve learned from my time on their program, and I feel confident in my ability to make good food choices on my own.
There is one piece, however, that I have continued to work into my routine, and that is the food journal. You hear people say it all the time; if you have to actually write out that you had a bag of M & M’s, a 2 Liter of soda, and a bag of Pirate’s Booty, you may think twice about eating those foods. It’s true! I feel much more accountable when I am writing down what I put into my body. You can use anything from a daily planner, to a plain notebook, to an app on your phone. There is no right or wrong way to do a food journal.
However, I have found a way that beats them all in my book (pun intended)…my May Book from May Designs. I was turned onto this company by Fleur from Fleur de Force when she recommended a planner in her Stocking Fillers: The Under £15 Gift Guide! I fell in love with their style and went to check them out. Since I use my Filofax as my daily planner, I wanted to see if they had any other options. They did! I purchased their Calorie + Exercise Journal. (You can see some close up shots of the inside of it below and the cover can be seen here.)
You get to fill out the date, your calorie goal per day, and then write in what you actually ate. Now, if you choose not to fill in calories it is still a great journal. And if you are following a Weight Watchers plan, you could easily write in your Daily Points Goal and food points instead.
We all know we need to drink more water! Here you can keep track of the (8) 8oz. glasses you are supposed to get in. I use stickers to mark them off, but you could just check or X through them. Dressing it up may entice you to drink more though…Not a scientific fact, but it works for me!
There is even a place for you to write down what exercise you did that day. I love lists, so anything that gives me a place to write something specific makes me want to do it more just so I can write it down. *Geek*
Finally, at the end of the day you can write a little confessional or just a few thoughts about the day. And as an added incentive, you can check off whether you met your goals or not. Who doesn’t want to check something off that says “Hooray!”?!
Seriously, this little journal is pretty thorough. Plus, it’s just adorable to carry around with you. I love it, and I plan to use one* for all of 2014 as part of my resolution to get healthier. I know some of this seems silly; the prettier something is, the more I want to use it – but it’s true! I am much more inclined to use something that makes me feel good about using it. Whatever works, right?
What is your favorite way to keep yourself accountable?