The New Year brings forth new beginnings. It’s a blank slate for the next 365 days of the year. Each year we all make resolutions to better ourselves. Whether it’s physically, mentally, emotionally, or professionally. I’m notorious for, let’s call it – “over resolving”. I’ll be the first to admit I’ve gained about 10 pounds since our wedding day and I have been feeling super sluggish and uncomfortable in my clothes! So, you guessed it… I want to lose weight this year. I promised myself to be a healthier me in 2017. Whenever I start a new goal, I head in full-force and then it slowly fizzles out and I’m back to my old ways. This year will be different though! I’ve lost five pounds since January 2nd (because who starts a diet January 1st…?), and I’m feeling great! It also helps that Alex and I are in this together.
Now, I’m definitely not a nutritionist but here’s what’s been working for me.
Move a Little More
It wasn’t until Alex and I started using our Fitbits that we realized just how sedentary we are all day at work. I mean, four hours of inactivity at a time sounds pretty bad doesn’t it? It is. With our Fitbits tracking our activity, it became super easy to set specific goals for each day and to actually be held accountable for them. I know it sounds totally cliché, but every little bit of movement helps. Instead of taking the elevator, we started taking the stairs and we set step goals of 250+ each hour. It’s really funny when we run into each other walking around the office ten minutes before our step goals are due!
Date Night Refresh
Our usual date nights consisted of dinner, wine, and frequent visits to Ben & Jerry’s (conveniently and dangerously located on the ground floor of our condo building). Once we promised to each other that we were in this together, we had to start thinking of fun things to do that didn’t involve so many calories. We’ve been going on long walks around our neighborhood, going on bike rides, and walking to any local spot that’s offering live music. We’ve also been getting creative with dinner by trying new vegetables and coming up with yummy ways to prepare them. Now, our date nights get us doing something revitalizing, healthy, and new! #winning
Keep a Food Diary
Losing weight is about calories in, calories out. Right? It wasn’t until I started logging our foods into MyFitnessPal that I realized how important portion control was. I didn’t necessarily eat unhealthy foods, but my portions were out of control! I also realized how snacking at work racked up tons of calories. A little bag of Stacy’s Pita Chips here and a Twix Mini there became a daily, mindless eating habit that wasn’t doing my body any good. Once I kicked those out of my diet, I made room for healthy and satiating foods that were much more filling. Counting calories helped us get a good understanding of where all the unnecessary calories were coming from and how we could adjust. Plus, who knew wine had that many calories? Which leads me to my next point…
Sip Back on the Booze
We very quickly realized that if we wanted to make this healthy lifestyle change, there was going to have to be a little bit of a wine drought. Cutting the booze out altogether seems really unreasonable though, so we set a goal that we wouldn’t drink any wine until we had both lost at least 5 pounds. This led to also nixing all the goodies we would pair with wine, too – bye cheese and crackers! While Alex reached his goal a lot quicker than I did, he kept off the wine until I had caught up in solidarity!
Prep, Prep, Prep
Whenever I will be out and about, I make sure that I prep my lunch or dinner beforehand. Going out of my way to prepare and pack a healthy meal to-go keeps me from giving in to anything unhealthy I may run into. Food prepping for the week ahead means spiralizing veggies, seasoning and separating meats into the right serving size portions, and slicing and dicing onions etc. It keeps us from taking the easy way out and ordering in from a nearby restaurant. Every night, we cook four servings of a meal so that we have leftovers for lunch the next day. Having our lunch packed and ready to go for the day ahead reduces the temptation of ordering delivery to the office since we try our hardest not to waste food (or money)! While I’ll be the first to admit that all this prep work is no fun, it saves us so much time on weekdays and gives us the time to go to the gym after work instead!
No matter what your resolutions for the new year are, make sure your goals are healthy and realistic. It won’t be easy, but I promise it’s worth it! Set your mind to it, and make 2017 your healthiest year yet!