Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Year of Change

Today is the first day of 2014 and my one year Fit-Versary. It's one year to the day that I decided that I needed something different for my life, and that the path that I was on would inevitably lead to an early death. I knew that if I didn't change I would prematurely leave my children without a mother, my husband without a wife, and there would be no one to blame but me. It was my choice regardless of the many excuses I had for the hopeless situation that I found myself in. My excuses were many, I had three children and no time to exercise, I had a house to clean, clothes to be washed, children that needed me, playdates, carpools,  a business that needed my attention, and at the end of the day there never seemed to be enough time for me. I realized that those things were not going to go away anytime soon and so if I really wanted this, if I really wanted to change that I would have to do something to find time for me. So my new years resolution was simple. Me first. It felt selfish and it felt unnatural. The truth is I didn't need all day, so devoting an hour to my overall health was not only good for me but it was great for my family. I was doing it for them too, and they reaped the rewards along with me.
My overall health was a huge priority, so not only did I want to lose weight but I also wanted to avoid depression medication (which I have struggled with for years) and I wanted to reduce the risk factors that I had (cholesterol and a family history of diabetes). These were all things I felt I could control I just didn't know how. A lot of this year has been trial and error and with so many fad diets and get thin quick schemes out there its really hard to filter out the "noise". I knew what I did would have to be sustainable and realistic, so I committed to only do things that I felt I could keep up with forever. Thats a hard So diets dependent on shakes, or meetings or special food purchases were out.  I also didn't want to deprive myself of anything or limit my diet to only specific foods so things like the paleo diet were out. I'm not knocking anyones choices, I just knew for me this wouldn't work. I love food and being from two cultures (Maltese and Armenian) where food is so much a part of our social and cultural life I didn't want to struggle with limited food options. This year has not been without its struggles and I still have a long way to go and a lifetime of maintenance but I started. Starting is half the battle. I have since lost 66lbs and all of my levels are normal and my battles with depression, while not completely gone have become far more manageable. The reason I write this entry is not because I think I have all the answers, Im not sure if I have any to be honest but one thing I know for sure is that there is someone out there on this New Years day who is in the same position that I was. Feeling hopeless, lost and really not knowing where to start. I have been asked what my secret is and how Im doing this and while I don't pretend to have all the answers here are some of the things that have helped me over the course of this year.

1. Journal your food. I use Its free and a great tool to help you figure out how many calories you are eating and track your calories burned. It sounds daunting but so many of the foods I was eating were already in there so its quite easy

2. Learn to cook foods you love in a different way. You don't have to give up mac n cheese or chocolate cake but you do have to learn to cook them differently. My absolute favorite places to get recipes are from and these two books 

The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life by Ellie Krieger

Light & Healthy 2010: The Year's Best Recipes Americas Test Kitchen

If the budget is tight check them out from your local library. I know in my county you can browse online and actually request books from other libraries if yours doesn't carry it and they will deliver it to your local library.

3. Find an exercise you enjoy. I have lots of friends that run but I HATE running. Seriously unless something is chasing me forget it. Don't force yourself to like something just because everyone else is doing it. So walking is my exercise of choice and Zumba. I love them both and actually look forward to my time doing it.

4. Its ok to go slow. Don't be discouraged if you "only" lose a half a pound in a week. Its ok to go slow. Whats the rush?

5. Get out of your pj's. This was hard for me but I found that if I laced up my sneakers and got into my gym clothes first thing in the morning I was much more inclined to exercise. If I stay in my pj's then thats where I would stay. This goes for the weekend too!

6. Honor yourself. You are better than secretly going through a drive thru and shoveling food in a parking lot. Honor yourself by cooking a meal at home, putting it on a plate and sitting down to enjoy it.

7. Meal plan. I make a menu for the week and grocery shop to make sure I have all my ingredients. This is huge time and money saver and keeps us from eating out.

8. Take measurements and progress pictures. Its amazing to go back and look at how far you have come!

9. Don't beat yourself up. If you have a meal you're not really proud congratulations you are human! ;)  Log it and move forward, don't let it derail the hard work you have put in.

10. Don't do it alone. Whether its finding a weight loss community on instagram or having a best friend join you. Don't do it alone. The power of having someone on your side who has been there and understands this struggle is invaluable, even if its just one person!

These are some of the things that have helped me. Like I said Im no expert and I have a long way to go but its important to get started. I wish you the best in all your fitness goals this coming year and if you need a little inspiration or need motivation or someone who just gets it you can find me on Instagram at Heres to a healthy 2014!

1 comment:

  1. congrats my friend on your fitversary! although i did lose 35lbs last year i have been stuck over the holidays and am recommitting! thanks for keeping me motivated! you ROCK!!!!