Like many people, I have a goal of eating healthier. I want to lose weight but I also want to have more energy, and now that I’m over 40 I also want to reduce some of the signs of aging I’ve been experiencing. Over the years my weight has gone up and down. Getting my weight down always takes a significant effort and yet it has a habit of creeping back up if I’m not careful.
I’ve noticed that when I’m in a relationship the weight comes on the fastest. That’s not surprising since my dates like eating out as much as I do and don’t need to be as careful with calories. This last swing of the pendulum I had gained 30 pounds in about 18 months. January 1 I decided it was time to make a change (ok, I was on vacation 1/1 so I didn’t actually start until 1/6).
I knew what I was doing wrong. I know how to eat well but eating out and drinking wine several times a week have been working against me. The relationship I was in ended shortly after I returned from vacation so it was the perfect time to make some changes. Here’s my plan:
- I track everything I eat plus my exercise in My Fitness Pal (I love this app!)
- I use an accountability partner. My sister and I report to each other each day how many calories we are under.
- I include my friends. I told them what I was doing and asked that they support me by scheduling active things together instead of eating/drinking.
- I eat before I go out (unless I know there’s something healthy on the menu I want) when I go to eating/drinking events (which I do several times a month with different social groups), and I treat myself to a diet soda instead of alcohol (until now I almost never ordered soda out). When people ask why I’m not drinking I tell them that it’s just for tonight.
- I include my kids. It had been a long time since I’d gotten my kids out on their bikes, even though bike riding is something I love to do. I’m now looking for fun places they will enjoy riding and have promised to buy them better bikes if they will come riding with me.
- I take time for myself. Now that my kids are older (11 and 13) they can stay home alone for an hour or two. I joined a gym and although I don’t go often I have found that I really enjoy the 8 am yoga class that’s scheduled on Saturday mornings. It’s early enough that the kids are still kind of waking up and late enough that it doesn’t feel like I’m getting up for work.
- I add exercise whenever I can. I walk at lunchtime which burns an extra couple hundred calories. When I take the kids to the park I walk laps around wherever they are playing or play with them (if they’ll let me!).
My goal is to make these changes into habits. I don’t want my weight to swing back up once I get to my goal. I’m not on a diet. I’m making changes to the way I live and I feel like I can stick to it, even as a busy single mom with so many other priorities.
I’ve lost 20 pounds in 2 months so this is definitely working!
Photo by Timothy Lamm on Unsplash