Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The 12 Healthy Habits Challenge

A new year, yet another New Year's resolution to get fit, lose weight, and move on with my life.
I have been on so many diets over the course of my life I really should be writing a book on them. Lord knows, I've tried them all: NutriSystem, Opti Fast, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and all sorts of fad diets that I've found in Cosmo and women's magazines. When all is said and done, one year after I start the diet, I end up 30 pounds heavier and hundreds of dollars poorer. Because all of those different "programs" never teach me how to eat or change what I'm doing. Scratch that - Weight Watchers does - to a point. But ever since they changed the plan into the points system, I find it very hard to follow. And I already have enough going on in my life without having to sit down and perform calculus on every morsel I put into my mouth.

It should be simple - you need to burn more calories than you take in. Yeah, yeah, I get it. Putting it into practice with emotional eating is another kettle of fish, so to speak. But I really do get it. I swear.

So this year, I'm trying to look at things differently. I'm going to be monitoring my activity on the Bodymedia FIT that DH kindly bought me for Christmas, and I'm going to be following the Cooking Light Food Lover's Healthy Habits challenge. I have been wearing the Bodymedia FIT band for the past two days to get a baseline on where I am and what's going on with me, and I can already see that I need to bump up the workouts, and cut the high calorie dinners and snacks.

I like the Healthy Habits challenge, because it's not a "plan", per se - but a guideline to make real life changes that you can incorporate into your daily existence and get them to "stick" -  into habits.

For January's Healthy Habits, I've decided to tackle two:

  • Cook at least 3 more meals at home each week
  • Eat more fish (make fish the centerpiece of at least 2 meals per week)
I chose the above, because they are the most glaringly obvious changes we need to make. If I can plan right and make it work, these will benefit my entire family immensely.

Because I'm working and I get stuck in traffic after I pick DD up from the after school program, by the time I get home at night I'm starving and just too worn out to deal with figuring out what to put on the table. We resort to fast food far too often. And the only fast food place that is local to us is McDonald's - the Fat, Calorie, and Sodium fest. Which isn't good for any of us. And DH's schedule is just so hellish I never know what time he's going to get home at night, so the meal planning is entirely in my hands.

The fish piece should be a particular challenge for us, because as you know if you've been reading this blog, my spouse is of the Picky persuasion. And I'm certain that the bitching and beefing will be heard as far as California, even though we currently reside in New Jersey.

However, I am hoping I can get him on board by making less fishy fish, and putting it into foods he already loves - just need to add fish as the meat component - so things like fish tacos, salmon burgers, and mixing it with pasta and tomato sauce. And I need to stay away from the "slimy" fish like oysters and clams. I may be able to get him to eat scallops, but I'm not sure. The good thing is, he agreed to do this to help me and to help lower his cholesterol.

DD will not be a problem at all, as she loves anything that swims, as do I.

Tomorrow, I'll be doing the meal planning for the next week, and I will post the results of the recipes I find on here, as well as review our progress in incorporating the habits into our daily routine.

And if I didn't mention this before, I am starting a gourmet cooking class on January 21, so I am hoping that it will help me bump up some good options for us going forward, and help me hone my skills.

Wish me luck - and Happy New Year!

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