Last year, I really focused on increasing my consumption of veggies. I eliminated most of the processed food from my regular eating, and had a lot more vegan meals, including a full 6 weeks of low-fat vegan eating early in the year. All this, along with increased activity and careful portion control of non-healthy foods, contributed to my weight loss of about 50 pounds over the last year and a half or so. The turn of the year is an opportunity to re-evaluate what is working and what isn’t, and set some new goals.
1) Continue to eat LOTS of veggies, fewer carbs, add back lean protien.
This past fall, the weight loss slowed, despite about the same level of activity and eating patterns. So I’m switching gears slightly to try to shed more fat. I’m so close to what is a major goal that has been eluding me (getting my BMI out of the obese range), but I think having so much of my protein attached to carbs (albeit healthy carbs) in beans and rice and such, might need to change. I still think that from a micronutrient and antioxidant standpoint, the biggest bang for my buck comes from plant-based sources. But I’m going to try adding back lean meats and fish as sources of carb-free protein, and for a while decrease my carb load. Even though I love my green smoothies, they are full of (wonderful and natural) fruit sugars, and I’m going to take a break from them as well. Ideally, I’ll go back to more vegan-based eating once I shed more weight. But I feel that my metabolism needs a surprise change-up of sorts to start shedding fat again. Also, I’ve seen some data recently that fish oil supplementation doesn’t do nearly as much for your health as actual eating the whole food.
2) An exercise schedule.
As far as exercise, my goal is to run 3x per week, with two shorter (2-3 mile) runs during the week, and one nice longer run on the weekend. I’ll plan to do strength training twice per week.. Scheduling this all in so it doesn’t get put on the back burner each day will involve another one of my year’s goals: Becoming A Morning Person. (More on that later.)Previous attempts to do my exercise first thing in the morning, in the dark hours before my children rise, have failed. Why am I trying again, you ask? Three things are different:
-My husband is joining me. We’ll wake up at 5 together. Each of us holds the other to it. It’s quality time with him we didn’t seize before.
-I’ve gotten to the point that despite the fact that getting out of bed is SO hard in the morning, exercise itself is more enjoyable that it has ever been before. I’ve reached the tipping point, where I actually want to exercise.
-I’m rising early enough to leave time to reward myself after working out by reading by the fire, and watching the sun rise.
3) Better meal planning. My other health goal is to continue to improve my meal planning and increase the amount we eat at home. This has already been challenged by the fact that my fridge broke on New Year’s Eve, and we are still waiting for a replacement. We finally got a loaner fridge from the appliance company a couple days ago, which is hooked up in the garage. I did the best I could, and given I had a full freezer that was still functioning packed with healthy frozen meals, and a winter garden still flourishing with fresh herbs and cabbage and broccoli, it’s been better than it could have been. My menu planning will center around writing down meals I’ve planned for the week on the chalkboard I’ve painted in the hall next to the kitchen. It’s simple, which I believe will make it doable.
I’ve also signed up with a “Diet Bet” I heard about through Eclectic Whatnot. It’s a creatively run social weight loss tool. I’ll let you know how that goes. I may or may not run another 10K at some point this spring, depending on my schedule. More on that later.