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Let me start by saying I am not a nutritionist, doctor, nurse, healthy person, trainer, or health food junkie. I am a normal 40 something person who wants (needs) to get healthy. It is now or never for me.
I have read tons of books, researched lots of online sources, and pretty much come to the conclusion that I may know as much as the other folks (which is not much).
For me, getting up at 4 a.m. to workout before going to the office is just not going to work. It might last a week, but it is not sustainable.
Eating perfect all the time would probably give me diarrhea, make me starve and end in binge eating!
What I am thinking (which I am sure is not new) is to add healthy habits one-at-a-time throughout the year. Maybe when December rolls around I will be in better health than I started the year. I don’t aspire to run a marathon or compete in Miss Universe, I just want to eat better, have a workout regimen, and overall feel better. I am at the age when bad things start happening if there is no plan to combat those changes.
If you care to join me, come on! I started about 4 weeks ago and so far, so good.
Week 1: Drink more water. We hear this all the time. And, some of us may even feel we drink enough water. There is probably room to drink more.
When you take away sodas (which I did a few years ago) and tea (which I don’t care for), there isn’t much left. I am not a big juice drinker, and since water is not tasty to me, I just don’t drink much throughout the day.
Four weeks ago I changed that. I start with drinking some water as soon as I wake up each morning. I keep it by the sink in my bathroom. When I see it, I drink it. I carry a Yeti tumbler full of water everywhere I go. It is handy. I see it, so I drink it.
I am probably not drinking as much as various health gurus recommend, but I have improved my water intake. Someday, I will get my water consumption to the optimum level.
Week 3: I began eating oatmeal every morning for breakfast. I haven’t been a regular breakfast eater since elementary. And, I don’t care for oatmeal. But, I do want to lower my cholesterol, so bring on the oatmeal. It really isn’t that bad.
Week 5: Eat five small meals a day. I have had to alter my weekly and daily planning to allow for breakfast, a 10 a.m. snack, lunch, a 3 p.m. snack, and dinner.
I pack an apple or banana for my 10 a.m. snack, to which I add peanut butter (preferably one that has only one or two ingredients and peanuts should be the main one!) that I keep at work. For the 3 p.m. snack, I take non-fat yogurt with berries with me. At the office, I keep small pieces of dark chocolate as well as nuts to combat a sweet tooth or hunger pains. Since I have started eating oatmeal each morning, I rarely get hungry at work.
Last night I had meetings until 7 p.m. Compared to what I normally consumed in a day, I had not eaten that much. As I considered what to have for dinner, I realized that I wasn’t even hungry! I did eat a half cup of Lima beans and a half serving of baked salmon. I wasn’t stuffed, but I staved off any reason to over eat later in the evening.
Week 7: Walk. I plan to work up to walking an hour a day, 5 days a week. My biggest challenge is finding an hour a day to do anything, but if walking is a priority then it will happen.
A colleague and I try to walk every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We head over to a church recreational center that is close to our office. Between walking over and walking on the track, we get about 50 minutes in. So that just leaves me two more days to fill in. Surely I can do that.
Ask around at your office. There are other folks who want to get fit as well. It is a great way to get to know someone better and to enjoy spending time with someone without pigging out!
This plan covers the first 8 weeks of actions to get me to my goal of healthiness. Do you want to join me? Are these habits you already have? Or, do you want to add them to your normal routine as well?
NOTE: As with any dietary and excerise changes, please check with your doctor in advance. Substitute the healthy habits you want to add in your life for the ones I am adding. If you already drink lots of water or eat a healthy breakfast each morning, why not substitute another good habit such as getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night or taking vitamins?