What’s Working for Me in 2019
My 34th birthday came and went last spring. My hard working body has created and carried two beautiful babies. In the ups and downs of life I’ve done more than my share of emotional eating! My journey has also tossed me some health curve balls in the last decade that have made weight gaining drugs like prednisone life saving medications for me. Suffice it to say I’ve put on more than a few extra pounds that I don’t need!
But 2019 is MY year. I’ve been working in the last few years to make more peace with my body, find more grace for myself, and make healthier choices! Some of it has been three steps forward and two steps back but slowly…slowly…slowly I’m finding a healthier version of myself!
Those two beautiful kids I carried? I want to live a good long life and watch them get married and have babies. Heck, I want to watch their babies have babies! I want to be there for all the birthdays, mom advice, cookie care packages, and life insanity they can cook up. Most of all, I don’t want them to have to say goodbye to me in their 30s the way I had to with my Dad. And it goes without saying that I’m married to an amazing man who I promised to stand by for better or worse for a long dang time to come! I’ve promised him that I’m not checking out before we are very old, very wrinkled and have had a full life time of adventures together!
So I’m doing the work. I’m making the little sacrifices for the long term joy of good health and long life with my treasures. I can’t control everything in my life but I can control my reaction to it. Six months ago I sat down and really asked myself what I wanted my life to look like. One of the top things on my list was a healthier body to take on adventures and enjoy life with. I thought about it long and hard and realized that I am the only thing standing in the way of my dreams! So I’ve been diving in and digging deep to change my stars. It’s My LIFE! It’s Now or NEVER! (Any day you can quote Bon Jovi is a good day!!!)
Full Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Albertsons on Broadway. They invited me to the store to check out their healthy eating expo “Just for the Health of it” and see what’s new. I’ve been an Albertsons shopper since I was a little girl and I love getting to share about a great brand out of Boise, ID! All opinions in this article are my own as always.
Victory Shared is Victory Multiplied!
I’m starting to get some real traction in my health journey and seeing amazing positive changes in my life. I’ve wanted this for years but not known that I could actually accomplish it. I hope that in sharing what has been successful for me I can encourage you and give you hope! No matter your size, age, or life it is never the wrong time to make some small healthy changes and go after your dreams!
Drinking Water like a Boss!
Guys I have never been a good water drinker! I grew up drinking milk but not taking in enough water to truly be well hydrated. It turns out that when you feel thirsty sometimes the early signal you get from your body is craving something sweet. Once I learned that I started really listening to my body and thinking about the cues I was getting. I realized I have been eating frequently when really I’m just thirsty!
Let’s look at a few examples:
- Sweet Cravings: When I want something sweet I find that drinking a glass of cool water makes 90% of these cravings go away for me.
- Tired: You know that hit by a bus tired feeling you get sometimes? I try water first and only try other options when the water does not help. Amazingly the water takes the edge off of my exhaustion.
- Hunger: If I feel hungry and I’m cooking / the meal is soon I start pounding the water down and it helps me wait to get to the meal without snacking. Then I really enjoy the healthy dinner I made and I don’t end up filling up on stuff I shouldn’t be eating.
- Achy and Cranky: Basically any time my emotions are out of whack I try to start with water! Sure, water doesn’t fix a disagreement I had with my husband but it helps me start feeling physically better. Once I feel better physically it is usually easier to actually go solve the relationship issue or deal with the frustrated toddler or whatever else I’m facing.
Eating a Breakfast That Keeps Me Full!
Snacking can be quick sand for me. I like to reach for a cookie or cereal or bread. I’m not good at small snacks either! I’ve never been able to get from one meal to the next without getting hungry so I always had to deal with the snacking pitfall!
A family member recently told me about the combination of Fiber Filled Carbohydrates (FFCs) and Protein for breakfast and it has been a game changer! I’m throwing together a fast breakfast that is keeping me full from 6 or 7 in the morning until lunch at noon!
Culturally carbohydrates have been demonized pretty well at this point but I’ve discovered that carbs that have at least 1 gram of fiber for every 10 grams of carbs per serving are amazing.
For breakfast I usually have 2-3 eggs with a little bit of sausage or bacon and a sprinkle of shredded cheese. With it I will have a small bowl of oatmeal or a piece of toast or even a bowl of cold cereal. I just make sure that the carb I’m choosing meets the 1 gram to 10 grams ratio.
Being more wise about what I eat and choosing combinations of foods that actually keep me full has helped me cut down the amount of food I’m eating a lot without going hungry! It also helps me avoid my snacking temptations.
When I do snack, I choose fresh veggies with a few salty nuts or some FFC crackers and apple slices, a dish of melon chunks or occasionally even popcorn if I feel like I have the willpower to keep it to one bowl. Generally I find that reaching for fruit about once a day either for a snack or instead of a dessert after dinner is a good option. Beyond that I try to fill up on veggies.
Because my schedule is full I love quick options like these beautiful fruit and veggie bowls from Albertsons on Broadway. When I’m tired, the difference between failure and success comes down to what is handy in the fridge. The weeks when I keep healthy options handy are the weeks I lose more weight and feel better!
Trying New Foods and Recipes
Am I the only one who balks at trying new things? I pretty much told people I would eat cauliflower rice only at gunpoint! But…sometimes you gotta just woman up and try new stuff! Guess what? You can actually make a really great tasting cauliflower rice! I don’t think it tastes like regular rice but I do think it can add a lot to a meal!
Lately I’ve been trying a LOT of new things to eat more veggies. Don’t worry, some of my more successful experiments will be coming soon for your entertainment and dining pleasure!
I even bought a spiralizer! But here is the deal – not everybody is going to like making Zoodles. So before you go and buy a ton of new equipment to keep your New Year’s Resolution just pick up some pre-made veggie noodles at the store. Albertsons on Broadway has a ton of great options to choose from. This is my go to way to start trying new things without making a big investment in new kitchen tools or time.
Even after you find what you like, you might find it is easier to pick up grab and go options for one or two meals a week. I’m an amazing woman but I can’t do All The Things and sleep. And for real, you do NOT want to spend any time with my not very amazing self when I have not had my eight hours!
Keeping a Gratitude Journal
For years I’ve wanted to have some sort of journal habit. But the problem is I LOVE words and I want to write pages and pages about every day and record all the details! I have two kids, run my own business, spend quality time with my husband and maintain a lot of friendships. Guess what I don’t have time for? Yeah…a crazy long journal habit!
This year friends gave me a simple devotional book that focused on Spiritual Restoration. 2018 was a roller coaster for me with two major surgeries, having a baby, a canceled vacation after an ER visit – it was just hard and this book was quite timely.
I decided to take 5-10 minutes every morning to read the devotional section for the day, write a few lines about it, and spend a few minutes with God. I’m a Jesus girl so for me, this is hugely centering and healing. It also goes a long ways towards making my heart whole after all the nuttyness of late.
Then at the close of each day I sit down with my journal and make a list of the things I’m thankful for. My rule is that I have to write down one thing but usually I find 4-10 that are close to the surface of my heart. While I’m writing my son is running in and out getting last bedtime kisses, my daughter is making her opinion heard about life, and generally things are rather chaotic in my bedroom. But still these few stolen moments are keeping my heart focusing on all that I have, on the fullness of joy in my life.
So, how is THIS a healthy eating habit you ask? For me having a peaceful heart and home is paramount to avoiding unhealthy eating temptations. Finding ways to do better self care and be wiser in my emotional health have helped me to change my food habits drastically. And as a result, I’m seeing the numbers on the scale go down almost every day. If you want life change you always need to start with heart change.
It’s Your Life – It’s Now or Never!
My favorite poetess, Mary Oliver, writes:
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
So, friend, tell me what it is you plan to do? Your life spreads out before you and only you can decide what it will be. . .