Monday, April 16, 2012

Lifestyle Changes - One Month At A Time

We are often told that diets will never work long term and that a lifestyle change is the only true answer. I completely agree with this theory but that doesn't make lifestyle changes any easier. Diets aren't easy either but you can at least tell yourself "I just have to eat this rabbit food until I lose 10 pounds". Lifestyle changes are FOREVER. Nooooooooooo!

But seriously, forever lifestyles changes aren't bad. It doesn't mean you can't ever have chocolate cake again (unlike diets), it just means most of the time you eat fruit or a healthier choice for dessert and only indulge in that chocolate cake occasionally, not every night. The hardest part, at least for me, is breaking habits i've had for 20 something years. It's so easy to grab that muffin for breakfast instead of waking up early enough to fix oatmeal. It's quicker to grab fastfood after a run instead of cooking a healthy dinner at 8 o'clock at night. It is easy to forgot how crappy I feel after a cookies (or 3...) when that first bite is so delicious.

Back in February a friend challenged me to avoid eating fastfood for 1 month. I was successful and I felt good. I did go get a McDonald's hamburger as soon as my month was over but that satisfied my craving and i have't really cared for fastfood since. Here are the new goals for this month:

- Only 1 fastfood per week
- Eat 4 salads per week
- Only 4 "sweets" per week 

Lifestyle changes aren't always about cutting things out, it is also about fitting in things that are better for you, like salads. Last week i found myself ordering a salad for lunch to meet my goal instead of a 1,000 calorie sandwich. Win!

What do i expect out of this? Well, i haven't weighed myself in a while so i dont expect any weight loss, i just expect to be more mindful about what i am eating. Learn to focus on fitting the good stuff in and eating the bad stuff in moderation. Learn to actually look at the salad section at a restaurant instead of going straight for the burgers. Maybe even learn a little discipline (something a need a lot of but that's a story for another day), if i had a dessert on Monday, then i don't need one on Tuesday.

We plan to continue these monthly goals so if anyone has any ideas or want to join in then you are more than welcome. I'd love to hear about what lifestyle changes have worked for you (or haven't) and what made the most impact!