The Only New Year’s Resolution I’ll Make in 2016

So I promised I would write about making New Year’s Resolutions. The truth is that I don’t believe in them. They never work. Either you’re like me and think that you have the whole year to take care of it, and then never even start because ‘how could it be December already?’. Or you start hardcore on January 1st, and then it’s over by March or when life throws you a curveball, making us feel that we once again have failed. Doing this creates a cycle in which we end up fueling the negative relationship we have with food and with ourselves. We need to realize that we are all human and stop beating ourselves up for being less than perfect.

So how do we set a New Year Resolution that will take us out of this vicious cycle? Well, first… no more vague and unhelpful resolutions such as “lose 20 pounds this year”  or “eat clean all year”.  We want our goals to help us feel better about ourselves, not worse. Your resolution should never be about changing your body or who you are. It should be about feeling better both physically and emotionally.

Honestly, I haven’t set a resolution in several years. I usually just try to start the year with a fresh attitude. This year I’m doing something different and setting just one- Be Happier With Myself In 2016″. I’m taking 3 steps to accomplish this resolution, and I encourage you to do the same! Here’s how to set your 3 goals/steps to a happier you in 2016: 

#1- Break one habit that makes you feel negative about yourself.  For me, it’ll be to stop letting house-hold chores pile up and to stay organized. I’m good at organizing. I’m just not great at staying organized. My plan is to spend the first few months of the year cleaning out and organizing my house. I also will have my husband remind me of things like not letting dishes pile up in the sink (and then try not to get mad at him for it!), and I will keep a daily and weekly list to remind myself (and my helpful hubby) what needs to get done.

Like me, you could choose a habit you have in your home or personal life, or it could be about your diet.  No matter what it is, make it realistic and cut yourself some slack. Don’t just tell yourself you’ll stop the behavior. Come up with a plan to slowly break it.  Remember that you are human and even after the habit is broken, you may still slip occasionally. It’s normal! When it happens, don’t dwell on it, or you’ll give that behavior more power to become a habit again. If you just move on from it and continue your plan, it’ll stay in the past.

#2 Begin one habit that would make you feel good about yourself.   Mine is to maintain exercise at least 30 mins 4-6 days per week. I’m usually a fairly active person. But I do tend to get a little lazy in cold weather or too busy in warm weather and sometimes the exercise slips away. My goal this year is to keep it going most weeks because it makes me feel good to exercise on a regular basis, and my plan is to schedule it into each week.

When choosing a habit you want to start, you could choose something related to food or activity, or your home/personal life. Like me, you could choose to improve on something you already do, or you can start at zero. The challenge level here should always be 1 step above what you’re already doing.  Make sure to have a plan. Don’t just say you’re going to eat more fruits and vegetables. Add them to your shopping list. Write post-it reminders on your fridge. Don’t just say you’re going to exercise. Find an activity you’d enjoy and schedule it on your calendar. Remember that the point of this step is to make sure the habit you’re setting will make you feel good. Create a habit that will make you feel good about yourself whether or not you lose weight as a result.  If life gets in the way for a day, a week, a month, just shake it off like Taylor Swift and get right back to it. No point in dwelling on the past!

#3- Choose a Mantra or Positive Self-Reflection.  This one’s a little corny. But corny never hurt anyone. None of the goals we set are going to work until we learn to accept and love ourselves. I ‘m hoping most of you have at least 1 thing you like about yourselves (could be a physical or personality trait, or something about your life). Write them down. Stick them on your mirror. Repeat it to yourself every day. I bet that you’ll find you have more things to add to the list as time goes on. Or instead of a list, choose an inspirational “mantra” to repeat to yourself daily, like “I am enough” or “I deserve the best life has to offer”. I told you this was corny goal. But it’s also the most important one. Our brains are telling us that in order to be happy with ourselves, we must change first. But this is backwards. The first step is always feeling positive about ourselves. If you aren’t happy now, then you won’t be happy at any weight. Nothing will be perfect enough to you, and that’s no way to go through life.

Even though this is kind of personal, I’m going to share my list with you anyway in hopes of motivating you to do the same for yourselves. Keep in mind that my list didn’t start out this long. I remind myself of these things and mentally add to it when I realize something new about myself— 1) I have pretty eyes. 2) I’m a great friend and would do anything for anyone. 3) I have a happy and loving relationship with my husband. 4) I get excited about little things. 5) I’m strong and balanced both physically and mentally. 6) I never let fear or obstacles stand in my way.

 

Remember that everyone has different goals. Make the goals specific to your needs as well as to what you enjoy, come up with a plan for each goal, and I know you’ll be successful.  I’d love to hear what steps you’ll be taking! Leave it in the comments section if you want to share!

To Bread or Not to Bread

Good Morning! Well at least it was morning when I began this post.  I’m having an annoyingamazing day at the courthouse waiting to see if I’m selected for jury duty (I know, SO much fun!) so I figured now would be a good time for my first blog post.

A couple times in the past few weeks I’ve had to discuss with clients the common “health” trend of cutting out bread (strangers also LOVE to ask me about this), so I thought this might be a good starting topic.

Cutting out bread is a sort of “sub-diet” stemming from the ever-so trendy Low Carb/No Carb diet. The main thing that you need to remember when beginning this sort of plan is that a carbohydrate is a nutrient. This nutrient is 1 of only 3 nutrients from which we can obtain energy. Yes, energy in the form of the dreaded calorie- don’t forget that without calories, we would quite literally be non-existant. The other 2 nutrients that supply energy are protein and fat. Our bodies require the proper balance of all 3 of these nutrients in order to function at its best and most efficient. The problem is that our society tends to over-eat on either carbs, fat, or both, and under-eat on protein, which is why the latest weight-loss diets recommend lowering your carbs and increasing your protein. For those who over-eat on carbohydrates, this is good advice, however your goal should be proper balance of all nutrients in the most whole food version possible (as opposed to processed/refined), not elimination of any one nutrient. Eliminating carbs completely can and will backfire, causing irratic blood sugars, extreme fatigue, eventual binge eating, and most likely giving up. It’s not sustainable, and you’ll gain all the weight back plus more.

A Little More on Carbohydrates: There are 3 main foods that are considered carbohydrates-Starch (breads, grains, pastas, potatoes, beans, etc), Fruits, and Vegetables.  When talking balance, you should aim for your daily intake to include carbohydrates from all 3 of these foods. This ensures that your intake of fiber, vitamins, and minerals is adequate. Other reasons for this include an efficient metabolism, steady blood sugar, and steady energy (remember about 30 seconds ago when I warned you against the elimination of carbs? It’s all related!). Your total carbohydrate intake from all 3 types of food should equal about half of your calories- which should be adjusted up or down depending on your physical activity level and weight management goals.  To accomplish this, aim for 3-6 servings of starch, 2-3 servings of fruit, and 2-3 servings of vegetables per day in addition to protein and fat. I know those daily serving suggestions may sound absurdly high for someone expecting to cut down on carbs or watch their calories, but keep in mind that a serving size is much smaller than the general population believes and that vegetables have more water than carbs anyway.  Exactly how much carbohydrate (and calories) you should consume daily is very individual, so if you’re unsure of whether or not you’re getting the proper amounts, you can use food logs like My Fitness Pal or Lose It to track your intake and help you figure out what your personal nutrition goals should be. Or even better, you can schedule a Nutrition Counseling appointment with me :)

Back to Cutting Out Bread: Since bread is only one source of starch, you can absolutely eliminate bread and still maintain a healthy diet. This being said, eliminating bread completely is not necessary for the maintenance of health or for weight loss.  If you are going to cut out bread, just be sure your day includes at least 3 servings of another starch, and try to incorporate whole grains. Examples of healthy non-bread starches and their serving sizes are:

  • 1/2c whole wheat pasta, cooked
  • 1/3c brown rice, cooked
  • 3 oz potato or sweet potato (approximately 1 small or 1/2 med sized)
  • 1/3c beans or legumes
  • 1/3c cooked whole grains (quinoa, wheatberry, farro, barley)
  • 1/2c corn or green peas
Based on American Dietetic Association Exchange Lists. http//www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/eat/fd_exch.htm#7
If you do plan to include bread in your diet, be sure to buy 100% whole wheat or 100% whole grain for the extra fiber and nutrition and to help avoid blood sugar spikes.  Serving sizes of bread products are:
  • 1 slice bread
  • 2 slices light bread (low calorie)
  • 1/2 english muffin
  • 1/4 bagel
  • 1 light waffle (not the large belgian style!)- I really like Vans Whole Grain Light Waffles
Based on American Dietetic Association Exchange Lists. http//www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/eat/fd_exch.htm#7
Hope this helps clear things up for you! Please comment with any questions, or schedule an appointment for more in depth information  :)