Since the start of the year I have really made an effort to establish better habits for a couple of reasons. One, I have a lot of areas of improvement to work on. Since I am a few months away from my 30s I have noticed that my metabolism is drastically slowing down and my problem areas are increasing in number. Secondly, I just need to start being a more responsible adult because if I don’t start these habits now when will I? Lastly, I have a lot of time on my hands. I have no baby to take care of and all my friends have babies and/or are pregnant so my social life has slowed considerably.
I have found that introducing one new healthy habit a month has worked for me because I can just focus for four weeks on incorporating that one new habit and by the end of the month I don’t really need to think about it any more . . . a healthy habit has formed.
In high school I was athletic; I played soccer, took dance classes, and sometimes went through spurts of working out at the gym. I could eat a pint of ice cream a day (and I often did!) and still lose weight when I wanted.
Then when I was a teacher I had absolutely no time to do anything except work. About once or twice a week I was able to squeeze in a Zumba class but the memberships got expensive.
Most recently when I was pregnant I was so depressed knowing my baby was going to die and then eventually being placed on hospital bed rest I was not exercising at all. At the beginning of January I was 30 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight. I needed to resume yoga but also sweat (not something I love) if I wanted to make any difference.
I have been trying to stick to yoga 5 times a week with arm and cardio interspersed. I’m still not where I want to be but I’m getting there very slowly.
I have never flossed in my life except for maybe a week after a dentist lecture. Honestly I hadn’t even been to the dentist in 8 years until January. I brush regularly, have no cavities, but flossing really does feel good. I don’t floss every day but I am now in the habit of flossing every couple days and that is better than before.
Alex is much more of an impulsive spender than I and when I married him we needed to start taking much better care of our finances. Within the last year we incurred a lot of unplanned medical bills and with my loss of income for a few months we finally got the push we needed to buckle down on tracking our spending.
We haven’t met our monthly budget yet for various reasons but our impulsive spending has definitely decreased and we’re feeling better about our money situation. There are areas we could still improve on – we need to look at different options instead of cable, our monthly liquor expenditures are quite high, and we still eat out at least once a week.
Exercise alone is not going to get me to the weight and shape I want to be. I needed to start tracking my calorie intake if I want to see a significant difference.
My major problem with food is that I often make my portion the same as my husband’s. I also, enjoy carbs more than anything and I believe desserts should be mandatory after ever meal.
With tracking my food I am not giving up anything, I am just trying to make my portions smaller and to be more aware of how many sweets I’ve had in a day. Food tracking keeps me more accountable to myself.
In the months to come I hope to focus on making more healthy habits including; drinking a lot more water daily (I am terrible at this), eating more vegetables, keeping the house clean, and watching a lot less television.
(Originally published May 1st, 2016)