I feel like January and February just swept past me. Those winter doldrums make just keeping afloat, getting up every day, a challenge. It makes me think that New Year's resolutions should rightly begin in March. Surely, we have a much better chance of success when the mornings are bright and the days start to stretch again?
But before I go on, I should pause and give myself credit. So far in 2011, I've hit many things on my to-do list and am making progress on many others. So, I'm not going to get all self-flagellating about the first two months of the year. I am, however, going to amp-up my focus in March, specifically on my health.
I'm usually an advocate of slow and steady wins the race when it comes to health and fitness. I've learned (the hard way) that extremes yield fast results but are unsustainable for me. I end up feeling deprived and, even when I've made good progress, I'm still fell insecure about my appearance. And that's confusing and demotivating for me; to work so hard and still be unhappy. So, I am setting the following, modest goals:
- Eat two pieces or fruit, 3 types of vegetable every day. Include a dark green vegetable. Eat protein at every meal (a vegetarian challenge). Take plenty of omega oils
- Cut back on dairy and wheat. Don't buy any cheese or bread (too easy to constantly eat when they're there), but I'll let myself order those things when I eat out so I don't feel entirely deprived
- Don't eat between meals. I know lots of diets advocate constant grazing, but I've found I end up eating more that way
- Replace coffee with green tea. I used to give up coffee for a month each year but I haven't done it for the last few. I don't like to depend on it so much and notice lately I treat it like a nose-bag instead of really savouring it... which makes me sad since I actually love the taste of coffee. I hope green tea takes the edge off any caffeine-withdrawal and I'll drink lots more water too
- I currently work out about four times per week for 30 mins. I'd like to take that up to five times for 40 mins and try the sprint cardio approach then do yoga the other two days
- To shift some lbs. I don't want to quantify it and it won't all get lost in March, but hopefully I'll move in the right direction
- To emerge from the wardrobe rut winter always puts me in (bulky, warm, shapeless clothes and pragmatic shoes)
- Moderating the extremes (coffee, sweet foods, carbs and dairy; emotional, stress-response eating in general)
My resources: Recipes from Donna Hay (images above here, here, here, here)
Whole Living magazine, which always strikes a beautiful balance of healthy realism
Homemade Grits, her series "Rebuilding your temple" is both visually inspiring and full of tips
No Crave Diet by Dr Penny Kendall-Reed, which I followed before to great success, but I will try a more moderate approach to this time
Mind: I realized that past regimes have been successful for physical reasons (simple math of input and output) but have failed for emotional reasons (stress, self-esteem etc.) so addressing the emotional underpinnings is key for me