A Clean Start For the New Year

i-wanted-to-lose-10-pounds-this-year-only-20-more-to-go-2214bI’ve never been one to make new year’s resolutions; goals are more my thing. This past year I’ve managed to accomplish a little over half of the goals I set at the beginning of the year, so I’m pretty happy about that.

One thing I did not accomplish however was a small goal of losing just eight pounds. In fact, not only did I not lose eight pounds, I probably gained an additional 10 or 12. I have no excuses. I got lazy, ate too much, did too little exercise and the pounds added up.

I currently feel miserable and sluggish. Many foods I use to like just don’t appeal to me anymore, and sometimes I feel like I’m just going through the motions of preparing meals and eating. But, I do not want to “diet” again. I need to shake things up, and these past couple of weeks I have been giving a lot of thought to what might be the best way to do that.

I’ve decided that rather than setting any long-term goals for the year when it comes to exercise and diet, I need to take things in more manageable chunks. This year I’m going to try and do things just a month at a time and see how it goes. If it’s going well, I’ll go another month and so on. If it’s not working, is too hard or uncomfortable, or there’s some other reason I’m not happy or satisfied, then I’ll switch things up again and start another month’s run.

Beginning on Friday, January 1, and continuing through the first weekend of the year, I am going to do a juice fast. That means only fruit juice, a very limited amount of coffee, green tea, and lots of water for three days. Then, for the rest of the month I plan to continue with a vegan diet (for me only; Brett and the girls will eat as they currently do). I don’t think this will be a permanent change for me, but I’d like to remove all dairy, meat and eggs from my diet for a month and see how I feel. Beginning in February, I will slowly start adding things back into my meals in small amounts . . . if I want them. I’m hoping that by the end of January I’ll have a good sense of how my body feels after going without certain foods and whether I actually miss them or can do without them longer term.

As far as exercise goes, I will be waking myself up at 5:30 a.m. in order to take a walk or ride the exercise bicycle (if it’s raining). As I’ve said several times, I am NOT a morning person, but these days my post-menopausal body seems to start sweating and never stop if I move around in any sort of warmth and humidity . . . and it’s warm and humid here all day. So, I’m going to give early morning exercise a try when it’s a bit cooler and less humid. The girls don’t get up until around 6:45 a.m., but Brett will be up and can walk with me if he wants. Again, this is just for the month of January. If it works out, then I’ll continue on in February. Otherwise, it will be back to the drawing board.

Brett and the girls agree with me that this is doable, and have said they will help in any way they can. We’ll see – I think at the end of January I’m either going to feel more energized or exhausted beyond measure. I’m hoping for energized.

So, a new year and a clean start. One month at a time.

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12 thoughts on “A Clean Start For the New Year

  1. Carole says:

    Good for you Laura! I like your plan. Planning for small chunks of time, and adjusting as you go along sounds so reasonable. I think the other thing that happens, is that as you start to feel better, it reinforces the changes you have made.

    I have found for myself that healthy habits in my life have to be something that I can live with. The food replacement plans that people buy would not be for me.

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    • Laura says:

      I am actually feeling a bit excited about trying a vegan diet for a month – I’ve been researching recipes, etc. and think this will be doable and enjoyable.

      Not so sure about the early morning exercise though. I get tired just thinking about it ;-).

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  2. mysavingstyle says:

    You can do it! You are such a determined person, you’ve got this! Yesterday my husband and I decided we will eat much healthier, and walk 3 miles a day either outside or on the treadmill, however if our joints need a rest, we will ride the exercise bike (or bike outside once the weather improves) for 12 miles (about the equivalent of walking 3 miles). So far 2 days in, and we’ve both done it!

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    • Laura says:

      I am going to start slow with the exercise. Just a 20 minute walk to begin (first half is uphill though), or 10 minutes on the bike. The exercise bike sits in the front of the garage, facing the street, so I will have a nice view and breezes when I ride.

      Congrats to both of you – here’s to building good habits!

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  3. Denise says:

    Good for you for choosing something that will work for you (in that you’ll slowly figure out what works for you!). I watched a TED talk by Andie Mitchell last night and she said at one point, can you just do it for the rest of today? That hit home for me. I can do one day.

    So by the time Jim and I arrive the first week of February you’ll be ready to reintroduce some things into your meal plan. I’d love to go for a walk with you, since we are up at the crack of dawn anyways ha ha!

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    • Laura says:

      Years ago (34 to be exact) I finally quit smoking by doing it just one day at a time. It was remembering that success that got me thinking about doing this whole exercise and nutrition thing just a month at a time.

      I am so excited about your upcoming trip to Kaua’i!!! Yes – let’s go for a walk! We could do an early morning walk on the beach path . . . or I could get up to your hotel. We’ll figure it out.

      BTW, can we impose on you to bring us a few things from Trader Joe’s? If yes, I will message you on FB.

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      • Denise says:

        Of course! Send me your list and we’ll deliver it personally! And I got Jim a FitBit Surge for Christmas and he really likes it.

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    • Laura says:

      I hope so! This getting old is not so easy, so I’m hoping doing things in manageable chunks will make it easier to succeed. The girls are absolutely horrified that I am going to be eating vegan (they can’t imagine it), and Brett said today that the felt sorry for me! I’m excited about it though, so we shall see.

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  4. Snoskred says:

    I just got a Fitbit HR Charge and I can see that is going to make a huge difference for me as far as getting moving. 🙂 We’ll see how it goes – after a month I will review it over at my blog. 🙂

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