To many, New Year Resolutions are dread. What am I gonna have to live without for the upcoming year... or month... or week for most folks.
I'm sure diets are the most popular resolution, and for me, this is my only resolution for 2008. Yes, I am headed for diet-land. After a lot of "I'm approaching my 40th birthday and I fell like crap everyday" soul-searching in December, I decided that this was gonna be the year I get into shape. I am not necessarily focused on "diet", but on just getting healthier and feeling better.
For me, this is a three-pronged approach.
1) Reducing the intake of Coke. Gasp! I know! I love coke and will readily admit I am addicted to the stuff. But there is no way that crap can be good for you. I don't think I can quite cold-turkey and I still need my morning does of caffeine (and I hate coffee), so I am limiting myself to 1 coke a day. Plus, I am not allowing myself to buy that case of coke for the home fridge.... just too tempting. I can get my one coke a day at the cafeteria at my work place.
2) Eating Healthier. Not necessarily a diet as in the traditional sense, but trying to cut the fatty, processed, & carbs food down. I started a food journal and now count calories. It is amazing to discover how many calories are in something as simple as 1 tablespoon of ranch dressing. By counting the calories of what I am eating, it certainly makes you re-think your food choices.
I am not putting myself on any kind of calorie limit per day, cause I just think that leads to a quick failure. Instead, I looked at my normal daily calorie intake back in December and am trying to work to cutting that down by 500 calories a day, especially in the fatty processed food department. My normal caloric intake was in the 2500-3500 range, so I think I can easily drop 500 calories a day without feeling deprived. It takes 3500 calories to equal one pound, so by cutting 500 calories per day, I could drop a pound a week.
3) The final step is to get in shape. I joined my companies activity center prior to the holidays and have also checked out the local indoor pool. I'm gonna start the exercising slow due to my arthritis, but I want to work up to working out 4-5 times a week for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. I started on Wednesday with about an hour of exercise; 30 minutes of treadmill and a 30 minute step class. I did pretty good and wasn't too sore the next day, so I will stick to an hour of exercise for a week or two before adding more.
I also found this website, which is a great resource for calorie-counting and calorie-burning. They have a nice large database on the calories in most foods and the calories you burn in exercising. I have found this site very helpful for my food journal.
So, three days into this, I am doing ok. First day was great, 2nd day was a struggle (due more to a bit of PMS than anything), and I am back on track today. I'll keep you posted as I progress.