Tag Archives: healthy habits

What Do People Do For Fun That Doesn’t Involve Food?

I wish I didn’t have to ask the question in the title of this post, but it’s an honest question that needs some answers.

When I think about the time I spend with friends we don’t always eat, but i almost always consume calories. If we’re not meeting for lunch or dinner or happy hour, then we usually meet for coffee.

Everyone I know seems to agree that society places emphasis on eating together. I was at the a restaurant over the weekend where the menu stated “Food is Love,” which too often has been true in my mind.

Michael is super supportive, and he loves to go for walks around the neighborhood with me. He only lives a couple miles away, so it’s easy for him to come over and stroll to the Riverwalk with me. He walks my pace even though his is much faster, and lately we’ve enjoyed playing Pokemon Go together as well. There’s really no point to the game, but it’s fun. It’s also a great motivator to walk more. I’m not kidding. On our last walk I even hatched a Pikachu, which was really exciting. Ha

At home I can knit. It’s a hobby that requires both of my hands, so I can’t eat when I’m doing that.

I’m not sure what else to do. I know I can still go to Starbucks, read my Bible or color and enjoy my favorite hot tea, but what else is there to do?

As long as I can remember food has played an integral role in what I do with family, friends and even alone, and I’m ready for that to change. I’m just not sure where to begin.

I am excited about all of the money I’m going to save by not eating out or buying groceries in excess at home. That’s exciting, but I know that I need to replace my old eating habits with healthy new ones. Exercise works a little, but I can’t do that all day. And I definitely can’t expect my friends and family to stop eating and exercise instead every time I feel like going out.

I’m a social lady. I love to be around people. I enjoy cooking for them, baking for the them and just spending time with them. I know that there are people in my life who will not understand that, and I’ll keep them at a safe distance while I adjust.

I’d just love some ideas if you have any. What are some activities I do to replace going out to eat or having coffee with people I love?

Ten Habits That Make Me Stronger, Happier and Healthier

I enjoy social media and blogging (obviously.) I love seeing motivational quotes, encouraging verses from the Bible when I open my various apps. I also like to read varying  opinions on things that matter to me like body image, loving yourself, etc.

There are so many articles and “life hacks” about how important it is to be happy and to love yourself, and it’s true.  It’s amazing how much better life is when we love ourselves, but self-love does not simply come from within. Sure, that’s a super motivational thing to say, but it’s not true, at least for me.

I began loving myself when I realized that God loves me right now. He knew before I was born that I’d struggle with my weight, but He created me anyway. He doesn’t just love some future, more perfect version of me; He just loves me. My life has improved in every area since that realization, and it makes it easier for me to make practical decisions to love myself.

I created a list of things that have helped me move from feelings of failure and self-loathing to self-love:

  1. Focus on finding ways to help other people as often as possible. It’s so easy to be overwhelmed by everything in our own lives, but when we take time to help someone else, just because, it feels good. Open a door for someone, buy someone lunch, surprise a co-worker with a coffee, or leave an anonymous, encouraging post-it on their desk.
  2. Look for the good in someone else, and take time to acknowledge it. People appreciate sincerity. Most of us enjoy receiving compliments too, so when I see a dress I think is pretty, I say it. If a woman at the grocery story has beautiful hair, I tell her. It’s so easy to take 5 seconds to encourage someone who may appreciate it. If they don’t, that’s okay too. (I’m telling you though…they usually do.)
  3. Let go of regret. Remind yourself that it’s okay to forgive yourself for the stupid things you’ve done. Apologize when you can, and do better next time. (I’ve had to do this one a lot, and it’s extraordinarily freeing.)
  4. Exercise. Endorphins are awesome. It’s easy to forget that when we’re not moving, but it helps our attitude, our self image and our overall health.
  5. Figure out what you like and what you’re good at, and do it. I have a few hobbies that I really enjoy. I like reading, knitting, singing and other things. Reading makes me more knowledgable, while knitting allows me to create pretty things. I’m a pretty good singer, and it’s fun to exercise that talent. All of these things are positive, and it’s impossible to love yourself if you’re constantly steeped in negativity.
  6. Be a good friend. If you want to be loved, love them first. Let them in, and let them know you. I used to struggle hard with this, but when I started doing things I enjoyed I started meeting people who liked similar things. It’s so much easier to have friends when you just accept that we all have quirks, and it’s okay.
  7. Replace the negative self-talk with positive truth. I used to beat myself up for being ugly, but the truth is that I’m not ugly. I have a lot of positive attributes, and now I choose to focus on those instead of harping on my imperfections.
  8. Wear a nice outfit, style your hair and take time to be well-groomed. It sounds superficial, but when I take a little time to paint my nails or apply lip gloss, I just feel good.
  9. Look for opportunities to improve. It’s important to improve and evolve, but it’s much easier to do that when you do it out of love instead of hatred.
  10. Make a plan. When we’re aware of the things we’d like to change we can look at them practically. Our weaknesses don’t have to be clouds to hang over our lives, they can be opportunities to progress. Sometimes those struggles become our strengths. (I love it when that happens!)

Being happy is important, but being joyful and at peace is more important to me. Joy is not the culmination of happy moments; it comes from knowing Jesus.

I’m obviously no expert. I’m just a person who has learned some stuff the hard way and makes the choice to love myself everyday. I’m an imperfect woman who takes responsibility for my issues as I strive to be healthy, strong and happy.

 

Grocery Shopping and Racist Remarks at Wal-Mart

I was inspired to do some meal planning and grocery shopping over the weekend because my goal for the next week is to prepare every meal and snack at home. I’m healthier when I do that, but it does require a bit more effort and planning than I’ve been accustomed to lately.

I don't know if I'll have a sandwich and chips during the week or not. I didn't buy stuff for that, but it sounds delicious.

I don’t know if I’ll have a sandwich and chips during the week or not. I didn’t buy stuff for that, but it sounds delicious.

It’s much easier to eat out since I’m often 15 or 20 minutes from home when it’s time to eat dinner. It’s also easier to order take out on my way home at the end of a long day than it is to go home and cook, but that convenience has led to major weight gain on my part.

Saturday I went to Wal-Mart to buy groceries. I prefer to go to Target or Whole Foods, but I have a gift card (that I forgot to use.) It was also easier for my aunt, who’s here with my uncle because he’s in the hospital, to get what she needed there.

When the cashier was ringing me up she laughed at the way I shop. I don’t use plastic bags for my produce, but I used one for the chicken breast that I bought. I apologized for inadvertently creating more work for her and explained that I didn’t want to waste bags for produce because they’d end up in the trash as soon as I got home, but I definitely don’t want chicken juice all over everything.

Walmart

I thought that was pretty solid reasoning, but she laughed, pointed at the iced mocha latte in my cart and said, “You’re young and white, baby. It’s all good.” I can’t imagine what my skin color has to do with my shopping methods, but I think it’s nice that she thought I was young. I don’t think she said it to be offensive; it was just an odd response.

Am I the only one who skips the bags when buying produce? Do you think socioeconomic status  plays a role in our shopping habits?

 

 

My January Goal

Today was a long and productive day, but I’m not feeling well right now. My head has been aching since late this afternoon, and I feel nauseated as well. I did’t eat much for lunch, and i skipped dinner completely because I can’t even think about food without feeling sick.

In spite of how awful I feel right now, I’m happy because I reached my goal of losing ten pounds in January. I even did it with a few days left to spare. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but numbers like that are life changing over the course of a year. I’m trying not to think about it like that though. Instead I’m just focusing on losing another 10 pounds over the next 30 days.

I’ve been losing weight consistently for the last several weeks, and I can honestly say that I forgot how good it feels. I forgot how empowering it feels to drive by Krispy Kreme without feeling tempted to eat a thousand extra calories of crap.

It feels good to remember. I wish I could remember how awesome the rush of endorphins feel after a heart-pumping workout. Exercise used to be a regular thing in my life, but I spent a lot of time not prioritizing it last year. I want 2015 to be different, which means that I have to make choices that aren’t always comfortable if I really want to accomplish that.

I’ve done some key things differently lately:

– I have chosen salads and healthy wraps over burgers and oversized burritos.

– I’ve continued to avoid sugary drinks at Starbucks even though I’m still there almost daily.

– I skipped dessert again today, after indulging in it over the weekend after 21 days of avoiding them completely.

– I’ve continued to say no to doughnuts. I haven’t had one since September, and right now I don’t miss them. It feels great to say no to them.

– I have asked God to give me strength to make healthier choices.

– I’ve taken time to buy fresh produce and prepare it at home along with other healthy foods.

There’s still so much more that I need to do! Exercise needs to become a regular thing again. I’m not sure why I currently dread something that brings me so much satisfaction, but it’s time to change that. It took some time before, and I realize that if I start making it a habit whether I like it or not, I’ll probably love it again soon.

January has been a successful month for my health, and I hope to do better in February.

Dinner For One?

I’ve been a bit of a homebody this week, which isn’t typical for me.  I’ve been eating at home more because I’m here, and it makes me think that I should take time to stay in more often.

I live alone, and I don’t always take time to cook for myself because it feels like so much effort to cook for one.  I enjoy cooking when I’m having company, but on the rare evenings when I’m at home, I find myself more interested in doing other things than cooking (like knitting, watching New Girl or Scandal, painting my nails, blogging, baking something to share with friends, homework, etc.)

I’m going to work on changing the way I think about cooking for myself because if it’s worth the effort to cook for someone else, it’s worth it to cook for myself.  It saves money and calories to make the extra effort, and I’ve always known that I should do it.  I

don’t think of myself as lazy because I’m almost always on the move, but it’s probably a good idea to spend more time at home preparing meals that are healthy for myself.

Am I the only one who prefers to order in or eat cereal when dining alone?

Feelings, Calories and Another Fresh Start

This is an exciting time in my life because I’m surrounded by so many amazing people.  After the end of my not-quite-relationship, I needed some time to process my feelings, so I took the time I needed.  I was almost over the heartache by the time I posted about it, and now I can honestly tell you that after spending the day with that man today, I’m okay.  It feels good to see him and not feel like I’m falling apart.

As I was chatting with friends earlier, I realized that I’m not romantically interested in anyone.  There’s a guy that I would be interested in if I thought he’d be interested back, but there’s no one calling me every night before bed or texting me 20 times a day.  I like the feeling I get when I think about the possibilities of liking someone who might like me back, but I’m back to focusing on everything that I do have.

I possess a lot of characteristics that someone would be attracted to, but right now, I feel like those characteristics are hard to see because of the cloud of my obesity.  For a long, long time I’ve said that I don’t want to have to change to make someone want me, and it’s true.  I wish that there was a smart, talented, funny, handsome and interesting man in my life who would let me bake for him, sing for/with him, laugh with him and play Scrabble with him.  I wish that I could have that without feeling like I have to change first, but the truth is that I’d like to change regardless.

It’s no secret that I suck at losing weight, nor is it a secret that I need to lose it anyway.  I take responsibility for it, and I think it’s time to change my perspective.  I want a tall, honest, intelligent man who loves Jesus to think I’m beautiful, but I also want to think I’m beautiful.

My priorities haven’t been weight-loss related in a long time.  I’ve changed so much spiritually and emotionally, and I’ve made positive strides in so many areas.  I feel good about many areas of my life, but I’m still letting my weight affect me in ways that I wish it didn’t.

I’m going to try again…What else can I do?

Since moving to New Orleans I have visited several Weight Watchers meetings, but I haven’t found one that makes me want to go back.  I underestimated the chemistry of the meeting that I went to in New York, but I have to start somewhere.  I’m going to start counting calories today, and my goal will be to stay between 1500 and 1700 calories per day on days that I exercise.

We’ll see how that goes.  I’ll also be accountable to people in my everyday life about the numbers on the scale.

Time will pass whether I try to make changes again or not, and right now I don’t care about the numbers nearly as much as I care about creating healthy, controlled habits.

Am I the only one who has to start over again and again and again?

 

How Many Hours Do YOU Sleep Per Night?

I remember a time in which I didn’t have a schedule that was jam packed, but those days are long gone!  I’m enjoying so many aspects of my life right now, but it’s tiring.  I need to rest sometimes, but I already know that making myself go to bed at a certain time doesn’t work.

Clint came over last night and we cooked dinner after class.  (It was mostly him, but I helped.)  He came over tonight too, and we didn’t finish watching Scandal (our favorite show now) until around 1 am.   We arrived at my place at the same time earlier tonight, but it wasn’t until around 9 pm when our other responsibilities of the day were complete.  He had to finish up work, and I was at band practice.  (I haven’t mentioned that here yet, but maybe I will soon.) There are nights in which I don’t get home until after midnight.  Going to sleep at 11 pm just isn’t realistic for me.

When I sleep, I typically sleep soundly.  It doesn’t take me long to go to sleep when I lie down, but if I try to make myself go to bed early, I find myself stressing over the fact that I’m still awake.  That’s silly and unproductive so last week I started trying something new.  Instead of attempting to stick to a certain bedtime, I decided to wake myself up around the same time every morning.  I realize that most people do that anyway, but my schedule varies widely depending on the day.

My life is pretty flexible apart from classes that I attend in the afternoon and a few other regular responsibilities  so I’ve decided to create a daily morning habit.  Over the last week, it has worked well, and spending those extra morning hours awake has helped me accomplish a lot.  My workouts are longer and more strenuous, and I’ve completed a lot of other tasks that I hadn’t been giving proper time to.

How many hours do you sleep per night?  Do you wake up at the same time everyday?  If so, how long did it take you to form that habit?

One Great Day, Followed By Another Great Day

I made some goals yesterday and accomplished them all. It’s been a long time since I felt so good about my choices at the end of the day, and I plan to make today another day to be proud of.

Having one successful day is no reason to brag, but it feels good to remember what reaching small goals feels like. When I think back to my success in the beginning, nothing extraordinary or dramatic occurred.  I just made lots of healthy choices that added up.

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My goals for today are the same as yesterday:

– drink at least a gallon of water
– track my intake
– exercise for at least 30 minutes
– consume 1400 calories or less (healthy calories!)

Accomplishing these things add up, and I was inspired to take control again as I did earlier this month.

My ankle hurts a little, but I was able to do 45 minutes on the elliptical yesterday. I plan to do an hour of cardio today. I’ll do some strength training as well.

What are your current goals? Are you taking steps that bring you closer to reaching them?