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“Treat my body like it’s the only one I’ve got” Part 2

Almost right after I wrote that post yesterday, I came across Aaronontheweb’s blog called “Finding a Healthier Lifestyle – Making the First Cuts.” Aaronontheweb is also trying to make lifestyle changes, and he argues that lifestyle changes are gradual changes. I realized that while I need to change my thinking to “I AM making a lifestyle change,” I cannot be expected to change every aspect of my life at one time. It’s more like a fad diet that requires you to cut all carbs instantly. I need to commit to making the lifestyle change–no more “I’m trying to change”–and then set some goals.

According to FitDay, I need to lose about 1 pound a week to reach my goal. Wow. That sounds totally doable, huh? Now I am going to set 4 goals that I feel I can achieve in the next month. Why in the next month? I’ve heard that it takes 28 days to make a habit, and if I am wanting to change my lifestyle, I’ve got to replace some unhealthy habits with some healthier ones.

  1. Unlike Aaronontheweb, I have not yet completed the recommended three day food and exercise logging. That’s goal #1. Using FitDay, I will track what I eat and how much I exercise for three days, beginning today (on the day of my long run, nonetheless :) ). Watch my Food & Exercise Log develop.
  2. I will cut two specific items out of my diet completely by the first of October. Item #1: Soda: Dr. Pepper, Vanilla Coke, Spezi, Mezzo Mix, doesn’t matter. (Cutting soda out of my diet will also help my dental health, as sodas contain lots of unhealthy sugar and colorings that will stain my teeth.) I will replace it with water and low-sugar juices. My doctor recommended that I make myself like teas and coffee because they will help me get over the caffeine addiction, but I just can’t drink them unless I’m in the mood. I might resort to drinking coffee, though, if I start getting those icky caffeine headaches. Item #2: Fried potato chips. Since their healthier counterparts (baked chips) are now widely available, I will be replacing one unhealthy item with a healthy one.
  3. Stretch every day. I know this won’t specifically help me lost weight, but it will help me feel better about myself. I used to be really flexible, but I think running and the infrequent strength training I’ve done since the beginning of grad school tightened up my ligaments and muscles, so I’m not as bendy as I used to be.
  4. Say NO! to foods I know are unhealthy when eating out. Share a dessert, don’t eat so much queso (Ouch! That really hits me hard…), eat more salads (with light dressing or the dressing on the side), choose seafood more often, and avoid fried foods at all costs. Even though restaurants aren’t good at portion control, I can be. Honestly, this one sounds a little hard because it feels like I’m going to be cutting out my favorite foods, but if my favorite foods are unhealthy, I need to find new favorite foods.

Yikes. Typing it out here and publishing it on the World Wide Web make it feel more serious, more real. Now if we’re eating out and I order queso and fried chicken (I’m not really sure what restaurant we’re eating at…), you’ll remind me that I’m making a lifestyle change, right?

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