Monday, January 01, 2007

New Strategies for the New Year

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about my weight loss goals and my own lifestyle and habits. My goal, of course, is to lose weight - but for me, the health reasons are the biggest motivators. It would be great to fit into cute new outfits, of course, but I'm most concerned about making sure I stay happy and healthy for a very long time.

I have actually decided I'm going to hold off on the specific WW strategy for a while. I cancelled my online subscription, cuz I didn't want to keep spending $17 a month when I'm not using the online tools. I'll keep the name of this blog the same - cuz there's always the chance I may sign up again (they give you a 6 month window where they keep your account dormant) and there's no doubt that I've learned a lot from Weight Watchers over the years. The biggest and most important lesson I've learned from WW is that all of this is about choosing a lifestyle, not just following a diet.

But, instead, I'm focusing on trying to change my habits and learning more about nutrition in general.

I'm reading that You: On a Diet book, which is really interesting and appeals to my more intellectual side about what weight loss really is. It's all about the biological and nutritional elements of what you eat and how you exercise, and it's all about the big belly fat problem. Which is absolutely my biggest challenge! Trust me, some of the stuff in the book is kinda gross to learn - but it's been very motivating to learn the *why* of the body's reactions and changes and learning how to take control of these very natural systems.

This book echoes all the same good science stuff I've been reading for years - which is all about moderation and smart choices, not starving yourself by counting points or eliminating carbs or only eating one kind of thing, etc. So with what I've learned from WW, and what I've read about here and in other places, here's my plan:
  • I will work on reducing my overall food intake through portion control.
  • I will work to introduce more fruits and veggies into my diet in new and easy ways.
  • I will stick to whole wheat or multigrain starches when I eat them.
  • I will stick to lean meats at home, but still allow myself some beef or lamb when I'm eating out.
  • I will cook more of my own meals at home, experimenting with new ingredients and looking for new healthy recipes.
  • I will exercise! I will aspire to hitting the gym, walking outdoors, or doing a variety of exercises in my own apartment several days a week, for real. I know this is the big, make-or-break element of the whole plan.
I have a bunch of new tools that I've been gathering lately to help me follow this plan. The iPod, of course, makes exercise so much more fun and I find myself looking forward to a reason to hear my tunes. Plus I really dorked out and made myself an Excel spreadsheet to track my exercise routines. Hey, I had to pass MIS in grad school! I might as well use that analytical side of me for something useful! And the at-home grocery delivery is really changing my life. Suddenly I now have more fresh produce and healthy choices in my kitchen than ever before. And I've finally talked myself out of being cheap and have started spending money on real tools for my kitchen, so I now have really nice new pans, knives, and utensils that are making cooking easier and more fun! Woohoo!

...and that's how I'm moving forward. Wish me luck!


musiclover929 said...

Hey, I'm with you. My wife fixed french toast this morning and I ate way too much. I didn't make any resolutions because I don't stick with them but I want to get rid of this fat around the middle because my clothes are starting to feel tight again. Good luck with everything.

Malnurtured Snay said...

Last year I resolved to diet and I lost 30lbs. Then I went off the diet and gained it all back. Here's to being more successful at losing - and keeping off - the weight. Good luck to us both! Happy New Year!

Stef said...

Hello both of you - I love new commenters! Thanks for the encouragement, and I wish both of you luck on your own goals in the New Year. I hope you'll keep checking back in!

musiclover929 said...

This is going to sound weird coming from a guy, but here goes. When I got home today, I got on my treadmill and started flipping through channels while I was walking. My inspiration to keep going is watching "The Golden Girls" on the Lifetime network. I've forgotten how funny it was.

Stef said...

Hey musiclover - no worries! I know several adult males who like watching Gilmore Girls. If it works for you, go for it! :-)