What I’m Doing: Healthier Choices Challenge

Hi, friends. I’ve once again been a negligent blogger. My apologies. I hope you all had a wonderful end to 2013 and are keeping up with your 2014 resolutions.

I didn’t actually make any resolutions, but I did spend some time reflecting on the last year (and the years prior to that) and thought about how I’d like this year to be different.

Over the last six months or so, I’ve been reminded how amazingly blessed I am and that I probably haven’t done that great of a job with giving back to those who have more struggles than I do. So last fall I decided to make a sizeable (for me, anyway) contribution to a few charities during my company’s annual giving campaign, which resulted in a dollar-for-dollar match from the company. Awesome! I’m hoping to look for volunteer opportunities so I can give back with my time too. I’m really stingy about my time, though, so I’ll need a volunteer opportunity that’s super close to home and relatively easy to do. We’ll see how that goes.

Along with being more charitable, I want to be healthier. I just need to make better choices, and it really shouldn’t be that hard…but somehow it is! I typically over-indulge myself with unhealthy foods thinking it’s OK because I run on a regular basis. You’d think I’d want to eat healthier so that I’m not wasting all the time spent on the treadmill, but I apparently prefer to look at it the other way around: Since I did all that work, I should be allowed to eat what I want.

Because I have an event in a month that may or may not involve shorts and swim suits, I have a short-term motivator. I know that I will lose 2-3 pounds at the most during this timeframe, but I think it would be great if I were able to modify my behaviors gradually and then have them become actual habits by the time my event comes.

In an effort to hold myself accountable, I’m (hopefully) going to post weekly updates with my progress. I’m not going to post weight check-ins or inches gained/lost — just how I’m doing with my activity goals and food goals.

Here are my current goals. Some of them will be super pathetic — I give you full permission to judge me.

Make everything I eat a little healthier. There’s no way I’m going to be able to cut out all the bad foods I eat — I’m just not that motivated. But I could look for ways to make them healthier, namely by choosing smaller portion sizes. Over the last couple days, I’ve looked for ways to add fruits or vegetables to my existing meal. For example, while eating some chili macaroni Hamburger Helper (ha, clearly not healthy), I added black beans and corn. I realize this isn’t a meal-changing adjustment, but I’ll take it. I also cut my serving size in half, and made a side of edamame to complement the meal.

Eat at least one fruit and one vegetable serving per day during week one, then increase to two during week two, etc. OK, here’s a goal that is really pathetic. “Lindsey, you have to set a goal to eat a serving of fruit and a serving of vegetables each day?” Yeah, these are the gross conditions of my existing diet.

Walk at least three miles per day at work. I’m super lucky to work for a company that promotes healthy choices, and the office building I’m in is flat with wide aisles and a pre-measured route for those who want to walk throughout the day. I’m trying to do one mile in the morning, one after lunch and one in the afternoon. There will be times when I’m unable to do one-mile chunks at a time, so instead I’ll have to try to squeeze in mini laps when I can. I’m carrying my phone with me (which has a built-in pedometer) to make sure I’m counting accurately.

Stand at my desk at least two and a half hours per day. Another example of my company’s commitment to health is my hydraulic desk. I can raise it or lower it at the press of a button. I’ve read articles online that have either been very pro-standing-desk or con-standing-desk. I don’t think I’ll stand for eight hours a day, but if I can do two or three hours a day, I’ll be happy. Note: I know that most companies don’t provide adjustable desks. It’s relatively easy (although maybe a little awkward-looking) to make your own. My dad bought a few small tables from IKEA to stack on his existing desk in order to create a standing desk. He loves it.

Wish me luck! And send me any healthy (and super easy to make) recipes/foods for snacks and meals. I think Pinterest will be my new best friend. This time for recipes instead of outfits.

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