Category Archives: Health

A little motivation to move

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You might say that in the last couple months I’ve really slacked on eating well and exercising. I think there’s a million reasons excuses that I could give as to why this happens. I mean, in the winter time it’s easy to just get comfortable in a routine of NOT moving around because the weather is no fun and, let’s face it, I hate winter and being part of it.

Actually, as a side note, one of my goals this year was to find a way to appreciate winter. I really tried, you guys, but realized once the snow had melted how truly relieved I was to see it all go. I came to the conclusion that the only part of winter I’ll ever appreciate is the excess amount of teas and coffees I drink, Christmas, and reading with a warm blanket.

Summer is so much prettier anyway ūüôā

Back to my point, though. I get into this routine of doing-nothingness and it’s the easiest thing ever to just stay there. The worst part? I was doing a KICK ass job of eating awesome back in January. I’d actually never felt better than when I’d cut 95% of the meat out of my diet and replaced it with other various proteins. I had really taken myself out of my comfort zone & accomplished a goal I’d never even though I could do. I was proud of myself and I had SO MUCH FUN with it.

Now that I look back, I was eating all that amazing food right before I left to spend a week in Florida. And the time before that, I spent a ridiculous amount of time exercising and eating well right before my trip to Greece. I have a pattern that I’m beginning to notice as I started subconsciously eating really well these last couple days & significantly cutting the CRAP out of my every day diet.

I like to eat well when I have a goal to work towards. AKA vacation. AKA I want to feel good when I’m on a beach. The thing is, I book vacations so regularly now, a healthy lifestyle should be so much easier for me to keep up because I know I’ll always have somewhere to look forward to being. But I don’t WANT to just keep up a healthy lifestyle for as long as I travel- I want this to be a long term kind of thing. So why is it SO HARD for me to stay motivated to always eat properly and exercise regularly? Shouldn’t WANTING to FEEL GREAT be enough motivation? Why do the caramel frappucinos always beat out my willpower?

Must eat well now so I can eat pasta every day in Italy! 

I work in a really big store where there is a built-in Starbucks. This has been my ultimate downfall, although I’ve been really good at regularly ordering the ‘skinny’ version of anything I want. They all know to cut all the sugar out of my drinks, and yet I still feel extremely guilty at how often I get a coffee. Like, every day. Sometimes more than once a day.

I want to make a permanent lifestyle change without slipping back to old habits. I’m not sure how to make this a permanent thing yet, but with 2 and a half months before I’m back on the beautiful beaches of Europe, I’m willing to give this good eating & exercising thing yet another shot.

I’m going to start by cutting out a BIG part of the bad stuff I eat and replacing it once again with fruits and veggies. I want to cut down on the meat I eat again. I’d been doing really well at consciously eating LESS of it, but with school & finals that all went away too. I’m going to make healthy choices when I eat out, and try with ALL MY WILLPOWER to pretend there isn’t a Starbucks 10 feet away from where I spent 7 hours of my day.

I really want to give Jillian Michaels another try but so far she’s been my biggest downfall because I can never finish her freaking work outs. She’s too hard on me, guys. I think I may try some easier work outs at first and then kick butt in Jillian Michaels and see what happens from there.

I can do this. 

I’m even going to make myself a nice little deal. If, by July 1st, I’ve held up my personal goal of eating well, avoiding foods that are clearly not good for me & making a conscious effort to exercise regularly, I will buy myself a lovely new bathing suit for Europe & some other treat that I haven’t decided yet. I really want another bathing suit though & the ones I like aren’t CHEAP. If I’m going to spend the money, I better feel damn good wearing it.¬†So I mean, I have to make this work!

What do you do to stay motivated in your healthy eating & exercising lifestyle? 

February: 2 weeks in

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I wasn’t going to make these mid-way through the month posts a regular thing, but it helped me so much in January, I figure it can’t hurt to try again.

Because so far my February 12 Changes are going VERY badly. The idea for February was to continue my healthy living from January and get back into a fitness routine to compliment the healthy eating habits I developed last month. I started off February really strong by hitting the gym a few times a week… And then I got kind of sick and it all went down the drain.

I’m admitting full on failure because I promised myself that I would hold myself accountable for everything I was doing in my 12 Changes program- good or bad- so that’s what I’m trying to do, even though this is not a fun post to write at all.

After getting sick, midterms started to creep up on me, along with a million other tiny things that I had to do before this weekend when I leave for my trip. My problem when I mix school with everything else is that I become very one-track-minded, and I forget to make time for myself in a productive way. When I purposely choose to sit down for an hour I don’t WANT to work out, I want to catch up on some TV or reading.

I think that’s always been my biggest problem: I make myself feel guilty for doing things for myself when I’m in the midst of homework and work and family gatherings. I reason that if I don’t have enough time to finish studying, why should I give myself an hour to work out? I realize this is not very logical, but it’s the way I think- I just can’t help it.

No matter how much I want to be the kind of person who goes with the flow, I will always be a worrier when it comes to getting important things done. I let myself go in these more stressful times because I don’t want to have to think of all the extra little things I *wish* I was doing while I’m working on something that isn’t very interesting to me (like studying).

As of this evening, my midterms will be finished and I will have absolutely NO reason to not get ahead on my goals and put myself in a good place for whatever comes my way in March. I don’t want to give up so easily; I want this mid-month check in to be a reminder for myself. I may not be able to change who I am, but I want to change my unhealthy habits, and that has to start somewhere.¬†

One of the big things I’m doing differently compared to last month is that I don’t have my list of goals up on a wall to look at every day. I’m not looking at my daily reminders, and I *want* to be. I thought I would be able to hold myself accountable without seeing my ¬†plans every morning, but I think it helped a lot more than I realized. So I’m going to find a way to do that again as of tomorrow.

Luckily I’ve still been eating really well (except a few cheats, what can I say, I’m stressed! A girl needs some M&M’s to relax once in a while!) but the exercise thing is getting the best of me for now. I’m *really* hoping that my vacation next week with two of my most health-fanatic friends will boost my motivation levels way back up. With a gym in our hotel and no more worries after today except packing, I want to get back to the gym, back to the Jillian Michaels work-out (even though I hate her while I’m doing it) and back to feeling good about myself every day.¬†

How are your February goals going so far? 

Lessons From a Newbie Vegetarian

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Two weeks ago I wrote about my experience as a vegetarian for one week and said that I had a post about the lessons I learned on the way. Well, it’s a little bit late- but better late than never, right?!

As of today, I’ve cut meat out of my diet drastically. It was never part of my plan, to be honest, but right now I’m much happier this way! I eat fish once or twice a week & I’ve had chicken twice since January 15th. I tried beef last week and that didn’t go so well with my stomach, so for right now I’m not including it in my eating habits.

In my three weeks of vegetarianism and semi-vegetarianism I’ve learned a TON of things that I thought I’d share for people who are thinking about trying it out but aren’t sure if it’s their thing. I’d like to just say that I didn’t think it would be my thing, either (AT ALL) but I’m all about trying new lifestyles and habits, and I surprise myself all the time with what I do end up loving!

Lesson Number One


Via the web

Since going vegetarian, I’ve tried to order all-vegetarian meals when I go out for dinner or when I’m out and want to grab a bite to eat. I had NO idea how difficult this part would be until I was in my week of no meat whatsoever. I went to a restaurant with some friends that is famous for their ribs (I mean, I realize as a vegetarian this isn’t the best choice, but vegetarians have meat-eating friends who like going to nice restaurants, right?) I couldn’t believe when I opened my menu that I had only TWO choices.

My first choice was a pasta dish, and I wasn’t even in the mood for pasta. My second was a vegetable sandwich but it was pre-dressed in balsamic vinegar, which is basically my least favorite thing to eat on this entire planet. Obviously I ate the pasta but I don’t think I’ve disliked a plate of food more when I went out to eat. Had I been eating like all of my friends, it would have been the LAST thing on the menu I would have chosen.¬†

I’ve run into this problem many times since that first occasion. I went to a Tim Horton’s last week for a quick bite to eat while I waited in line for a concert and was surprised to see that I had no options whatsoever. I was stuck in line in a tiny cramped room and didn’t want to order egg salad. I realize that Tim Horton’s isn’t a place that’s known for having a wide selection of meals, but imagine if they offered even ONE extra vegetarian option, they’d be offering an entire category of people something worth stopping in for. I ended up ordering a chicken wrap hoping it would be loaded with tomato and salad and whatnot, but it was literally about 8 strips of chicken and one thin strip of lettuce. My satisfaction was WAY BELOW average, and this is coming from someone who goes to Tim Horton’s about 4 times a week for various other items on their menu.

Vegetarians, have you ever run into this problem while you’re at a restaurant with friends? I think that whether the place you’re at is better known for a meat dish or not, they should still offer a few non-meat selections. Just because I’m a vegetarian does NOT mean all my friends are too!

Lesson Number Two


Fresh salad made by me & my sister-in-law

Since I’m still completely new at this, I have no idea how to go about telling all my friends and family that I don’t really eat meat anymore- especially red meat. At the end of my very first week of full vegetarianism, I went to a family function and only realized the DAY OF (since I was a newbie and all) that I probably wouldn’t be able to eat anything they were going to be serving. I’m not very close to these particular people and I didn’t want to call them up hours before heading over to let them know that a) I probably couldn’t eat their food or b) offend them and bring my own… So I just sucked it up and ate a small piece of chicken and made up for it by not eating meat for a few days after that.

All this to say, it is REALLY difficult as a vegetarian to feel like you’re not inconveniencing someone. I mean, who wants to be the person who goes to a friends’ house and tells them they can’t eat most of what they made for you? It’s kind of awkward and embarrassing, or maybe that’s just me. I mean, I don’t see why I should compromise my personal eating habits just to make someone else happy, but then again I don’t want to be that person who’s heating my own personal food in a friends’ microwave.¬†

I’m an incredibly introverted person when it comes to speaking my mind about things like this. If it was a really good friend I’m sure they’d understand, and I know that if someone came to my house and told ME they couldn’t eat my food I wouldn’t be offended- but is that just because I understand their point of view?

How do you go out in public with an entirely different eating habit from everyone else with offending anyone? I still haven’t grasped what is considered *polite* in the vegetarian world to tell people when you can’t eat what they’ve made for you. Any tips or tricks out there?

Lesson Number Three


Vegetarian Chili, made by me & my SIL! (and still cooking in a crock pot) 

Ever since becoming a more goal oriented person, I’ve never been very vocal about them to friends and family. I mean, I write about them all the time but it always felt weirder to talk about it in real life. This year I really wanted to change that, so I’m making a conscious effort to BE VOCAL about my goals.

I think this was one of the most important things for becoming a vegetarian, but I’m obviously still learning from this one. Most of my close family and friends know that I’m a vegetarian & my Project 365 on Facebook has allowed anyone who looks at the pictures to know about it too. I feel like this has helped me keep up my new lifestyle a LOT- I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of people who ask me how it’s going, how I feel, how long I’ve been doing it, and basically just encouraging me along the way.¬†

I love feeling like I’m not in it alone and I can get tips from people around me. My sister-in-law has helped me enormously by cooking with me and my friends have been really supportive about it too. If I was doing this thing alone I’m not sure I would have necessarily kept going- it’s nice to know that your efforts don’t go unnoticed!¬†

Lesson Number Four

As the days go by, I’ve realized how important it is to do this type of thing for ME- no one else. I’ve had so many people ask me if I’m dating someone or question the motives I have behind going vegetarian and eating healthier… The answer is quite simple. I’m doing it for myself. I want to feel better, eat better and not feel guilty when I go to sleep about the kinds of food I eat. I’m not doing it because of a number on the scale or because I don’t like the way I look.¬†

I’m growing up and realizing that I just want to do things for myself to be happy. I want to be happy for ME, not because I’m dating someone or because I’m necessarily looking to. If those things come along because I’m taking better care of myself? Great! But the more I cut things out of my diet, the more I realize it’s important to continue to make myself happy.¬†

That’s also why if I’m craving something in particular (like chicken soup, for example) then I eat it. I’m not going to deny myself something for no reason at all, I just don’t want to overdo it. I’m learning to eat for my own personal happiness, and right now that includes a diet with a LOT less meat.¬†

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I was never expecting to learn things from becoming a vegetarian, but I think that with any lifestyle change these things just naturally happen. I’m by NO means a pro at cutting something out of my diet, it’s still something I’m working to improve in my OWN life. But honestly? I 100% recommend that you give it a try. If you don’t want to try cutting meat out of your diet, try something else! But don’t forget that you make your own rules and you create your own happiness in the situation. Do it for YOU and see if you notice any changes in yourself along the way!¬†

If you’re a vegetarian, what are important lessons you’ve learned along the way? If you’re not, have you ever cut something big out of your diet? Why?¬†

 

12 Changes: January Wrap-Up

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I can’t believe that the first month of 12 Changes is already over! It feels like just last week everything was being organized to get started, and here I am getting ready to start adding new goals to the ones I’ve already accomplished!

Here’s what January looked like for me:¬†

This month was all about starting the New Year with better eating habits. I was tired of going to sleep every night feeling like I had eaten too much BAD stuff for me; I just wanted to feel good about myself again and I wanted to make healthy living a part of my LIFE, not just something I worked on for a short period of time.

That’s why I chose January for health. It was really important to me to start this year off the RIGHT way, and with a healthier lifestyle from Day One, I knew the rest of my changes would be natural additions to Big Number One.

My goals for January

1. Go one month without junk food

I did pretty good on this one. I’m definitely considering it *done* because I realized that I’m not the kind of person who can cut entire things out of my diet for so long. I mean, I know it’s just one month, but junk food (or refined sugars in general) are such a HUGE part of everything I eat, I think my body would have just gone into serious withdrawal if I cut it out entirely, so suddenly. I know some people are able to do this, but that’s just not me, and I’ve accepted that.

That being said, halfway through January I re-committed myself to trying much harder at cutting it out more significantly from my diet, and I succeeded. I had a few *cheat days* which I am 100% okay with, but junk food is becoming a thing of the past for me. Now, when I treat myself, I try to do it in little amounts because too much crappy food makes me feel REALLY gross. My body no longer processes it as well as it used to, and for me that is a great thing. It means there are big changes happening!

2. Start taking vitamins

Done! I took vitamins every other day because the ones my mom bought are extra strength and I didn’t want to over-do it. I also talked to my brother about multi-vitamins and he thinks they’re useless, but I’m still not sure. I usually take his advice on health things because he is such a healthy person (and often the one to help me when I’m trying to improve my own health) so I’d like to do more research about vitamins before I make this a permanent habit. I don’t know if I’m the kind of person who NEEDS them or not, but for this month I made sure to take them often to see if I noticed a difference in myself.

I can’t say that I see a HUGE difference because of vitamin-taking; I know that other aspects of my healthy-eating have contributed to me losing weight, having better complexion and overall a healthier glow to me, but I really don’t know if vitamins helped at all. Does anyone know anything about vitamin-taking?¬†

3. Try vegetarianism for one week 

Success! I just completed two weeks of almost complete vegetarianism. I did one full week with no meat, cold-cuts, or fish, and at the end of my first week I had chicken (which I didn’t enjoy at all because I didn’t want to eat it, but had to at a public dinner). Since then I’ve fully incorporated fish back into my diet, but I haven’t had any other major meats in a meal. I did help make a soup with my SIL with a real chicken broth base and bits of turkey/chicken in it, which I’ve now eaten twice. It’s a little bit of extra protein in my diet which I am fully okay with.

The point wasn’t to stay vegetarian after my first week, but I honestly had SO much fun with it. It forced me to cook different meals, print out recipes, and try out vegetables I don’t normally buy. I’ve made several dates with my awesome sister-in-law who’s a great cook, and she’s shown me how to make some great veggie recipes. Now that I’ve seen how much fun it can be to make meat just an occasional meal, I’m fully prepared to continue NOT eating it. I used to eat meat 4-6 times a week and I now realize how overwhelming that was for my body.

4. Keep a food diary

I did NOT do this one. I started for my first week/week and a half, but I had no good way of keep track of what I was eating… Not to mention I cheated a lot and didn’t want to write it down, ha! The point of this goal for me wasn’t to keep track of calories because I don’t want to do that, I just wanted to see what I was eating every day. I debated starting at the halfway point in January but decided against it… So I guess I purposely didn’t complete this goal.

I’m debating whether I want to try to do this in February. I think I might- I bought a really cool food diary to help me keep track of my food AND my exercise, and that is something I’m interested in doing.

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Overall, I’m really happy with how this month turned out! I’m 100% ready to get started on Month Two and start tracking my progress with new goals. I accomplished some things in January that I really didn’t know I had in me, and I’m excited to continue making healthy eating a long-term lifestyle change.

How did your resolutions go in January? If you’re taking part in 12 Changes, how was Month One for you?

Friday Five

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I haven’t had the chance to blog this week AT all, which feels so strange to me, so I thought I’d do a little catch up post before the weekend and start fresh on Monday!

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1. The greatest thing happened to me on Wednesday. A friend told me that one of my blog posts from July (this one, about my experience with fitness classes) was linked up on the Facebook page of the fitness studio that I had joined at the time. They posted my blog & mentioned me by full name, saying how awesome the article was. I was already so excited because I really do love the studio (and keep meaning to go back!) so I left them a comment saying thank you. A few hours later I got an e-mail telling me that they loved the post so much, they were setting me up with a free 3 month membership to the gym! That’s a 250$ value, and I am still trying to wrap my mind around the generosity of it. I went back yesterday and did two back-to-back classes, and thanked the owner of the studio personally for her generosity. I seriously love that place and I LOVE that I *technically* got paid for writing an honest review of something that I had been trying out at the time.

2. Because of the above point, I guess I’ve kind of started my February Change for 12 Changes early. The theme for February is fitness, but I’m getting a slow head start on it in this last week of January. I’m ready for it, and I think the added goal of getting back into shape is going to help me eat even HEALTHIER. I’m excited to share my smaller goals for the weeks of February, probably next week!

3. Yesterday I spent the entire day cooking with my sister-in-law. I headed over to my brother’s house and got there around 1, and after lunch we ended up making 4 or 5 different vegetarian/semi-vegetarian meals. My SIL is an AMAZING cook and even better she loves eating vegetarian meals, so she’s slowly showing me how to make some of her easier ones- and they really are quite easy! Here are some pictures of what we made together:

 

 

From top left:

a- “Everything” soup: includes spinach, cabbage, barley, carrots, zucchini, tomato, chicken broth, turkey/chicken, various other vegetables. This clearly isn’t a vegetarian dish, but it’s a ridiculously healthy one!

b- Eggplant: cubed eggplant cooked in the oven with diced onion, garlic, diced & crushed tomatoes, chick peas and parsley. This one is the BOMB, you guys. The. Bomb.

c- Semi-Vegetarian Pasta: homemade noodles cooked in a rose-alfredo (homemade) sauce with zucchini, tomato, sun-dried tomato, onion, green peppers and some shrimp. The alfredo sauce was made from scratch with a TON of cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, milk & a bit of flour (to give it a creamy consistency) and you guys, SO good.

d- The final product of what I’m bringing home! Includes a split-pea soup on the far left that I made, some yummy dip that is hidden in a closed tupperware, and a quick easy to make crab salad for sandwiches and whatnot.

4. I’ve been having a little bit of trouble adjusting to my new schedule this semester. Now that I’m only in school for a few hours on Wednesday evenings, my life basically revolves around work and school is just an after thought. To top it off, I’m having a lot of trouble paying attention to my teacher because his¬†PowerPoint¬†presentations are really dull. I really want to get back in the swing of things, but I think that mostly just means I need to organize my time better- something I wrote about LAST week and still haven’t had time to do. (Ha! “Time” to do? Did I really just write that?!) I’m simultaneously loving working more and going to school less, but ultimately I think I’ve just confused my body a whole lot.

5. I haven’t had nearly enough time to read in the last couple weeks and I NEED to change that. I miss reading. The other day I got to work extra early and sat down with my iPod and a book and had the best hour before my shift ever. I really need to start planning out some free time and working on the things that are important to me. I have SO many goals this year, if I don’t start sorting myself out I’ll never get there!

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That’s basically all that’s going on over here; lots of work, vegetables, cooking, some school, a little bit of me-time… OH and lots of nephew time. I will leave you with his cuteness:

 

What have you been up to this week? Anything I missed?! 

Going Vegetarian

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At the beginning of the month, I decided that January would finally be the time that I try out vegetarianism for a week. I was pretty motivated to do it, though I¬†honestly had NO idea how I would go about accomplishing it. I mean, I’m a pretty decent cook when I put some effort into it but I had never cut something out of my diet ENTIRELY. Especially not meat; something I have been relying on my whole life.

But people do it all the time and I was determined to be a little bit more independent in the kitchen, so I woke up on Sunday the 15th of January and decided that would be Day One of Going Vegetarian. I think Day 1 was the toughest because I had originally wanted to meal plan for my week and have things prepared by the time that Sunday came around, but I didn’t do any of that. I was SO determined to start on that day, ¬†though, that I managed with the things we had in the house for that whole day plus the entire next day at work until I was able to go to the grocery store.

Since then? I’ve been completely vegetarian. I only cheated *once* but it was at the very end of my first week at a family dinner, and I barely ate meat at all. Despite never having eaten completely vegetarian (or really cooking for myself) I had a surprisingly easy time doing it. My mom was incredibly supportive of this new thing I was trying & she made me two huge pots of vegetable sauce. The sauce is AMAZING and goes on just about everything. I’ve been able to use it so far with pasta and quinoa, but I’m thinking I may use it to make eggplant parmesan very soon too.

Here’s the thing I HADN’T been bargaining on; I’m actually having a lot of FUN cooking for myself. I mean, I’ve never been a cook at all, but I’ve even become one of those people who goes online and prints recipes- AND MAKES THEM.

Here are some of the meals I’ve made since going vegetarian:

 

 

From top left: vegetable sauce- 3 cheese tortellini & raspberries in soya milk– fresh cooked quinoa toped with grilled carrots/green peppers/onions and topped with veggie sauce- sliced strawberries & banana in vanilla soya milk– hummus, v8, vine leaves and gluten free crackers (a little bit of everything lunch)- leak/broccoli homemade soup & a tomato/bocconcini cheese grilled sandwich.

After my first week was over, I decided to include fish back into my diet so that I could have some concrete source of protein. Although my mom is still eating meat and everyone around me is too, I haven’t given into temptation. I mean, there are those moments where I REALLY want what other people are eating, but then I remember just how happy I am right now with all these vegetables in my diet and I’m not ready to change that. I’m realizing that meat is an easy meal to make when I’m in a hurry, but cooking something yummy and vegetarian takes a little bit more thought. You need something that’s going to sustain you, and everyone is different when it comes to figuring out exactly what foods will do that for them.

As of right now, I’m sure that being a vegetarian isn’t going to be a permanent thing in my life. I would miss meat way too much and I don’t want to fully deprive myself of that just yet. I support vegans and vegetarians 100% though, it is a REALLY tough lifestyle to maintain. I’ve learned so much already in my time as a vegetarian/semi-vegetarian, and I’m just really excited to see where I go with this next.

I’m going to write up some important things I learned pretty soon, but I’ve been really excited to share my success story. I’d like to say that I believed in myself a whole lot, but the truth is that going into this I didn’t REALLY. I was motivated to complete the goal, but wasn’t sure I’d actually make it. Now that I’ve done it, I want to continue testing myself to see what other things I can diminish in my diet. Ideally, when I eat meat again (whenever that may be) I’d like it to be on a much less regular basis than before!

Most importantly, I know that I can eat meat now if I want to. When I say ‘no’ to it, it’s not because I’m depriving myself. I genuinely prefer my other potential options. I have SO many ideas for things to make next week, and I’m heading over to my brother/sister-in-law’s this afternoon so that they can show me how to make some of their favorite all-vegetarian recipes. Who AM I right now?!

Have you ever gone vegan/vegetarian? How was your experience? Would you ever try it? What are some of your favorite vegetarian recipes?

January: 2 weeks in

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First off, I just want to say thank you to everyone who commented on my post last week about writing anxiety. It looks like there are a LOT more people out there than I realized who have the same worries and fears as I do, and that alone makes me feel better. So thank you for reaching out and letting me know I’m not totally crazy! ūüôā

Second, have you entered my giveaway yet?! You can still do it here!

Today I wanted to take some time to review January so far. Every year, as December comes to a close & a New Year is just days away, I find myself having big hopes and ideas for the weeks to come. I always feel extra ambitious and set up all these goals and plans. Ideally, it’s at this time that I would accomplish the most because I am the most excited to make me a Better Me. But logically, that’s not quite what happens.

And so January is halfway through and I’m struggling a little bit with my goals, although not losing my motivation in the least. Saying that you’re going to DO something for the BETTER is one thing. But actually setting forth the actions to accomplish those somethings is an entirely different story.¬†

I currently have my list of 12 Changes up on my wall in a place that I can just look at them every day. Right next to that list, I have the goals I set myself up with for ‘health’ in January alongside the reminders like “10 minute rule” and “boredom does not equal hunger“. Many days in the last 2 weeks, it’s those rules that have prevented me from indulging when I knew I shouldn’t. But then there are the days where I pretend those papers aren’t on the wall at all, and I indulge anyway.

I’m only human, and I know mistakes happen, but I still feel really crappy when they do. Especially when I am my most ambitious and motivated Self.

These past two weeks, I have indulged, yes. But I have indulged only half as much as I normally would have. I made sure people were holding me accountable for my goals, because they are out in the open for everyone to see. My friends see them when they come over and questions ALWAYS come up, and I gladly oblige and explain to them what I’m doing (nervously, because I am a nervous person when it comes to sharing these things). I’m often happily surprised at how “on-board” everyone is with my project. My family knows too, and when I’m about to cheat I hear my brother saying “good for you” and I’m reminded that YES, it is good for me.

The first two weeks of January were meant to be a big “crappy food” detox but instead it turned into a “somewhat crappy food detox” and I guess that’s fine with me. There’s no point in looking back, right? Only forward. On the days that I ate super healthy, I felt great. I felt like the Better Me that I WANT to be. In the last two weeks of January, I’m holding myself accountable that much MORE. I want to finish off this month and confidently cross off my four goals for the month knowing that I accomplished them as best I could (not as HALF best I could).

The last two weeks of January should be interesting for me: I have a week of vegetarianism coming up (I’m 2 days in it right now, actually! More on that another day) and basically I want to cut even more crap food out of my life in these last 12 days or so. I had a conversation with a friend the other day and she made a good point- it’s nearly impossible to just cut out everything you love (even for a month) and all at once. It makes a person cranky, and I really hate being cranky. So I’m doing my “one month no junk food” my own way, and if all goes to plan I’ll still cross the goal off because I can SEE myself trying really hard. The rest of January is going to be the “try even harder” time, and I’m more motivated than before to just finish off this health month the right way.

Some homemade vegetarian pasta sauce, this veggie thing is lots of fun so far! 

January may not be the most exciting, extraordinary month of goals. But it’s still SOMETHING and I’m still keeping myself motivated and excited for the goals that I want to add in February. I’m nervous, but if I want to get to a point where I can incorporate more goals, I really have to get my head MORE in the game.

So, if you’ve read this far and you’re thinking “yeah, I could be doing better with my resolutions too!” then I encourage you to do it with me right NOW. If you give yourself no other option than to succeed (instead of indulging as I have in the past few weeks) then success is the only possible outcome, right? Let’s end January the RIGHT way.

If you’re participating in 12 Changes, how is month 1 going for you? Any slip-ups or exciting breakthroughs? What are your tips for succeeding all month?¬†