Foundational might not actually be a word. I have a right to make up a word, right?
I got a little down about seeing no results with Weight Watchers for the first couple of months of the year and then even more down on myself when I went to Memphis and made many not-so-good food choices. When I got home, it was definitely time to re-center a bit. I’m not a big cleanse person, but I appreciate the value of getting back to basics. Looking back at the last two weeks, which have gone really well in terms of healthy choices, I realized that I always come back to the same 4 things when I need to “get back on the wagon.”
- Drink more water: For some reason, when I’m making the rest of my good choices slide, I drink more coffee and more diet soda and less water. Conversely, making the choice to drink water instead of that other stuff through the day reminds me in a little way over and over again that I’m “putting good stuff in.”
- Eat more vegetables: I love fruit, so I never really have to worry about trying to eat more fruit (and in fact have to think about snacking TOO much on fruit as we’ll talk about in a second). However, I tend to drop off on my veggies when the going gets rough and that’s exactly when I need to get them back. Making a conscious effort to eat more vegetables helps me to a) stay in a healthier mindset just by making that active, healthy choice and b) eat less unhealthy food because the veggies crowd them out. It’s a win-win!
- Take 10K steps a day: Weirdly, I find setting a step goal more motivating in terms of feeling like I’m living a healthy lifestyle than running. I know running burns more calories while I’m doing it, but I can get into spells where I go for my run and then sit for the rest of the day. If I have 10K step a day goal, it keeps me moving all day long and I find myself getting lots of extra movement in all day. That does wonders for my mindset all day.
- Rein in snacking: My two biggest problems with snacking are on the way home, when I’m bad about stopping to buy a sugar-laden granola bar or a giant cup of grapes to inhale on the way home, and snacking at bedtime. Snacking isn’t inherently bad, but I have a habit of snacking because I can – not because I’m really hungry and not on the healthiest stuff. That whole “If you’re not hungry enough for an apple, you’re not hungry” thing doesn’t work for me because I like fruit too much, but if I sub in “broccoli” I find that I’m suddenly not that hungry after all. When I’m going off the rails, I need to remind myself of that self-check more often.
For the last two weeks, I’ve been working on the first three of these things (as well as more sleep like we discussed last week) and it has really made a difference in my mindset. I feel more centered and in control again. True, the scale hasn’t quite cooperated yet, but it’ll catch up. I’m patient. I’m tracking, making good choices and feel like I’m back on the path that makes me feel good. If the scale doesn’t start to edge back down (still in the 180s), then I’m going to tackle that 4th snacking item, but that’s always the one I have the hardest time sticking too which I know means it is the one I need to work on the most!
What are your back-to-basics habits that help you get back on track?