Small Steps to Health: Four weeks!
|Look at meeeee, I'm so healthy and sporty!|
I've officially been doing my own little self-invented "Small Steps to Health" regime for a month now, so I think it's time for a little self-evaluation and accountability.
First of all, I'm feeling pretty proud of myself! I've been consistent and good and both seen and felt some results, which helps me feel like I'm doing something good for myself and moving in the right direction. I've lost five pounds (2.2 kg), which obviously isn't a lot, but considering I haven't really felt like I've been trying all that hard, I will definitely take. I've also felt happier, more energized and somehow... lighter on the inside, if that makes any sense at all.
In case you need a reminder, what I've been doing for the past month is picking a new area or habit to improve on each week, and then taken a small step to improve it. When the week is over, I try to keep up my good work from the previous week, and then add something new to it. Here's what I've done so far:
- Week 1: Drinking more water. I've replaced more or less everything I drink in a day with water except for the orange juice I drink with breakfast and the occasional glass of milk (some meals just cry out for milk!), and it has basically just become a habit now. I'm not hitting 96 fl. oz. as regularly anymore, but most days I definitely come in above 64. I'm still using my giant 32 oz. hospital cup, and just fill it up a few times throughout the day, usually around lunch, dinner and then again in the evening. I think this will definitely be a habit that will stick with me.
- Week 2: Eating more vegetables. This has become something of a family project. As we have planned our dinners together, we've all made an effort to make sure there are plenty of fresh vegetables on the menu. Even Espen (age 5) who has a weekly dinner night that he is in charge of, knows he needs to make sure there is a vegetable or two on our plates when he's cooking. I've also started to buy bagged salad mixes specifically so I can eat them for lunch and get a little closer to that elusive "Five a Day" (at least!) that we should all be shooting for. I've mentioned before that I really, really like vegetables and salads, so this has been a pretty enjoyable change. The only hard part continues to be making the extra effort to actually make it a priority for me to eat well, as well as for my family (the washing! the chopping!).
- Week 3: Being a little more active every day. I need to refocus and try harder on this one. I just get busy and sidetracked with other stuff, and all of a sudden it's Gwen's nap time or dinner time or time to get the kids to bed, and the opportunity has passed. And I'm very good at making excuses. I have hopped on my bike and gone for a quick ride around the neighborhood after the kids were in bed, which I honestly love doing. I love my bike. And I did give the kids piggyback ride around the house this morning. But there is a lot of room for improvement.
- Week 4: Better afternoon snacks. This is another area that needs some work. I didn't really have any bad snacks last week when I was trying to do this, but I just didn't have enough good options on hand. I feel like I just go to the store and my mind goes blank and I completely give up. I really do struggle a bit with buying and preparing things that are just for me. A friend did introduce me to these Kashi cookies, though. I thought they were tasty and filling enough that one cookie would be enough to scratch the itch. And, while I haven't studied their nutritional information in depth, the ingredients look decent and the calorie amount is pretty good for a snack. But I will continue to hunt for the perfect afternoon snack!
As for this coming week, I'm going to give myself a week off from adding new projects and work on improving the four areas listed above. I'll be back next week with a new Small Step, and hopefully before that with a post or two that have nothing to do with my health quest whatsoever!