Friday, February 22, 2013

Little Changes Can = Big Changes!

So it's no secret that the majority of us go into hibernation over the winter and wind up finding a little weight. The average weight gain over the winter months can be anywhere between 7-15lbs.

Not gonna lie, I've found myself at the higher end of that scale these past few days. My pants are noticeably tighter.

While I'm still struggling to get myself 100% back in the healthy eating and active zone (winter blues + crazy schedule adjustment = overwhelmed mama!) I've made the commitment to myself to make small, beneficial adjustments every single day so that my weight doesn't get too out of control. And it's been working!

What kinds of things am I doing?

1. I eat smaller meals. Simple, right? I cut back my portion sizes to about half what I would have eaten if I wasn't watching my waistline.

2. Because I'm eating smaller meals, I'm having a small snack between them. I try to keep my snacks below 150 calories. I'll have things like carrots with hummus, bell peppers with all-natural Italian dressing, Balkan yogurt with extra fresh berries, or a banana with a few walnuts. The snacks keep me going until the next meal and I'm not SO hungry that I eat everything I made and leave nothing for Team Lego.
Snack time at work! Yogurt with walnuts!
Snack time at school! Mixed veggies with lots of hummus!
3. For every cup of coffee I drink (no more than two a day, except for no-sleep Thursdays, on which I allow myself 3!), I kick back a glass of water. And throughout the day, I drink nothing but water. No juice, no pop ..

4. Yeah, that's right. I've made the commitment to eliminate diet coke from my life. It is SO bad for me and my body!! I've come to be too addicted to it and it was sickening. The biggest eye-opener for me was the documentary Hungry For Change (seriously, go watch it. Now. It's on Netflix. I'll wait for you to get back!). Here is an article with a video from Hungry For Change: Diet Coke... And that's was only a small snippet from the movie. They offer a lot more information on artificial sweeteners in the movie. Scary stuff. (And please, for those who choose to ingest artificial sweeteners: I'm not putting you down for your decision nor do I want to make you feel like you have to defend your choice. This is just my opinion and my choice to keep it out of my belly!).

5. I try to squeeze in as much exercise in daily as I can. I'm an outdoor exerciser at heart, so I prefer to get outside to get my sweat on. With my schedule, I was having a hard time finding time to work exercise in .. So I MADE time (if it means something to you, you will find a way .. No excuses!!). I'll walk from my school to the mall for my bus home instead of busing all the way there (this is a good 30-minute walk uphill!). I will take the stairs instead of the elevator (work and school have me both on the fourth floor!). On my 15-minute breaks at school and work, I'm up and out of my seat, walking around. Once the weather is more bearable, I fully intend to start walking to work and RUNNING!!! (my asthma doesn't cooperate with the cold air!).
All bundled up for a long, cold walk!
I haven't found time for yoga in a while, which makes me sad .. Although I have an open window on my Mondays and Fridays off so methinks I'll make a date with my mat on those days! I need to start re-toning my body!

6. I'm keeping a positive mindset. I'm not putting myself down for having dietary slip-ups. I'm not calling myself "fatty" every time I look in the mirror. I don't punish myself for choosing KD and hotdogs instead of a salad for lunch. I just work to fix my mistakes as soon as I make them (healthy dinner choices after a "bad" lunch choice!).

7. I start every single day with a healthy breakfast. I have a protein, a fruit (possibly a veggie if the meal calls for it!) a small carbohydrate and my beloved coffee. If I start my day with a healthy, balanced breakfast, I feel great and making better food choices throughout the day is easier because I don't want to "ruin" the benefits of that breakfast!
Veggie omelette, unbuttered whole wheat toast, banana!
8. I try to get enough sleep. Even if there are shows I really want to catch up on waiting on my pvr, I take a hot bath to relax myself and hit the sack. Getting between 6-8 hours of sleep every night is key for me - if I'm exhausted, I know I won't make good decisions. If I didn't get enough sleep overnight (hello, 3am bouts of teething pain with Daughter Lego!), I'll nap during the day when the kids do. An hour catnap does me a world of good!

These small changes have made a HUGE difference in my every day. I still listen to my body over my scale, but when I weighed myself last, I was already down five of the pounds I gained!

I know that this winter has been a tough one on me. Do I wish I'd been better? Absolutely. But every day, I learn a little more about why my healthy lifestyle is SO important to me and my family. I feel like poop after eating boxed / processed / "quick fix" foods and feel aMaZiNg when I eat healthy, natural and homemade. I get jittery and a little nauseated if I eat too much sugar and get cranky if I don't eat enough proteins. I'm sluggish, energy-less and irritable when I don't eat well and exercise regularly .. So everyone benefits from a healthy Mama Lego!
Doesn't that look better than a store-bought, frozen meal!? Homemade for the win!
Do you make small adjustments to your day to keep yourself on track in the winter? If not, do you think you might try to make one healthier choice every day?
I look at this picture Keeps me in check!

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