Turning Over a New Leaf

The past few weeks have been very indulgent for me.  Between the holidays and visiting the lovely fella, I’ve eaten out a lot, had a ton of sweets, and over all eaten a lot of calories, fat, salt, etc.  Now that I’m back in Ithaca waiting for the semester to start, and I’m ready to be done with overindulgence.  I’m getting tired of always feeling a little bit uncomfortable in my skin, and I’d also like to keep up with my goals for 2010.

Starting now, I’m reevaluating my approach to food and eating.  This means a little bit of revamping of this blog and concentrating more on the health aspect.

One of my goals for the year was to stop talking about the parts of my body I don’t like.  So instead of complaining, I am going to be proactive.  Since writing my thesis in the Spring of 2009, applying to grad school, graduating, moving across the country and starting grad school, I’ve put on a few more pounds than I would like.

That being said… for the next few months, I am going to count calories.  I know this is quite unpopular in the food/health blogging world, but I’ve come to find that it’s what works for me.  I like having schedules and plans to follow, and I don’t find calorie counting to be as tedious as people make it out to be.

I don’t really want to call this a diet, because it’s not.  I’m trying to change the way I eat permanently.  Ordinarily, I don’t eat too unhealthily; however, there is always room for improvements.

So here’s the plan (subject to change), at least for the next few months:

  • Count calories for the next few months. I will use SparkPeople.  If you are interested, you can see my food and exercise log on my SparkPeople page. (Note: I’ve used SparkPeople before and I really like it.  It’s an online community and food log/journal, plus it’s free!  If you’re curious check it out!  or feel free to ask me questions).  I still haven’t decided if I want this blog to be my food journal.
  • Try to eat more natural foods and cut back on processed things (i.e. tofu and veggie patties).
  • Do some sort of cardio exercise 4-6 days a week.  This can mean any number of things.  The point is to get my body moving.  I’ve never lived in a cold climate so I’m very concerned that the cold will make me want to stay indoors.  I need to make a conscious effort to get moving.
  • Strength training 2-3 days a week. This was also one of my goals for 2010.  I tend to concentrate on cardio but strength training is also important.
  • I will give myself one day to eat something I really, really want.  I’ve lost weight many times in my life (I should probably do a post on this but at one point I lost about 50lbs.  I’ve kept off about 30lbs but always fluctuate about 20lbs… I’d love to keep those 20lbs off permanently).  The times I’ve been successful is when I give myself a day to eat whatever.  If I know I can’t have it then I’ll want it more; If I know I can have it on Sunday then all is well.  I love food.  I can’t give it up!

On to the weight… Ideally, I would like to lose 20lbs or fit comfortably in a size 4/6. 

This isn’t unrealistic, as I have healthily weighed 20lbs less in the past.

Roughly 20lbs lighter... Summer 2008... Those pants are a loose fitting size 6

There really isn’t a deadline for this but for the sake of goal setting, I would like to lose this by end of the semester (middle of May).  SparkPeople recommends I consume 1,200-1,550 calories per day (this includes burning 1500 calories per week from exercise, which is not very much and therefore may change).  I’m going to try to stick to this 6 days a week (I won’t count one day per week).  Obviously, some days I will consume at the lower end and other days on the high end of that range.  I’m going to try my best to listen to my body and ask myself whether or not I’m actually hungry before I eat something.

Having read many blogs, I know many people will take issue with my revamped approach to eating.  I’m going to give it a try anyway.  I would love to be one of those people who simply says “I’m going to cut back on the sweets,” then magically loses 5 lbs, but that’s not me.

I need a change.  I need to commit.  I need to do what works for me.

If you’d like to join me in turning over a new leaf (no matter what way works best for you), I would love to do this with others!