Monday, September 9, 2013

Fall Pledge for Health

It may not be fall just yet (Portland has a little Indian summer coming this week) but I am already embracing the cold weather habits. I am ready to wear some skinny jeans with boots, drink pumpkin lattes, and dig out my scarves. I've already been looking at some fun fall activities as well!

Usually when the weather gets colder, people tend to bundle up and settle in with some nice comfort food. The holidays then come and we start to indulge more and more until we are a bit more fluffy by year's end. Two years ago, I started my healthy reboot right around this time and I am ready to do yet another reboot. I first started with my diet, watching calories and making sure to create a healthy and well-balanced diet that I could maintain easily while being in grad school, working, and having a social life. It was amazing; I lost 15 pounds fairly quickly and then gained the confidence to head to the gym. I started working out 4-5 days per week and it felt great. It wasn't just my
weight that was changing but the tone and muscle was becoming much more noticeable.

I intend to get back to those days!

A little bit of weight gain this summer signaled that I was heading down the wrong path but I also noticed that my face was changing a LOT which is a sign that things in body aren't exactly balanced. This is one great resource that I rely on and it explains how acne can signal what area of your body might be in a bit of a funk.

For me, I am totally 11, 12, and 13 right now. Never in my life (even high school) have I broken out this much.

Zone 11 & 12: Hormones — This is the signature zone for stress and hormonal changes. And while both are sometimes unavoidable, you can decrease their effect by getting adequate sleep, drinking enough water, eating leafy veggies and keeping skin scrupulously clean. Another interesting point: breakouts in this area indicate when you are ovulating (and on which side).
Zone 13: Stomach — Step up the fibre intake, reduce the toxin overload and drink herbal teas to help with digestion.

Clearly, I need to step it up in general. I haven't been eating well, haven't been drinking enough water consistently, and veggies aren't prevalent in my diet. I have been going out a lot more and I also haven't been working out as much as I should be. All the stress this year could be managed better with some physical activity and quiet time.

So the point of this post besides me confessing all my dietary sins and lack of exercise? A pledge.

I am pledging that for the remainder of the year, I will:

1. Get at least 15 minutes of intentional exercise per day. This does not mean walking to the bar but instead taking a few laps around the neighborhood, doing some strength exercises in the morning, and taking time for yoga in the afternoon.

2. Eat a balanced diet which includes five vegetables and two fruits per day. Lower the amount of carbohydrates, dairy, and fried foods. Increase the amount of high fiber and high protein foods.

3. Take a daily vitamin.

4. Drink five glasses of water per day, minimum. 

5. Use the FitBit on a daily basis and upload information to the website to track progress. 

6. Reduce the amount of coffee/caffeinated beverages.  

7. One sweet treat per day, no exceptions.

These are obviously guidelines and there will be days when I am not as successful because life is life. I don't believe in starving or depriving myself of treats because then all we get is a bitter and cranky April. I believe in balance and developing a healthy lifestyle, not just a quick fix.

Do you have any goals that you want to reach by the end of the year? Care to confess any healthy living hiccups?

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