Photo Source: Patrick Hoesly
I'd like to think that I'm fairly health conscience... at least part of the time. It's definitely an area where there will always be room for improvement. First off you should know that I'm no expert but I have strong beliefs when it comes to certain things.
If you were to come to my house for a visit you would learn that I am not a fan of extreme dieting and that my personal motto is founded upon balance. I don't believe in taking out a certain food group. You know like the diets where you completely cut out carbs or can only eat a small selection of certain fruits and vegetables because of calories. I don't think that we even have to cut out all sugars completely. The thing I'm finding is that we need a variety of different foods because they all work together to keep our bodies in tip top shape. Cut out carbs and you get rid or our bodies fastest source of energy. Of course that doesn't mean carbo loading at each meal = unlimited energy. Calories are not created equally. The calories you absorb from a pile of fresh veggies are not equal to the carbs in a box of fries even if the numbers say otherwise. It goes into much more depth than that but I'll save that for another post.
So what does this have to do with my health goals for 2012? Like I said previously, I think I'm doing pretty well when it comes to making healthy dinners for my family a good portion of the time. What about the rest of the time?
Have you ever noticed that the "holidays" become the exception to every rule we set for ourselves. "I'm not going to worry about how many sweets I eat, it's the holidays. I'll get back to my regular diet afterwards." "It's the holidays, just this one time won't hurt." Think about it though, how many major holidays do we have throughout the year?
New Year's Eve/Day
Fourth of July
It would be one thing if we splurged a little only on the actual holiday but how many of us really throw the rule book out for only one day? I'll be honest, the time between Halloween and New Year's Eve is all one holiday combined in our home. Halloween doesn't just start and end on October 31st. It's a few weeks long.
Let's not forget about vacations either. I went on a cruise a few months back with the thought that it was one week. I could forget about what I'm actually sticking in my body for a week and that I did. I gained 4-5 lbs in that week which may not sound like a lot but I haven't really gained a whole lot of weight in at least 10 years.
So what? I enjoyed my vacation and my holidays, that's what really matters. Right? What happens when January 2nd rolls around? I feel like an Oompa Loompa, sick to my stomach, and yes even a little bad about myself. That's where all of our New Year's resolutions come from. In my head I may be thinking it's just one week of bad eating but combine it with all my other exceptions, aka other holidays and vacations, and it's a pretty large chunk of time.
Should life be enjoyed? Yes. Do we have to deny ourselves of all "good food?" Of course not, though I'm finding that there are some pretty delicious healthy recipes out there for all food categories. One divine chocolate cupcake with a cream cheese frosting is not going to kill me. Weeks of this kind of food however could.
Thus, my health goals for 2012 are to stop feeding my excuses... literally. I will still enjoy my holidays but I'm going to scour the web and books for healthy alternatives. At Christmas time I may have two holiday treats instead of one but I'm not going to eat the whole platter and move onto the next. I hope to find healthy side dishes for holiday meals that are not made of up of mostly butter but just as tasty. This may mean breaking some of the traditional molds I've grown up with and practicing more self control when I'm not the one making the meal. I think there may be a lot of trial and error but in the end I hope to enjoy my holidays just as much as I did before and then some because I know my body is not suffering because of my pleasures.
I don't want to enter each January, one of the most depressing months of the year, feeling bad about myself because my body is screaming for me to stop eating so much crap.
No more excuses or exceptions. I deserve more. Here's to 2012 and my newest health goals.
If you have any recommendations for good websites or books I would love to hear them!