Healthy Habits 2019

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right. – Oprah Winfrey

This time last year I set about deciding and sticking to a few healthy habits that I thought would help me lose weight.  You can read about how that went here.

I have found that habits, more than anything have created the most positive and beneficial change in my life.  Being human I don’t always stick to them but I have got much better sticking to them.  Like everything it’s about development which requires small, changes which add up to big things over time.

This year I’m building on those habits already started and adding a few more too.

1 Pound a Week

I’ve also set myself a goal – to lose 1lb (0.45kg) a week and a total weight loss of 26lbs by 30th June 2019.

Why only 1lb a week?  Because it needs to be tiny.  Trying to lose weight in the past has been unsuccessful because I’ve set the desired outcome I wanted to achieve (last year I wanted to get to 135lbs) but didn’t really break that down.  I had no metrics to measure it by.  I’d lose 2lbs one week, gain 3lbs the next and possibly lose 5lbs the week after with no rhyme or reason.  I knew what habits would help me lose that weight but if I went up or down on the scales I would become despondent and frustrated that the weight loss wasn’t consistent.

I’m serious about losing 26lbs so I need to know how much and by when.  Then I can monitor (hopefully much more effectively) when I go wrong.  Eating crisps on a Saturday but losing weight one week and gaining the next doesn’t really tell me much.  I need to focus on cutting out the bad foods, replacing with the whole foods and seeing what (and in some cases if any) change it makes.

I’m no scientist but I don’t believe calories in versus calories out always equals weight loss/gain.  As much as I’d like it to be this simple my recent experience tells me differently.   Water consumption (and retention), the time you eat and how you burn calories all play a part before you even start on what you eat.

I’m convinced that when I step on the scales at 7am Monday morning, and I see an increase, they are not telling me I ate too much yesterday (because I didn’t), they tell me that Saturday’s chocolate and wine are having an effect (which didn’t show on Sunday).  Time and again what I eat (or how much) tends to affect my weight 48hrs not 24hrs but it’s only my theory and I can’t prove it.

Like all big changes I need it to start so small that it’s impossible to fail.  1lb is the smallest metric I can possibly go for.  It’s also much easier to monitor with a target of 1lb (0.45kg) a week.

I’ll share my results on this blog so I hold myself accountable because I’m committed to losing the weight (again, unfortunately, I have to admit).

The third week in and it has become all-consuming – for the better.  Or in other words, getting to a healthy weight has finally become a priority for me.  That does, of course, mean other things are now further down on the rung of importance because if trying and failing has taught me anything – if I can’t give a goal 100% commitment then I can’t complain when I don’t reach it.  95% doesn’t cut it.

Metrics

I’m using three items to monitor my weight:

  • Scales
  • Fitness tracker watch and software
  • Google fit
  • Coach.me
An example of my coach.me

I’m not into fancy gear – all the above is about as basic as you can get.  I’m using google fit to track my metrics although it doesn’t seem to always sync with the fitness tracker and I continue to use coach.me because it’s great habit tracking tool.

My “official” (as I like to call it) weigh in day will be a Monday morning.  However, I continue to weigh myself daily just because I’m curious to see what happens during the week.  I don’t want to get obsessive over the scale numbers because ultimately life is bigger than that but it’s useful as a guide.

So far, even drinking too much water after getting up from sleep doesn’t help the scales go in the right direction.  Eating big portions of whole foods (stews and soups made from lentils and beans) can affect my weight.

However, like last year, for me, it’s more about implementing and maintaining good healthy habits.   Walking, cutting out ready meals, cutting down chocolate, strength exercises – or any exercise for that matter every single day.  Most importantly cutting down my stress and anxiety levels and getting quality sleep.

Blue Zones

I’ll go into this in more detail in another post that I plan to write on this subject but essentially a small bad of dedicated scientists and researchers discovered fives zones, in five different countries around the world- pockets if you like, where people live far longer (and in better health) than anywhere else.  These areas, often little more than a town or a suburb contain residents that live over 100.  The studies have shown that these people often eat and do the same types of things which may (or may not) help them live well into their 100’s.

I’m absolutely fascinated by this study and having read The Blue Zone by Dan Buettner three time over already I’m curious to see if I can apply some of the research findings to my life – here on the little banks of the Humber.  So, some of the habits this year will be influenced by this book.

Healthy Habits for 2019

I’m tracking 25 habits this year:

  • 16 relate to health
  • 6 relate to productivity
  • 4 relate to self-development
  • 1 relates to gardening

I won’t be tracking them all on this blog this year, only those relating to health (don’t want to bore my readers too much!).

I’m also going to have a go, for the first time, to track my daily state of mine using a new app I’ve found called Daylio.  I’m going all holistic but ultimately while the scales say one thing my mind may be in another place – and usually is.  Working as hard for my brain as well as my body might actually be the key I was missing all along.

I’ll be back here to share an update at the end of the month.

Advertisements

2 Replies to “Healthy Habits 2019”

  1. I am right with you on this. Just this weekend I finally admitted to myself that my eating is becoming a problem and I have been too haphazard in my previous attempts and tracking. I have 18lbs to lose to get back to something reasonable (probably a little more to be very healthy). Like you, I’m going for tiny changes over the coming months. I’m going to track very carefully. I have spent years ignoring the calorie advice because I too believe that not all calories are equal, but after some more research today I’ve settled on tracking calories with caveats (see below) because nothing else I have tried so far has worked for me and I’m just getting bigger each year. So, I discovered that scientists aren’t sure why, but cooked food and raw food are processed differently. We gain more calories from cooked food than the same caloric amount of raw food. They think that it’s because a) some calories are in fibre, which we excrete, and raw food has more fibre and b) raw food requires more energy to break down – cooking causes enzymatic changes similar to the digestive process. Bearing this in mind I’m not going to panic about exceeding my calorie goal for the day if a decent proportion of food has come from fruits and veg – especially raw. Otherwise, I’m just going to stick to a small calorie deficit and track each week to see if it’s working. I have GOT to lose this weight as it is affecting my confidence as well as my health. Here’s to a successful weight loss journey for us both!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing and being so honest. I have been struggling, attempting to lose and fail but this time I’m 100% all in. Life definitely gets in the way sometimes but I honestly believe that if I can change my habits I will become healthier. That may not always equate to weight loss so but it will make me feel better knowing I’m doing my utmost.
      I realised after I’d written this post, that 26lbs is a big audacious goal in the grand scheme of things but sometimes you’ve got to aim high. However, tracking at just 1lb a week is so much easier for me.
      I did like reading about your research on raw food etc, and actually – doesn’t that make sense. Plant based, whether it’s in raw form (although especially in raw form) is always going to be better for us than anything processed. So as you say, don’t beat yourself up if you do go over your daily calorie counter but you’ve eaten the healthy foods. I think our bodies take some getting used to the extra fibre too but the long term benefits are huge.
      Here’s to a good and healthy 2019 for both of us 🙂

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.