favorites / HEALTHY LIVING / IN MY KITCHEN / LIVING WELL

Update: 10 top tips for healthy living

I’ve had a bunch of people ask me for an update on my “13 Things I’m Doing to Get Out of A Diet + Exercise Funk” post, and looking at the calendar I realize an update is long overdue. 

I’m glad to report that things are going really well. Since I wrote that post, I’ve lost 15 pounds and about 13.5 inches and although I’ve had a few hard moments, I’m generally feeling really encouraged and inspired. I’ve started taking advantage of some nutrition guidance at the club where I workout, and I’m convinced that right now, that has been one of the major keys to my success. Well, that and a bunch of people in my life who are cheering me on in a big way. 

So I’m back with a new list for you! Here they are:

10 new things I’m doing to maintain my healthy groove:

  • I’m a food-diary-keeping maniac. I am writing down everything I eat for two reasons: One because I need to show it to the nutritionists who are guiding my food choices but also because it really makes me mindful and careful about what I eat. It’s helped me control those “innocent” bites I might throw in my mouth while making dinner and especially the things I eat between meals. 
  • I’m moving more. The days I don’t exercise in some way have become the rarity of my week versus the norm. Some times it looks like a big old sweaty workout at the gym. Other days it looks like a walk up the road with the girls and their 4-H lambs. (Yes, we do that.) And today, it’s probably looking like my first attempt at a yoga video in my living room. 
  • I’ve switched to Fitbit from Jawbone, for now. I’ve had a Fitbit flex band banging around on top of my dresser for awhile, but have always loved my Jawbone more. But after some frustration with my Jawbone band needing a soft reset every time I charged it, I got frustrated and reached for my Fitbit. The jury’s still out on which I like better, but for now, the data nerd in me likes keeping track of steps and sleep. And in case you were wondering, if you’re cutting grass on your riding mower, the Fitbit will think you just knocked it out of the park with your steps. So you might want to take it off. Have a Fitbit? I’d love to “friend you”!
  • I’m drinking water consistently. So this was a new and interesting thing I learned a few weeks ago–when you are drinking water, it is important to drink a consistent amount of water each day. Right now, I’m at 64 ounces, which is the recommended minimum, but as long as you are in a healthy range, your body gets used to that amount of water and craves it each day. It’s your body’s happy place. Eventually, I’d like to bump up my water intake but for now, this is working. 

 

  • I keep track of my water intake in a very archaic way. I kept finding myself sit down at my food journal at the end of the day, having lost track of how much water I’d consumed. I know there are a million apps to keep track of water, including a nice one on the Fitbit app, but I didn’t always have my phone on me. So, I have been wearing four bracelets around my wrist. In one day, I need to drink 4 of my water bottles, so each time I finish one off, I move my bracelet to the other wrist. It simple and by no means a fashion statement. But it’s working. And, in case you’re wondering, those loops for potholders work like a charm. *cue probable eye-rolling from my children*
  • I’m keeping track of victories. When I started my food diary, the nutritionist told me she wanted me to keep track of one victory every day. It sounds simple, but surprisingly, for me, it’s really hard to come up with something each day.  We are so hard on ourselves. And this practice of coming up with something positive has been really eye-opening and helpful. I highly recommend it. 
  • I make my whole plate before I sit down to eat and I try to make it really beautiful. I’m basically making two meals every time we sit down to eat–mine and everyone else’s. And sometimes, man! I’d really like what everyone else is having for dinner, but for now, it’s not “on the plan.” But I’ve found that making it visually appealing and having my whole meal portioned out in front of me makes me feel pretty good about what I’m eating. I’m all about setting a nice mood for my meals.
  • I’m staying satisfied. My most difficult moments are when I’m hungry–when I walk into the kitchen starving, I’m pretty much willing to shove anything into my mouth. But I’m learning to both stay satisfied and to talk myself through those hungry moments. I tell myself that if I just eat my meal, I won’t be so ravenous for junk or for what everyone else is eating. 
  • I “treat” not “cheat”. I’ll be honest, I just got back from several days at the beach with my family and there were a few days where I let myself go off the plan and have a treat. It’s tempting to beat myself up about it and then in turn feel like the rest of the day is screwed. But when I change my thinking and know that they are small treats, it’s a much healthier approach. Granted, I’m not giving myself a bag of M&Ms each day and calling it my treat. But that night when we went out for ice cream and I got a child’s serving for myself? That’s a-okay. It’s a treat. Treats are good.
  • My kids are involved. With a house full of girls, I’ve been extremely careful about how I approach my desire and need to lose weight. The absolute last thing I want to do is put any insecurities or worries in their minds about their physical appearance. I’ve been consistently staying away from the word “diet” and putting all the focus health–eating healthy, moving because it’s good and important for my body. It’s a tender path to walk down, but so far, I think the little things that they are picking up by watching me on this journey are positive.
  • I keep the end in mind. I’m not really one for visualizing or anything like that, but I will say that every time I get on the elliptical and don’t feel like it. Or get hungry and find myself questioning whether I’m going to eat well or eat poorly, I keep thinking about how awesomely good it’s going to feel when I get to the place I’m headed. I’ve already experienced little tastes of victory and man, they feel good. I can only imagine how great it’s going to feel when I’m even further along in this journey. When I think about how good that will feel, it encourages me to keep going. 

So that’s the latest from where I sit…yes, once again I need to get up from this desk and get moving–(actually I need to get to the feed mill for horse feed). But as always, thank you all SO MUCH for asking and listening and contributing to this journey I’m on. More soon. xo.

12 comments on “Update: 10 top tips for healthy living”

  1. how are you tracking your food, molly? i struggle with myfitnesspal ’cause it makes me more focused on a number than the choices and i get a restrictive mindset.

  2. how are you tracking your food, molly? i struggle with myfitnesspal ’cause it makes me more focused on a number than the choices and i get a restrictive mindset.

    1. Hi Sarah, I’m tracking my food just with pencil and paper and I’m counting fat grams. My goal right now is to keep my fat grams number between 20-30g. It is still focusing on a number, but I’m finding it so much easier to just focus on one thing vs. calories, fat, fiber, etc.

      1. Nice. That seems more manageable. Funny as tech increases a pencil and paper sometimes still work best!;)

  3. This is a great update, Molly!!! Making the progress and changes that you’ve made so far, well, you can tell from what you write that it is not something that happens suddenly when one rolls out of bed one sunny morning. This kind of change takes time, a tremendous amount of determination, and has its set backs (thanks for your honesty on the tiny scoops of ice-cream "treats"!! LOL! – Like, "hey, this is all I get?" ;( I don’t quite understand the water intake entry (#4). Never heard about that. If you get a chance, can you provide a link of detailed info? I too have lost weight so far, probably half of what you have lost. People have noticed and have asked me "How much?". I don’t care how much (I honestly don’t know as I do not weigh myself), I simply have a pair of pants I want to get into eventually and when I do, then I’ll have reached my goal. I don’t like the elliptical either. Uff! I don’t know what to think about while I am doing it, looking at myself in the mirror (which keeps me on the darn thing in fact and peddling even faster!). It does wonders for my lower back as it moves my hips (and we tend to not sway our hips in our society and should probably do that more as we walk!). Yet, I get on that thing anyway and it really does work (me into a BIG sweat, ha!). I hope you are keeping a before/after and progress journal of photos!!! That would be very inspirational to see! Thanks so much for your "progress report" 😉 Kim from BCN

  4. Congrats, Molly! Keep it going! I’m trying to be more focused on health for myself and it’s encouraging to read your post. Did you create your own food diary? I see it in your photo and am curious if you made up your own template. Take care- Carol

  5. This was SO what I needed to read right now Molly. Thank you. I am also aiming to lose some weight that has gradually appeared over the last 11 years of child bearing and raising and have been going so well for the last couple of months but just lately have hit a bit of a lag and losing focus more than losing weight. Still keeping up with those salads (even in the middle of winter as it is here in the bottom half of the world) but exercise and water…..not so much. This is not to say that tomorrow I will magically get back to what I need to be doing but y’know, it’s just good to read your words right now.

  6. congratulations, molly!! fifteen pounds is HUGE!!! i’m right there with you, remembering i had just started to journal about these same things at about the same time! i have lost seven pounds and ahem… some of the motivation i had!! clothes certainly feel better, but my nemesis sugar has reentered the picture. i’m glad to see this post as a reminder to start up the journaling again. i love my fitbit and find that even though 15k steps takes time, i’m much more active than ever before, especially with my kids!! (frisbee is good for some laughs and steps… especially when played with someone whose aim is awful!!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *