Mid May Challenge

One of the ways I’ve learned to make small adjustments in my life is by giving myself little challenges throughout the year to kick start that new habit. My ultimate goal/ New Years Resolution has been to become healthier. I’ve done well so far but after watching a few food documentaries, there are a few more changes I’d like to make. So starting May 15th (yes this post is late) through the next of the month, I will be focusing on the following:

1. No more TV dinners

Even though TV dinners are convenient, easy, and proportioned for you, they’re not healthy. Even though they’re lean, low fat, low calorie, whatever, they’re really not healthy for you. There’s tons of sodium and sugar them so really are they lean, low fat, or low calorie? Probably not. Instead I’m focusing on preparing my own food. Even simple meals: salad, chicken, rice with veggies, etc.

2. Drink more water in the morning

I’ve noticed a huge difference in the amount of energy and food I eat when I down two cups of water right when I wake up verses not. I have way more energy throughout the day so I’m able to focus at work (without the extra cup of coffee later), can go out with friends and not get tired, go to the gym, and am just overall in higher spirits. I also notice I hardly snack throughout the day. I always keep snacks in case I get hungry in between meals (because I’m not a nice person when I’m hungry, family & friends can attest to that), but I rarely grab them because the water keeps me pretty full throughout the day.

3. Start mediating once a day.

I gave myself this challenge during lent, and I noticed a decrease in my stress levels, but I haven’t really stuck to it since, so I’m going to start again! I noticed that for me I don’t want to track how long I mediate because it takes away from the overall experience of it, so I close my eyes and focus on my breathing, reflect on the day, and recite some motivating mantras to myself from one minute up to ten, depending on my mood.

4. Eat at the dinner table.

My family is not the eating at the dinner type. We tend to eat in our rooms, in front of the TV. However, I was talking to my boss and she said that not only is her family not allowed to eat in their rooms, they also don’t eat with the TV on; they eat at the dinner table. I also watched a documentary that showed people eat 40% more when watching TV and see food commercials vs. those who don’t eat when watching TV. So after combining these messages, I’ve decided to eat at the dinner table so I can decrease the amount of food I eat as well as become more mindful about what I’m eating and how much.

5. Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same times of day regardless of if you’re hungry or not.

This goes without saying but I’m not going to stuff myself with food if I’m not hungry. Instead I want to “get ahead” of my hunger, so I can eat less. There are some days I have a big breakfast (usually when I skipped dinner the night before), so I’ll push back lunch until 2-3pm and by that point I’m starving, can’t focus, and eat not only my lunch but a snack or two before I leave work for the day. Instead I want to eat lunch between 12-1pm regardless of my breakfast size, even if I only eat a bite, I can eat the rest when I’m get hungrier. This will help with the small snacking I do throughout the day.

These seem like small changes, but I know that big picture, this will help me get to my ultimate goal of being healthier and happier.

Marah Renee