It’s so easy to get caught up in weight loss goals in the new year. Gyms offer joining specials and Weight Watchers goes on a marketing blitz. I’ve been subjected to non-stop ads for Cortiva, a prescription weight loss drug. It can get so easy to get caught up in the weight obsession of this time of year that we forget to focus on a healthy start. We want to be thin and perfect. We start to shame ourselves (which might be the worst thing we can do if we want to get healthy).
This year, like last year, I’m setting attainable goals. Instead of focusing on weight like the media suggests, I decided to focus on a few other things regarding my health this year. If I lose weight, great. It means I stuck to some of these other goals. If I don’t, well, that’s ok too. Because just making some better choices will improve my overall health.
In 2018, I will:
Practice Mindful Eating
I will not do an elimination diet. I will not join a weight loss program. I will not bully myself over what I eat. What I will do is eat. I will make better (but not perfect) choices and I will let myself eat a hamburger or pizza when I’m craving one. But I will also stop eating when I am full. I will allow myself the time it takes to realize when I have had enough to eat.
Take time for breakfast
I will take the time to enjoy breakfast more often, rather than just scarfing down a bar or smoothie on the run. Along with my mindful eating, it is important to eat breakfast to set myself up for a good day. Too often I skip food until lunch, or I only have that smoothie I whipped up and drank on the train. Taking time to eat will let me make better food choices and jumpstart my day.
Unplug earlier before bed and create a bedtime routine
I will stop laying in bed for an hour watching YouTube videos and hoping that I will fall asleep. I will go back to some gentle yoga and follow my own advice for a better bedtime. Some stretching and quiet will help me sleep better and be a better person during the day.
Declutter my apartment
Clean home, clean mind anyone? I know that my apartment feels better when it is clean and clutter-free but is often the opposite. It’s messy state reflects my own scattered brain. This year, I will take control. Each month, I will tackle a category of items, Konmari style, to declutter. But I will do it over time so that it doesn’t overwhelm me in one fell swoop.
Move every day
I’m not saying workout because even pros need rest days. But I do want to move. I want to make sure that every day involves steps and movement. It’s easy to become sedentary even with my dedication to dance classes because of my office job. I want to make it a goal to ensure that every day has light activity. This isn’t about losing weight or getting fit. It’s about making sure that I don’t get back or knee pain from too much sitting.
Be kind to myself
I’ll take the advice of my friend Jenna, and stop shaming myself. I will work on my self-talk and treat myself with respect. I’ll make time for self-care rituals when I need to de-stress. I won’t be afraid to say no to activities that are more draining than fulfilling.
What goals have you set for 2018? Have you set any that don’t require a certain number or change on the scale
Mary Fran Wiley is a well known gluten-free and positive living blogger from Chicago where she writes Curiouser and Curiouser, maintains the Chronic Positivity Project, founded the organization hope.dance and has been featured in Allergic Living Magazine, Care2.com and Today.com.