I recently organized a health challenge for my office and have also decided to participate. The challenge runs 12 weeks and started yesterday. The competition is based off of body fat percentage loss since that is a good indicator of both fitness and health and more accurate than BMI. Plus, you can see your percentage loss, weight loss and inches loss at the end, which is so encouraging. Y’all, my current body fat percentage puts me in the “overweight” range… I have got to get back in that healthy range! I’ve known for awhile what I should be eating and doing to get my body healthy, I just haven’t had the self control to do it. As I sat down last night to think through my goals and make a plan, I knew that many of you also have some health resolutions this year and might want to see what I’m doing. If you haven’t made a resolution yet – it’s not too late! Here are the five things I am focusing on for this challenge, why they are important and some simple action steps to follow if you are interested in adapting them yourself:
- Increase Nutrients – With all the packaged and processed foods in our restaurants and grocery stores, we are no longer getting the nutrients our bodies are starved for. We have essentially become malnourished as a culture. The blog 100 Days of Real Food has some great meal plans and recipes to avoid processed food. I will be focusing on eating real food with real health value to my body. I will aim for 5+ servings of vegetables per day and a high protein, high fat diet to keep me full and give my body energy instead of relying on cheap carbs to do so. Basically, I’ll just be eating lots of fresh, organic produce and protein.
- Eat Clean – It is important to eliminate the toxins in our environment and foods that are causing harm to our bodies. In order for the nutrients we eat to work effectively to help our body, we need to make sure we are not poisoning it at the same time. I always look for these on food labels when grocery shopping or on a restaurant menu:
- Eliminate Inflammatory Foods – While losing weight/inches/fat would be great, my main goal is health. I want to get my hormones balanced, be pain-free and increase my immune function. My adrenal levels are currently way high, which is inhibiting all of those things and causing me to gain weight. Eek! The only way to fix it is to change my diet: I will be avoiding grains & cheap carbs, soy (as always!), sugar (except for a couple of special occasions & some dark chocolate here and there) and vegetable oil (I use coconut oil instead… and no, it doesn’t taste like coconut).
- Drink More Water – A couple of months ago, I read the book Your Body’s Many Cries for Water and learned so much about how dehydrated I am (I plan to write a review about the book soon!). Drinking lots of water has tons of benefits, including losing weight & detoxifying the body. Per the book’s recommendation, my goal will be to drink at least 64 oz of water per day, plus an extra 16 oz for any coffee or tea I drink since those beverages work to dehydrate us. Also, less alcohol… red wine is healthy, right?
- Get Moving – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I hate exercising. I can commit to eating well all day, but commitments to exercise always fail. Recently, I watched an interesting documentary about exercise and I really want to put the routine into practice. It will only take 3 minutes a week… surely I can. I’m going skiing soon and my trip to Europe this Spring will entail lots of walking, so I need to be in shape. I woke up this morning and worked out for the first time in years, so I’m off to a great start. Please, ask me next time you see me and hold me accountable!
Writing those out makes it seem a little less daunting than it did yesterday. Instead of focusing on what I can’t have, I’m going to focus on all the yummy foods that I can eat…. here’s to bacon, avocados, raw cheese, BBQ, sushi, colorful salads, nuts, fresh juice, sweet potato fries, fried okra, dark chocolate, and (in case you forgot) bacon. Cheers! *Water glasses clink*
Who else wants to join me? What are your goals?