The temptation of turrón
Wellness resources starts off with the step "Remember what you know." So much of making positive changes is not about learning something new, but remembering and applying knowledge you already have, often by overcoming the inertia or other obstacles that have arisen around patterns of behavior. Until I had a child, I never had to diet to keep to a sensible weight, nor did I own a car until I was 34 so I was in reasonable shape just form walking and biking, even after I stopped playing sports like volleyball or softball in college.
After last two weeks of truly heroic holiday feasting (Spanish food is so good!) I was--am-- more than ready to make some changes. I crave salads, greens, vegetables, and feel no appetite for sweets. My new year's resolve to try new recipes and start dancing again are a good start to getting back into my previous good eating habits. From experience, I know that I have to find a new set of habits to latch on to so I don't drift back into bad habits.
The U is on a big Wellness campaign, and has provided some serious incentives this year: if you accumulate 300 points by carrying out a set of wellness activities from their offerings, you can get $300 of your health care plan costs next year.
Comparing my responses to the annual Wellness survey, from over the past few years, I see I have done better at managing the symptoms of my depression AND my back pain. But I have gained weight and become more sedentary, and I don't like having a menopot. I'm also having a recurrence of the frozen shoulder on the left side, so I need to do some active pain management: this was an incentive to sign up for the phone health coach, and I know that exercise (the right kind) will be key.
My two downfalls, ever since I started taking anti-depressants, have been nervous impulse eating, especially right before bed, and portion control. I also eat too fast. So, remember what I know: don't skip breakfast; protein with every meal; no refined carbs or empty sugar (no pastries or alcohol); five small meals a day works better for me than three big ones. In fact, I know that if I plan my food buying, prepare food on Sunday, pack my Mr. Bento, and record my eating for a month or two, I'll be back on track. I also know that returning to my former level of physical activity is possible, but I'll have to take is slowly to not go into a fibro flare.
The "MyFitnessPal" app gives me a way to record what I'm eating and get fairly quick calorie/nutritional information because it draws on a huge database of both commercial products and home-made recipes entered by users. I set a weight goal, get a calorie threshold that will allow me to lose weight slowly and steadily, and then record what I eat and my exercise; it shows me the calorie readouts combining calories eaten and calories burned, and makes predictions as to what I will weigh if keep up with a given day's pattern. So far, it has not been hard to use, either on my phone or on my laptop, and it was free. I want to see how well I can do with this for the Spring semester.
It also warned me on the first day that I was eating too few calories, which might prompt my body to go into "starvation"mode and defeat the slow weight loss purpose. I want to become more fit, not lose weight fast. So I could have had that second piece of 12-grain toast with peanut butter for breakfast, and still kept to my calorie goal.
Paying attention to health eating goes very well with saving money (don't eat out or sit around in coffee shops), so I get to pat myself on the back.