January: Mid-Month Check In

Earlier this week, we passed the halfway mark for January. This means that I’m a little over halfway through my health and wellness goals for the month. I figured it would be a good time to check in on how I’m doing.

This month, I pledged to:

Eat Clean: So far, this has been the easiest goal to stick to. I love to cook, and so even though I’ve removed a few items (temporarily) from my diet, it’s felt like a creative exercise rather than a challenge. It has required a bit more planning and organization to make sure that we have healthy snacks in the house, but realistically, Dave and I already wrote grocery lists together each week. This has helped to minimize our impulse buying in the snack aisle.

One of the ways my dietary goals have differed from a true Whole30 or Paleo diet is that I’m doing my best not to obsess over the little things. For instance, there is added sugar in Ev. Ry. Thing. Everything. It’s unavoidable. I wanted to buy a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, but every single brand on the shelf had added sugar. Rather than driving myself crazy and going to eight different grocery stores to find the one magical can, I’ve opted to pick the USDA certified organic one (which also had the fewest ingredients on the label) and be satisfied that I was choosing one that was grown with lessened impact to the environment. I’m still paying attention to what I’m putting in my body, but I’m not letting it drive me batty.

Exercise 30 Minutes, 6 Days a Week: I haven’t been perfect in this goal, but I’ve managed to stay on track. In the first week, I worked out all six days in a row, but managed to injure my shoulder. In the interest of letting myself heal, I took off two days instead of one. Later that week, something came up at work, causing me to stay at the office until nearly midnight. (At which point, sleep was more crucial to me than exercise.) But still, 10/12 ain’t bad!

I’d be lying if I said that weight loss wasn’t one of the reasons I was choosing to focus on health this month. However, I think I may have started the month with some unreasonable expectations for myself. Last year, I lost 14 pounds in 28 days following this exact same regimen. Naturally, I though my experience this time around would be identical. So far, I’m down roughly 5 pounds (which is on par-with what doctors recommend for a healthy rate of weight loss) but it feels like that 14 pounds is really far away. And my overall goal of 30 pounds feels even further! (Which, for the record is my goal weight– not what I expect to lose in one month! That’s just bananas.) I’ve been trying to remind myself that slow and steady wins the race, and that there’s lots of benefits to committing to healthy habits, regardless of a number on the scale.

Drink 80 oz of Water a Day: This has been another easy one for me. (And on most days, I’ve actually exceeded my goal.) I typically drink about 40 oz of water during my workout, and then the other 40 oz throughout the day. I’ve found that having a cup with a straw (reusable, of course!!) has been the easiest way to encourage myself to drink more water. At work, I have a 20 oz plastic tumbler with a lid and straw that I sip from throughout the day. Getting up to refill it is a great excuse to stand up and stretch my legs throughout the day. Since it’s been cold, I’ve also been drinking a lot of herbal tea, but I haven’t counted that volume in my overall totals.

Go to Bed by 10:30 Each Night: As predicted, this has been totally elusive. I think I’ve managed to be in bed by 10:30… three? times so far? I have been better about switching off the TV or other mindless distractions earlier in the evening, but I still find myself puttering around the house, putting things away, getting things ready for tomorrow, or just not feeling “ready” to sleep. It often feels like by the time I get home from work, exercise (because I’ve been too sleepy to wake up early and exercise in the morning), and eat dinner it’s already 10:30 with no time to relax. I’m working on it, but I just don’t know if I have it in me.

Meditate 10 Minutes a Day: Meditation has been a welcome (re-)addition to my life. It’s often the part of my day I look forward to most. I’ve primarily been using the Headspace app and I can’t recommend it highly enough. If you’re experienced at meditation (which I am not), you may find the speaker’s guidance distracting, but I tend to find it helpful for catching myself when my brain is wandering.