More Do’s for 2013:
- Pack lunch. You will save money and eat better. Ready made salads you bought at the market — okay. Frozen meals that are loaded with sodium: avoid. Best: freshly made sandwich, pasta, soup, rice you made the evening before, etc. The less processed the better. Pack the night before, except sandwiches (the bread will become stale in the fridge). Pack all over refreezable ice or in a Thermos.
- Bring a container to work and leave it there. If the birthday cake is a winner, or the platter from the meeting is awesome, pack some to go for later when you can relax and enjoy it. Otherwise, LEAVE IT.
- Bring a container to your relatives house. Leave it in the car and when they force more servings on your or want you to take some home, chirp, “Oh, I just remembered I have a container in the car. I would love some to bring to work/home and enjoy all over again! Thanks!” It’s worked for my students over Thanksgivings and Christmases and it will work for you too.
- Take half home. Pack it up yourself in a reusable container you bring to the restaurant. Now you’re all ready for lunch tomorrow! (Have a cooler with ice or refreezable ice in the car so it doesn’t go bad. Your friends will more than likely wonder why they didn’t think of it as opposed to getting all judge-y.)
- Lift weights. Not crazy stuff, just 3-5 lbs if you’re a weakling like me. 10 reps is more than what you’re doing now, so do that. Look online for exercises. No pain, and your body can work up to more. Exercise builds muscle; the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic needs because it takes more energy to maintain muscle. The more muscle you have, the more likely you are to lose and/or maintain your weight, particularly if you are 40+ years old. Middle age lowers muscle mass (Nature = rat bastard), especially in women. Fight it with exercise.
- Exercise. Just walking your kids and your dog will help. Walk during your lunch hour. Start slow. When I joined a gym I could only handle the stationary bike for 5 minutes at a time without falling over. I did 5 minutes on, five minutes resting until I did 20 minutes, then I left. The person at the front always said something like, “That’s it?” to which I replied, “Yep. That okay with you?” and then they would stammer and I would leave. I went to the gym for 20 years before setting up the same deal at home. I do 30-45 minutes on the stationary bike 6-7 days a week, 15-30 minutes on the treadmill as well. It took time, but I’ve been at it forever! Do what you can do (time wise, health wise, and without pain or boring yourself to death) and don’t compare yourself. I also rediscovered the joys of riding a bike. Do something you like.
- Make a goal that is crazy long. One year out, not one MONTH. Give yourself time to develop new habits and be realistic.
- Eat breakfast. There are people telling you not to do this. These people don’t realize that you will have low blood sugar, be in a bad mood, be less productive, learn less and gain weight later by adding loads of calories later to make up for it, raising insulin levels, cholesterol and weight. This is not an ad to go to Denny’s for the Grand Slam. Wheat toast and no-fat yogurt. 3/4 cup of cereal with a cup of milk. That’s all ya need to get you going for a couple of hours; then there’s fruit a-waiting!
- Next up, the Don’t column…