January. The month of change, new beginnings, diets, carrots, water, promises, gym memberships, being a better person, more carrots, renewed hope … this is what everyone’s New Year looks like, right? I mean, I assume that we all make the same resolutions every year. I snack my way through December, bake cookies every other day, and the whole time I’m making internal promises about the number of lunges I will do and miles on the treadmill. January comes and I hit the gym, replace everything in the refrigerator with healthy food, and hide the holiday cookbooks for another year. Then something happens. It snows … well, flurries. Then Valentine’s Day comes. Hmmm, a family birthday, oh and then Easter… Yeah, you get the idea. This was the cycle that I got caught up in for years and one of two things would happen. One, nothing at all happened. Two, my weight would yo-yo so much that I had to keep three sizes of clothing in my dresser and closet. This, my friends can be rather disheartening so I did the only thing I could think to do … I stopped making resolutions.
Yes, you read that right, about three years ago I gave up making resolutions and started making life decisions that I could live with and so far, knock on wood, I’ve been happier and more successful in achieving my goals. In fact, broadening the “resolutions,” I changed the way that I looked at things and have been happier since. In other words, instead of trying to climb mountains, I baby step my way through life and that seems to make goals a lot more attainable, which means I’m successful more often, and therefore, I am able to celebrate more instead of feeling like a failure. Does that make sense at all? Let me give you a few examples.
The Gym. I have to be honest in saying I have never enjoyed the gym. I don’t enjoy shopping for workout clothes, driving to the gym, sweating through a class or session on the treadmill, I definitely don’t like showering at the gym, and I’m not a huge fan of putting my sweaty butt back in my car. Then there is that pesky gym membership fee. The membership that I would pay for, barely use, and then berate myself for wasting; yeah, good times! I do however like to walk. Sometimes I powerwalk, sometimes I walk our pups, and other times I stroll holding my husband’s hand while our little one rides her bike. It’s not the most intense workout in the world but it is something and I was never the type of person that was intense when it comes to exercise. The point is I am moving. My body is in motion, I am doing more than I normally would, and I am enjoying myself while doing it instead of dreading the effort. Besides, my doctor says we can add it to the “win” column so I’m good to go. WIN!
Soda. Some call it soda, others pop, and some even Coke. Where I live, everyone calls it pop but I am hip to saying soda so we will go with that. I am addicted to soda! There, I said it … like, it tastes amazing and I love it and it has always been my “thing” of choice when it comes to addictions. The problem however, is that it’s bad for me. Like, really bad. You know it, I know it, my doctor reminds me all the time, my jeans complain, yeah … it’s a process. I’ve tried giving it up. In fact, I went an extended of time and then I made the mistake of “cheating” or I think I said something like, “I’ve been doing really good, one won’t hurt…” and that was all she wrote. Boom, renewed addiction and I was hitting the grocery store on the way home for a few twelve packs and literally thought about hiding them from my husband so he wouldn’t take them to work and give them away. That’s pretty sad, isn’t it? Is it bad to drink five cans of soda a day? Hmm… don’t answer that.
I kept telling myself that it was okay, I was comfortable with my body, my clothes were fitting well, and I was eating rather healthy so adding soda back in to my diet wouldn’t be a big deal. Yeah, my jeans disagreed. I had to break into those “other sizes” in my closet and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out why. I was eating healthy, still walking, hmmm… and my husband started noticing my consumption when I was finishing one drink and popping open another can. Not good.
So, I decided to take control! I limit the days that I am allowed to have soda. On those days, I have to up my water intake to compete with the additional sodium that I am introducing to my body. I have a set amount that I allow myself to drink and I don’t go over that amount. Yeah, for a while I almost had to have my husband lock the soda up and give me drink tickets. Pathetic! I know … shhh… don’t judge, we all have our thing. I am fairly controlled now, I am back to my regular jean size, I drink soda on my designated days and in moderation, and I actually feel better. Seriously, this stuff can have some nasty side effects. Anyway, the point is, I created a plan or goal that I could live with, one that I found reasonable, executed it, and I am still able to enjoy something I love, I don’t feel like I am punishing myself, and I feel like I’ve accomplished my goal. WIN!
Food. Oh boy. Okay, so I like food, like, a lot. I’m pretty sure that is human nature; especially since we need it to survive. The problem is I don’t always make the best choices when it comes to what I am introducing into my body. Cold pizza for breakfast, chocolate for dinner … sure, that was workable when I was in college and walking campus all day long but now that I am more sedentary, not so much. The problem is, I’m not a fan of diets and the reason is that I have yet to find one that actually works for me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve managed to lose weight on every diet I have ever tried but as soon as I start adjusting that diet, I tend to gain back all the weight I have lost and then some. Besides, anytime I am on a diet I feel as though I am cheating myself, I’m starving myself, and in all honesty, sometimes I have been. For me, diets don’t work because they I see them as a short term fix to a long term situation. For me, it is better and easier to make choices when it comes to what I eat. I eat lower fat proteins, leafy greens, get my servings of fruits in, drink water, and hit the carbs on my plate last. Then, if I want ice cream for dessert, I have it! No, not every night but on occasion because then I don’t feel like I’m cheating myself. Or, if I want to bake cookies during the holidays or cupcakes for my daughter’s birthday, I can without feeling guilty or like I owe the diet gods an apology. One of the first changes that I made was subbing in turkey in place of hamburger or pork as often as possible. It’s great for burgers, spaghetti, casseroles, pizza, and breakfast. I’ve also found a product that allows me to cut time, Johnsonville® Fully Cooked Breakfast Sausage TURKEY! This is a protein-packed and easy-to-prepare fully cooked sausage that is able to go from the microwave to our plate in 30 seconds. There are 8g of protein per serving (2 links), no fillers, no MSG, and has 70% less fat than cooked pork sausage. We are getting much needed protein, taking in less fat, it’s convenient, and we aren’t losing out on quality since Johnsonville is a trusted name in our home. It’s also easy to pop in the microwave and ready to go in seconds, even on days when we are running behind on leaving for school.
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I’ll be picking up a few packages next time we head to Walmart and restock our refrigerator for the New Year. Johnsonville Fully Cooked Breakfast Sausage is available at Walmart stores nationwide. For additional listings, use Johnsonville’s “Where to Buy” link on Johnsonville.com at the bottom of the website.
Last but certainly not least …. Me. The bottom line is I changed how I looked at things. No, it isn’t something that happened overnight but it is something that I am practicing. I’m learning to say no more often. I’m learning to accept the person that is inside my skin. Every day I try to remind myself that I am human and I’m not perfect. I will make good choices and bad choices; the hope is that the good outweighs the bad. Sometimes I will turn down the piece of chocolate cake and other times I will lick the plate clean. I will see something different every day when I look in the mirror and that is okay, we are constantly in motion. There is so much more but I am just working on me. This year, I plan to continue working on me, how I see the world, and taking each day … a day at a time.
It’s time for a new year and in turn, a new me. Live. Laugh. Love.
Here is wishing you an amazing 2016 full of choices! What changes would you like to make?
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written in conjunction with Johnsonville® and a campaign with Sverve. Regardless, all opinions expressed are still 100% my own.