For context: Intro to My Happiness Project
This month I am going to try to improve my diet, which very naturally flows off of the idea for last month’s resolution of health. I thought it might be a good idea to have it as my focus during November especially in order to prepare for the seasonal holiday on-slaught of candied hams, pies, and other heavy foods like mashed potatoes and gravy. Also, I have tons of family, in-laws, and divorcés, which means multiple dinners (like 3-4) for each holiday–Thanksgiving, Hanukah, and Christmas.
That being said, this resolution is an extremely personal one because I have struggled with my weight since before I can remember. One of my biggest fears for my daughter is that she’ll get my metabolism instead of her father’s. I have steadily gained weight throughout my life and all the while thought that I was fat (so of course I wish I could go back to my high school size 8 even though then I thought that was enormous). I got up to a size 10 by the end of high school and then a size 12 before my wedding. Then I got pregnant and it was honestly the only time in my life that I felt good about my body which was a wonderful and liberating experience. Now I’m a 14/16 and officially “plus-sized” according to the fashion industry. I try to have a “bigger fish to fry” attitude about my body image, but some days I feel so ugly and at times it’s even taken me out of a sexy headspace while I’m enjoying some adult time with my husband.
I don’t really have a specific goal in mind–largely because I don’t use a scale; I feel they’re detrimental to the female psyche given all of the pressure we’re put under–but I do know that I don’t want to feel like my clothes are compressing me all the time or like I’m this huge mama-pillow-monster anymore. SO.
The tasks I have set myself are:
Eat better and less often. By eating better (and subsequently more expensive) I automatically eat less often because I don’t want to spend a ton of money and by investing in good food I contribute to my overall health. Plus, more often than not, more wholesome food keeps me feeling full longer.
Eat local. A sure-fire way to get “good food” is to eat locally and my conscience will get a boost from supporting small businesses in my community too. Gainesville has a lot of really great restaurants on the square–2Dog, Sweet Magnolias, Innman’s Perk, Atlas, Luna’s, and Avocado’s are some of my favorites. The danger here is that I usually only go out to dine when I have a lunch date, but I want to curb that habit (because if I did that every time I ate I would never get anything done!).
Plan meals. I really want to experiment with “dump” dinners, that is preparing meals to toss into the crock pot all on the weekend and then putting them into freezer bags to be “dumped” in the morning before work. This is obviously the best option for me since I don’t get home until roughly 6 p.m. every night and I have a one year old who needs my attention until approx. 8:30. I am a little worried about cooking for some picky eaters, but I think I’ve got a good collection of non-offensive meals worked out. This is another reason November is perfect timing because most of the recipes are for soups/chowders/stews/etc.
Drink water. I’m already at a good starting point for this resolution because A) I half-kicked the caffeine habit anyway when I was pregnant, B) I’m feeling real sensitive about my teeth right now, and C) it’s an easy to refill beverage choice because I kind of hate interrupting my studies to go get a drink somewhere and the vending machines at school are a rip-off.
Buy healthy snacks. This one’s sort of a no-brainer and is another situation of investing in good food and spending that money so I don’t buy a bunch of junk food.
I’ll report on how keeping this month’s resolutions goes when I start the next round in December, so stay tuned!
UPDATE: Check out my status report on how Month Three went!