Last month, you met Kathleen, who is embarking on a one-year mission to overhaul her health. When last we checked in with her, she was 12 workouts in and earning gold stars left and right. Today, she updates us on her progress and challenges in healthy eating: “When starting an I’m-going-to-change-my-life kind of journey, you get all kinds of advice from people. And let me tell you… it’s not all good (e.g., “I only ate cabbage for a month and lost weight!”). There are two common themes that are helping to frame my mindset…
The first is that diet is 80 percent of the work, and the second is that I will fall off the wagon, so I need to have a strategy for getting back on. I did not get to this size because I didn’t exercise. It’s the result of a combination of things including poor, or completely disregarded, diet. I long for Chick-fil-a sandwiches and fries and milkshakes, but when I’m eating right, it becomes more about routine and being full, and somehow, I want those things less.
It is a hard thing to look forward and know that at some point I will “fail,” so I’m trying to redefine failure ahead of time and have calculated exceptions. That means that I choose times when it makes sense to let loose a little and then have a plan to get back on the wagon. For example, I went to Mardi Gras. We did the whole thing: stayed in the French Quarter, went to a ball (see picture of me in the purple dress), watched parades, and yes, enjoyed a few adult beverages. Could I not drink during that time period? No. But I concentrated on my eating and moderated my drinking.
On a normal day in January, I ate a lot of bacon. I realize that it is basically fat, but let’s be honest, it is also basically delicious and the best thing on earth. Despite its celebrity status in my life, I am cutting back because I want to focus on lean meats and vegetables. Despite my January love affair with bacon, I lost 10 pounds, eight of which were fat.
Each month is going to be about tweaking and building new routines. I’ve already found a local Whole Foods that I can hit up before my drive back to Atlanta, so I have great options to keep me full. Here’s what I want my food days to look like this month:
16 oz Almond Milk
1 whole Grapefruit
Lemon Luna Bar
Homemade Paleo Chili with Guacamole
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Apples and Almond Butter
Ground Turkey, Spinach, and Apples (trust me… this is a good one)
Homemade Sweet Potato Fries
Lots and lots of water all day, and Kombucha in the evenings for a little kick — oh, and the probiotics.
WellATL columnist Kathleen Lorey won one year of fitness classes from FitWit (disclosure: WellATL’s publisher is president of FitWit) and will be documenting her 365-day journey to better health. If her column inspires you, motivates you, helps you see that you aren’t alone in whatever struggles you face, or just makes you want to cheer her on, it has done its job and we hope you’ll let her know or share your own experiences in the comments.