Hi there and happy new year! 2016 is a big year for me and Jeremy, and I’m so glad it’s finally here! Additionally, with the turning of the calendar and the arrival of the new year, it’s once again time for a health and wellness update from me. The last six months have been interesting, and I’m excited to catch you up on things.
First, the down and dirty numbers. Over the last six months, I’ve essentially netted out even on weight and inches lost. This means that while I’ve not slimmed down any further, I’ve also not gained. This is great news because I’ve not been trying to lose anymore weight or inches. I’ve been in maintenance mode for the last six months, and I’m quite happy where I am. As long as the scale reads around 150 pounds and my inches stay in the 35-29-36 (bust-waist-hips) range, I’m content. The goal has been to maintain, and I’m succeeding.
It’s also important to note that to ensure I was remaining on track after my last check in, I’ve been weighing and measuring myself monthly. While I’ve still been successfully keeping my food diary, I’ve foregone my strict carb limiting and alcohol consumption since July. In its place, I’ve moved toward a “listening to my body” way of consuming. Overall, this has been successful. I’m happy with the progress I’ve made, and I feel like I’m living moderately. That’s huge for me! I now know how I need to eat to stay the size I want to be. For so long, this seemed impossible, but after paying attention and being mindful of my consumption, I know what that looks like.
In this new year, I’ve also instituted a new policy for myself. Since I’m firmly in the moderator camp, I’m allowing myself one snack per day. This is something sweet and treat-like. It can be anything I want, but it can only be one thing. I’ve found that I can tend toward snacking, and once I have one snack, I’m tempted to allow that be a slippery slope to poor eating for the rest of the day. But since I’ve instituted this new change, I am less tempted by things. I get to plan for and savor what my one thing will be for that day. And after I have it, I’m satisfied. Once I’ve had my “one thing,” I must wait until the next day for something else. I’ve been doing this for about five days now, and so far, so good. I’m interested to see how this will affect my consumption patterns overall.
I’m also going to stop doing my food diary. I’ve kept it up for the last six months really only as an insurance policy. Since I was weighing and measuring myself monthly, I was poised to catch any gains on weight or inches pretty quickly. I kept the food diary so that if a gain had happened, I could go back and check my consumption and see what may have been to blame. Happily, though, I have not needed to do that. Having served its purpose, I’m going to put the food diary aside for now. It’s a tool that I can pick up and use again anytime I need it, and I find great comfort in that.
In regards to alcohol consumption, I’ve been keeping it pretty moderate. I try to limit drinking to weekends and special events on week nights, and I’m pretty successful with that overall. I took a week-long break from drinking in early November because it had been a while since I’d had one of my drinking sabbaticals. Before I’d instituted my strict one-drink-per-day policy in mid-2014, I’d do a week-long (or so) drinking sabbatical every quarter. Now that my limitations are removed, I’m going back to that habit. My next one will be in February, just after Mardi Gras (of course!). A periodic detoxing of booze reinforces to me that I can drink moderately and take breaks as needed.
As far as exercise goes, I kept the same basic workout in all of 2015 and will continue for the next six months. My gym exercise routine consists of 30 minutes three times a week of strength and resistance training for bone health and toning, and I also do two hours per week of walking for cardio and heart health. Additionally, since the hot summer weather broke in September, Jeremy and I have been walking a lot more. It’s nothing for us to walk six miles at a time. We’ve also taken to walking on weekday evenings and even back from his office at times (I’ll take the bus to meet him, and we walk the three miles home). This boost in walking has helped me greatly in the fitness department. I credit this for offsetting any over-indulgences that I’m prone to. When we start traveling full-time in June, we’ll be relying on our feet ever more so it’s good that we’re getting into the habit now.
So what’s next? I’m committed to and focusing on life long maintenance. I’ll continue weighing and measuring myself monthly (at least until June) to ensure that I’m remaining on the right track. As of now, the food diary is off the table, but I’ll hold on to the idea in case I need it. I’m continuing to focus my diet (what I eat) on lean animal proteins, fiber-filled vegetables, complex carbs, and healthy fats. I’ll also continue to keep processed carbs and sugar at a minimum each day. Alcohol consumption will be moderate as well. Nothing is off limits for me, per se, but moderation will be my key to success. Movement and exercise will also ensure that I’m maintaining my health and wellness.
Overall, I feel good, and I love the way my body looks. I’m comfortable in my own skin, and I feel sexy and beautiful. That’s a great feeling. Thanks so much for being here and continuing on this journey with me. I’m grateful for the support and well-wishes you’ve all provided me over the last year. If you’re new-ish (or new-er) here and are looking to catch up with my previous health and wellness posts, you can find them here: July 2014, October 2014, January 2015, April 2015, and July 2015.