By Jinga Mom
Hands up if this sounds familiar? I’ll start my diet on Monday. I’ll go walking... on Monday. I’ll try out that exercise class... on Monday. Guess what guys, today is... Monday!
Did you just ‘uff’at me?! Groan, sigh, mutter an expletive? Yes I did hear you. You’re not alone. Chances are, if you made a New Year’s Resolution, it’s already a distant memory by now. I remember a friend suggesting I download a pedometer on January 1st and work towards 10,000 steps a day.
I confidently told her there was no need, as I was always ‘on the go’ - in my car. She pulled up the health app on my iphone (that was there all this time?) and looked at my stats from the day before... 627 steps...ooh... It turns out 10,000 steps is about 5 miles, which is not far off the Women’s Mini Marathon and the last time I took part in that I was in training, for like...weeks!
I nodded solemnly, said I’d try my best and swiftly changed the conversation. Been there, took on too much, felt the overwhelm and when I (inevitably) failed, felt like crap. This may not resonate, which in that case you X out of this article right now and hop off to the gym, Bunny, but if you’re still reading, I may have hit a nerve. Before you reach for your implement of choice for a spot of self-flagellation, let’s take a look at this realistically. Did you really think you were going to find an extra couple of hours on top of kids/work/fill-in-the-blank, when you didn’t even find 10 minutes to shave your legs this week? Now please put down the whip and let’s start over. Here are a small change you can make right now to get you back on the wagon and on the road to greatness.
Start by tracking everything you put in your mouth. Write it down, make a list on your phone, use a fitness app, whatever’s handiest. That’s it. No dieting...yet. Eat, drink, do what you like, but take note of it. When we go to the effort of writing down everything we consume, we interrupt the mindless eating patterns we’ve developed.
So the next time you sit down to watch Operation Transformation with a sleeve of biscuits (just me?) ... write down every single one you eat. Between mouthfuls, thoughts like ‘do I really need a fourth?’, find the space to pop into your head. Instead of looking down at an empty wrapper by the ad break, you might decide to close the packet, hide them under a cushion or shock horror... put them away.
Do this for the remainder of January. No more to-mor-row, to-mor-row’s Annie! If you forget, jump right back on the wagon and write it down as soon as your remember. At the end of the month look back on the information you have gathered. Where are your danger zones? For most, it’s the evenings when the kids are gone to bed or you finally have an hour to yourself after a mental day.
What’s happening here? A few nibbles... one or two glasses of wine... the bottle’s opened I may as well finish it... the munchies kick in... you get the picture. Now you have the data, you can fiddle with it, tweak it and change it. In February you may try no wine on school nights and see how that goes. For March something else. I guarantee if you keep up this one habit, it will inspire you to do more and who knows what you’ll be ready to take on come Spring.