Every year as January approaches, we hear all of the mantras that people will base their resolutions on. While some of these can definitely be motivational and inspiring, I want to talk about one of the most popular ones: “New Year, New You!” Here’s the thing… A new year doesn’t make you a new you. And before you go calling me a party pooper, hear me out.
YOU and your CHOICES make you a new you.
It isn’t magic, it’s not a fad, you won’t suddenly wake up on January 1st with a new mindset unless you’ve put in the work. It’s is a commitment to the hard work needed to make lasting changes. YOU are worth the hard work. YOU are worth the planning and tracking. YOU are worth recognizing that you do have self control. YOU are worth making your health a priority this year. Be willing to make the commitment for the long haul and future you will thank you for it!
So how can you get started with your renewed commitment to yourself? Take a look at my three top tips for your wellness journey as you head into 2020!
Tip #1: Show Yourself Grace
If you’ve been in any of my Facebook groups, you probably hear me say this phrase on repeat because it has been absolutely fundamental in me losing almost 85lbs so far. As we head into the new decade, please remember to show yourself grace! We need to be mindful of the way we speak to ourselves (and about ourselves) and extend plenty of grace during the weight loss process. This is part of the reason I started Kinda Healthy Moms in November of 2018. I was three months into my own weight loss journey and had lost about 20lbs by that point. I was searching and searching for groups online that could help hold me accountable and keep me motivated. I joined one mom group that was focused on a certain diet and fitness direct sales company (that shall not be named) and one thing shocked me— all of the hidden “fat shaming”. I don’t think people knew what they were saying or the impact it could have, but phrases like “What you eat in private, you wear in public” and “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”… y’all, that’s shaming ourselves. If you are saying these things to yourself or other people, STOP. These phrases are not indicative of a healthy relationship with food or even the weight loss process itself. This is not how we should motivate ourselves (or others) and it certainly is now how we show ourselves grace.
What happens when we don’t show ourselves grace?
When we don’t show ourselves grace, we view “mistakes” as “failures” and we forget to stop and recognize all of the GOOD choices we have made. This may be motivating for you in the moment, but in the long run it is not creating lasting changes. You need to take a step back and look at the WHOLE picture. Are you generally moving in the right direction? Are you typically making healthy choices that make your body feel good? Are you allowing yourself to still enjoy the things you love in moderation? Or are you trying to be perfect and punishing yourself by restricting food or shaming yourself when you fall short?
Because let me tell you something… just as much as you shouldn’t REWARD yourself with food, you also shouldn’t PUNISH yourself with food. When you meet a milestone, you shouldn’t reward yourself with a dessert. And when you eat too much at a party, you shouldn’t starve yourself the next day. Show yourself grace.
If you go off track, how should you respond? Track it and move on. Resume normal programming. Your body will make up for it in time, probably faster than you think!
If you plan ahead for an indulgence, what should that look like? Stay the course leading up to the indulgence and be mindful that something coming down the pike will use up a lot of your points/calories. Drink tons of water and know going into it that you can get right back on track after your planned indulgence. Done and done! Enjoy and move on!
Tip #2: Meet Your Daily Water Intake Goal
If nothing else, meet your daily water intake goal. If you’re traveling for work and you’re not sure what food will be available, focus on your water. If you’re headed to a wedding, focus on your water. If you’re sick and have to resort to delivery for your meals, focus on your water. So, how much water should you be drinking? If you Google this, you will find all sorts of answers. Here’s what I live by: half of your body weight in ounces, a minimum of 64oz. I believe this is the amount your specific body needs to function in a way that is optimal for health and weight loss. So if you weigh 200lbs, your daily water intake goal should be 100oz. Yes, 100oz of clear, plain water with the exception of water infused with fruit (lemon and cucumber is a great option). You CAN do it.
How can you meet your daily water intake goal?
Break your goal down into two hour chunks throughout your day and focus on meeting each of those smaller goals, even if that means taking a few minutes every hour to chug a bunch of water. Bring your water bottle with you everywhere. If you’re at work and you have to walk to the copier, bring your water. If you have to drive somewhere, sip on your water the entire time. If you’re a stay at home mom and you’re going to the kitchen for the millionth time (I feel you, girl), walk around the house with your water. It will become second nature. (For more on this, you can read my post here about hydration!)
Tip #3: Applaud Every Success
This is a big one! It’s so important to applaud all of your successes along the way, no matter how small they are because progress breeds motivation. We need to pause and take a moment to acknowledge all of the good choices we have been making and let ourselves feel that progress. The internal motivation a practice like that brings will give you the drive you need to make the next right choice. Maybe you set out to lose 5lbs in a month and ended up losing 3lbs. Don’t you dare make yourself feel bad about that! Pause and take a moment to applaud your success. Maybe you only gained 3lbs after the holiday season. Girl, applaud yourself! It could have been 10lbs but clearly you made some good choices!
How should you respond to setbacks within your progress?
Analyze. It’s all part of the process. Setbacks can teach us a lot about where we are at in our weight loss journey and the areas in which we still need to grow. Did you go to a party and totally blow past your points? Let’s implement tip #1 (show yourself some grace), then implement tip #2 (grab a big ‘ol cup of water to chug while you analyze), and then try to think about WHY it happened. Did you plan for it? Well, then it’s not a setback, it was a planned indulgence. Move on and get right back on track. Did you go in with intentions to stay on track but something went haywire? Try to figure out why. Were you actually really hungry? Then maybe before your next party or event, drink a protein drink in the car on your way to help fill you up. Did you lose all self control after that third glass of wine? Girl, maybe only have one next time 🙂 What NOT to do: self loathing, feeling shame, punishing yourself. Just get back to the basics tomorrow and enjoy the reset!
(Because I can’t help myself) Set mini goals. Don’t look ahead to 2020 and obsess over how much weight you need to lose in TOTAL. Break your goal into months, weeks even. I know I would like to lose another 25lbs by Memorial Day. There are 21 weeks from now until Memorial Day so this is just over one pound lost per week. I know I can do that, it’s sustainable, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound (S.M.A.R.T. Goal- Read more here!). Setting mini goals not only makes my goal feel like it’s within reach (which motivates me), but it also gives me the opportunity to reevaluate whenever I need to. Did I have an off week and gain two pounds? Time to recalculate what I need to lose each week. It also gives me an opportunity to practice tip #3! 🙂
I could go on and on but I will leave you with these tips to ponder and hopefully implement. Email this post to yourself so you can refer back to it, print it out and hang it on your fridge, share it with a friend or on Facebook! I hope these tips help you feel equipped and ready to tackle 2020. Have a healthy and happy New Year!
If you’re looking for some extra accountability and motivation in the new year, please join us over in the January Jump-Start challenge group!
If you’re ready to get started using iTrackBites, don’t forget I’m a coach! I can help you navigate choosing a program and getting started. Don’t hesitate to contact me! Click here to download the app for free today!