2/19/2008

New Year’s Resolutions: Week 8

By Laura Moncur @ 10:39 am — Filed under:

This is the last week I’ll be giving you some direction for how to actually KEEP your New Year’s Resolution to lose weight or get more active. If you’re short on time, scroll down to the end and read “The Short Version” to get your weekly tips.


If you have been following the plan from the beginning and have been able to keep up, then I only have two more jobs for you. If you haven’t you can start fresh here: New Year’s Resolutions: Week 1.

Get Support and Accountability

This will be the difference between success and failure. You need accountability at the scale and support when things are hard. Join Weight Watchers, Overeaters Anonymous, or some other support group if you have to. Find a friend who will hold your feet to the fire. Whatever it takes to make sure that you have support and accountability.

If you have been faithfully following along since Week 1, you just need to keep on keeping on.

Cut Your Intake By 100 Calories A Day

Your goal is to get to The USDA’s MyPyramid recommended daily calorie intake. If you complete their little questionaire, it will give you an idea of how many calories you should be eating every day. If you are still above that amount, then cut your intake by 100 calories a day.

If you are eating the right amount of calories every day, then keep it up. If you are eating LESS than the recommended amount, then increase your calories by adding healthy food. Never eat less than the USDA’s recommended daily calorie intake for your height and gender.

Save enough calories to eat two teaspoons of healthy oil each day

We talked last week about eating healthy oils. Increase your daily intake to two teaspoons. The USDA has a list of healthy oils that they recommend. My preferences are olive oil, flaxseed oil and sunflower oil. I don’t recommend just eating oil like medicine. Find a way to substitute healthy oils for other fats that you might use. How do I get my oils in? I cook with them and use them on salads. Sometimes I mix flaxseed oil with my cereal because I like the flavor of it.

Lean Proteins and Whole Grains

Manage your protein and “starches.” Choose lean meats with as little fat as possible. Choose whole grain breads and cereals over “white” bread. Choosing lean protein limits your fat intake and choosing whole grains increases your fiber intake. Both of these are supposed to be healthy. Once again, head over to the USDA’s MyPyramid to see the amounts recommended each day.

Plan One Non-Food Related Present Every Day

The longer you follow this program the more important it is to give yourself a non-food present every day. It will help you avoid the feeling of deprivation by finding non-food activities to nurture yourself. Since this is different for every person, think of some activities that you like to do. If you didn’t do this exercise, then go back to New Year’s Resolutions: Week 3 and work on finding out what these activities are for you.

Plan a non-food activity for yourself EVERY day and protect that time. It is your reward for eating healthy every day. You MUST reward yourself every day to stave off any feelings of deprivation that limiting your calories might cause.

Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day

One way to stay within your calorie range is to eat vegetables on a regular basis. You should be adding four to five 1/2 cup servings of fruits or veggies to your diet every day now. They are low in calories, provide essential vitamins and fiber and they keep you feeling full.

Save enough calories to eat two servings of dairy products each day

You need to make sure that you have enough calories saved up for two servings of dairy products every day. This is another healthy food to add to your diet. One cup of fat-free milk is approximately 110 calories. It’s probably your best option for adding calcium to your diet, so make sure you get two servings a day.

Increase Your Exercise

You should be walking 2.0 miles five days a week. Now is the time to increase your speed. Here are some tips to get you started:

I want you to exercise at the same time every day. Consistency is key. Now is the time to work on your speed, but getting your workout in every day is the most important thing you can do.

If you are keeping track of your mileage, you can join us at Runner+ to track your miles and compete against other beginners.

Give Yourself Kudos

If you are still working toward your New Year’s Resolution, then you need to give yourself kudos. There are little boxes on the forms every day to give yourself a shiny sticker. Each day that you stay on the program, you need to acknowledge yourself and how good you are doing.

This is the final week of the series. It is imperative that you get support to help you through this journey, because from here on in, it’s just continuing the good habits you have been developing over the last two months.


The Short Version:

  • Get support and accountability: Join WW, Overeaters Anonymous, or some other support group. Find a friend who will hold your feet to the fire.

  • If you aren’t at your recommended daily caloric average, reduce it by another 100 calories. Write down EVERYTHING you eat including measurements and calories.

  • Choose lean protein and whole grains.

  • Save enough calories to eat two teaspoons of healthy oil each day.

  • Avoid the feeling of deprivation by finding non-food activities to nurture yourself EVERY day.

  • Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

  • Save enough calories to eat two servings of dairy products each day.

  • Increase your speed. Walk/run 2.0 miles five days this week. Remember consistency is more important than speed, but you need to make sure you’re pushing yourself.

  • Give yourself kudos for coming this far.

2/12/2008

New Year’s Resolutions: Week 7

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Every week, I’ll be giving you some direction for how to actually KEEP your New Year’s Resolution to lose weight or get more active. If you’re short on time, scroll down to the end and read “The Short Version” to get your weekly tips.


If you’re like a lot of people, you have given up on your New Year’s Resolutions, but are desperately trying to find SOMETHING that works. Somehow, you’ve found Starling Fitness. If this describes you, go back to New Year’s Resolutions: Week 1 and start from there.

If you have been faithfully following along since Week 1, this week is very much like last week.

Cut Your Intake By 100 Calories A Day

Your goal is to get to The USDA’s MyPyramid recommended daily calorie intake. If you complete their little questionaire, it will give you an idea of how many calories you should be eating every day. If you are still above that amount, then cut your intake by 100 calories a day.

If you are eating the right amount of calories every day, then keep it up. If you are eating LESS than the recommended amount, then increase your calories by adding healthy food. Never eat less than the USDA’s recommended daily calorie intake for your height and gender.

Save enough calories to eat two teaspoons of healthy oil each day

We talked last week about eating healthy oils. Increase your daily intake to two teaspoons. The USDA has a list of healthy oils that they recommend. My preferences are olive oil, flaxseed oil and sunflower oil. I don’t recommend just eating oil like medicine. Find a way to substitute healthy oils for other fats that you might use. How do I get my oils in? I cook with them and use them on salads. Sometimes I mix flaxseed oil with my cereal because I like the flavor of it.

Lean Proteins and Whole Grains

This week, manage your protein and “starches.” Choose lean meats with as little fat as possible. Choose whole grain breads and cereals over “white” bread. Choosing lean protein limits your fat intake and choosing whole grains increases your fiber intake. Both of these are supposed to be healthy. Once again, head over to the USDA’s MyPyramid to see the amounts recommended each day.

Plan One Non-Food Related Present Every Day

The longer you follow this program the more important it is to give yourself a non-food present every day. It will help you avoid the feeling of deprivation by finding non-food activities to nurture yourself. Since this is different for every person, think of some activities that you like to do. If you didn’t do this exercise, then go back to New Year’s Resolutions: Week 3 and work on finding out what these activities are for you.

Plan a non-food activity for yourself EVERY day and protect that time. It is your reward for eating healthy every day. You MUST reward yourself every day to stave off any feelings of deprivation that limiting your calories might cause.

Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day

One way to stay within your calorie range is to eat vegetables on a regular basis. You should be adding four to five 1/2 cup servings of fruits or veggies to your diet every day now. They are low in calories, provide essential vitamins and fiber and they keep you feeling full.

Save enough calories to eat two servings of dairy products each day

You need to make sure that you have enough calories saved up for two servings of dairy products every day. This is another healthy food to add to your diet. One cup of fat-free milk is approximately 110 calories. It’s probably your best option for adding calcium to your diet, so make sure you get two servings a day.

Increase Your Exercise

This week, I want you to increase your walking mileage to 2.0 miles five days a week. I want you to do it at the same time every day. If you want, you can increase your speed to really get yourself sweating, but if you end up sore the next day, you MUST slow down. It’s more important to exercise every day than to push yourself. Consistency is key. You need to learn the habit of exercising every day and that is WAY more important than going fast or covering a lot of miles.

If you are keeping track of your mileage, you can join us at Runner+ to track your miles and compete against other beginners.

Give Yourself Kudos

If you are still working toward your New Year’s Resolution, then you need to give yourself kudos. There are little boxes on the forms every day to give yourself a shiny sticker. Each day that you stay on the program, you need to acknowledge yourself and how good you are doing.

See you next week!


The Short Version:

  • Reduce your daily caloric average by another 100 calories. Write down EVERYTHING you eat including measurements and calories.

  • Choose lean protein and whole grains.

  • Save enough calories to eat two teaspoons of healthy oil each day.

  • Avoid the feeling of deprivation by finding non-food activities to nurture yourself EVERY day.

  • Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

  • Save enough calories to eat two servings of dairy products each day.

  • Increase your mileage. Walk 2.0 miles five days this week. You are allowed to increase your speed to the point of sweating, but if you are sore the next day you MUST go slow again.

  • Give yourself kudos for coming this far.

2/5/2008

New Year’s Resolutions: Week 6

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Every week, I’ll be giving you some direction for how to actually KEEP your New Year’s Resolution to lose weight or get more active. If you’re short on time, scroll down to the end and read “The Short Version” to get your weekly tips.


If you’re like a lot of people, you have given up on your New Year’s Resolutions, but are desperately trying to find SOMETHING that works. Somehow, you’ve found Starling Fitness. If this describes you, go back to New Year’s Resolutions: Week 1 and start from there.

If you have been faithfully following along since Week 1, this week is very much like last week.

Cut Your Intake By 100 Calories A Day

Your goal is to get to The USDA’s MyPyramid recommended daily calorie intake. If you complete their little questionaire, it will give you an idea of how many calories you should be eating every day. If you are still above that amount, then cut your intake by 100 calories a day.

If you are eating the right amount of calories every day, then keep it up. If you are eating LESS than the recommended amount, then increase your calories by adding healthy food. Never eat less than the USDA’s recommended daily calorie intake for your height and gender.

Save enough calories to eat two teaspoons of healthy oil each day

We talked last week about eating healthy oils. Increase your daily intake to two teaspoons. The USDA has a list of healthy oils that they recommend. My preferences are olive oil, flaxseed oil and sunflower oil. I don’t recommend just eating oil like medicine. Find a way to substitute healthy oils for other fats that you might use. How do I get my oils in? I cook with them and use them on salads. Sometimes I mix flaxseed oil with my cereal because I like the flavor of it.

Lean Proteins and Whole Grains

This week, manage your protein and “starches.” Choose lean meats with as little fat as possible. Choose whole grain breads and cereals over “white” bread. Choosing lean protein limits your fat intake and choosing whole grains increases your fiber intake. Both of these are supposed to be healthy. Once again, head over to the USDA’s MyPyramid to see the amounts recommended each day.

Plan One Non-Food Related Present Every Day

The longer you follow this program the more important it is to give yourself a non-food present every day. It will help you avoid the feeling of deprivation by finding non-food activities to nurture yourself. Since this is different for every person, think of some activities that you like to do. If you didn’t do this exercise, then go back to New Year’s Resolutions: Week 3 and work on finding out what these activities are for you.

Plan a non-food activity for yourself EVERY day and protect that time. It is your reward for eating healthy every day. You MUST reward yourself every day to stave off any feelings of deprivation that limiting your calories might cause.

Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day

One way to stay within your calorie range is to eat vegetables on a regular basis. You should be adding four to five 1/2 cup servings of fruits or veggies to your diet every day now. They are low in calories, provide essential vitamins and fiber and they keep you feeling full.

Save enough calories to eat two servings of dairy products each day

You need to make sure that you have enough calories saved up for two servings of dairy products every day. This is another healthy food to add to your diet. One cup of fat-free milk is approximately 110 calories. It’s probably your best option for adding calcium to your diet, so make sure you get two servings a day.

Increase Your Exercise

This week, I want you to increase your walking mileage to 1.75 miles five days a week. I want you to do it at the same time every day. If you want, you can increase your speed to really get yourself sweating, but if you end up sore the next day, you MUST slow down. It’s more important to exercise every day than to push yourself. Consistency is key. You need to learn the habit of exercising every day and that is WAY more important than going fast or covering a lot of miles.

If you are keeping track of your mileage, you can join us at Runner+ to track your miles and compete against other beginners.

Give Yourself Kudos

If you are still working toward your New Year’s Resolution, then you need to give yourself kudos. There are little boxes on the forms every day to give yourself a shiny sticker. Each day that you stay on the program, you need to acknowledge yourself and how good you are doing.

See you next week!


The Short Version:

  • Reduce your daily caloric average by another 100 calories. Write down EVERYTHING you eat including measurements and calories.

  • Choose lean protein and whole grains.

  • Save enough calories to eat two teaspoons of healthy oil each day.

  • Avoid the feeling of deprivation by finding non-food activities to nurture yourself EVERY day.

  • Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

  • Save enough calories to eat two servings of dairy products each day.

  • Increase your mileage. Walk 1.75 miles five days this week. You are allowed to increase your speed to the point of sweating, but if you are sore the next day you MUST go slow again.

  • Give yourself kudos for coming this far.

1/29/2008

New Year’s Resolutions: Week 5

By Laura Moncur @ 8:30 am — Filed under:

Self Portrait Tuesday 01-29-08 from FlickrEvery week, I’ll be giving you some direction for how to actually KEEP your New Year’s Resolution to lose weight or get more active. If you’re short on time, scroll down to the end and read “The Short Version” to get your weekly tips.


If you’re like a lot of people, you have given up on your New Year’s Resolutions, but are desperately trying to find SOMETHING that works. Somehow, you’ve found Starling Fitness. If this describes you, go back to New Year’s Resolutions: Week 1 and start from there.

If you have been faithfully following along since Week 1, this week is very much like last week.

Cut Your Intake By 100 Calories A Day

Your goal is to get to The USDA’s MyPyramid recommended daily calorie intake. If you complete their little questionaire, it will give you an idea of how many calories you should be eating every day. If you are still above that amount, then cut your intake by 100 calories a day.

If you are eating the right amount of calories every day, then keep it up. If you are eating LESS than the recommended amount, then increase your calories by adding healthy food. Never eat less than the USDA’s recommended daily calorie intake for your height and gender.

Save enough calories to eat one teaspoon of healthy oil each day

If you are eating lean protein and high fiber whole grains, then you are going to need some fat in your system. The USDA recommends a lot of oil. For me, it recommended 5 teaspoons. Don’t jump into their recommendations all at once. Shoot for one teaspoon of healthy oil a day. That will be about 50 calories, so plan for that amount every day. Here is the USDA’s list of healthy oils:

  • canola oil
  • corn oil
  • cottonseed oil
  • olive oil
  • safflower oil
  • soybean oil
  • sunflower oil

Include one teaspoon in your diet every day, either by cooking with it or using it on salads.

Plan One Non-Food Related Present Every Day

The longer you follow this program the more important it is to give yourself a non-food present every day. It will help you avoid the feeling of deprivation by finding non-food activities to nurture yourself. Since this is different for every person, think of some activities that you like to do. If you didn’t do this exercise, then go back to New Year’s Resolutions: Week 3 and work on finding out what these activities are for you.

Plan a non-food activity for yourself EVERY day and protect that time. It is your reward for eating healthy every day. You MUST reward yourself every day to stave off any feelings of deprivation that limiting your calories might cause.

Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day

One way to stay within your calorie range is to eat vegetables on a regular basis. You should be adding four to five 1/2 cup servings of fruits or veggies to your diet every day now. They are low in calories, provide essential vitamins and fiber and they keep you feeling full.

Save enough calories to eat two servings of dairy products each day

You need to make sure that you have enough calories saved up for two servings of dairy products every day. This is another healthy food to add to your diet. One cup of fat-free milk is approximately 110 calories. It’s probably your best option for adding calcium to your diet, so make sure you get two servings a day.

Increase Your Exercise

This week, I want you to increase your walking mileage to 1.50 miles five days a week. I want you to do it at the same time every day. If you want, you can increase your speed to really get yourself sweating, but if you end up sore the next day, you MUST slow down. It’s more important to exercise every day than to push yourself. Consistency is key. You need to learn the habit of exercising every day and that is WAY more important than going fast or covering a lot of miles.

If you are keeping track of your mileage, you can join us at Runner+ to track your miles and compete against other beginners.

Give Yourself Kudos

If you are still working toward your New Year’s Resolution, then you need to give yourself kudos. There are little boxes on the forms every day to give yourself a shiny sticker. Each day that you stay on the program, you need to acknowledge yourself and how good you are doing.

See you next week!


The Short Version:

  • Reduce your daily caloric average by another 100 calories. Write down EVERYTHING you eat including measurements and calories.

  • Save enough calories to eat one teaspoon of healthy oil each day.

  • Avoid the feeling of deprivation by finding non-food activities to nurture yourself EVERY day.

  • Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

  • Save enough calories to eat two servings of dairy products each day.

  • Increase your mileage. Walk 1.50 miles five days this week. You are allowed to increase your speed to the point of sweating, but if you are sore the next day you MUST go slow again.

  • Give yourself kudos for coming this far.

1/22/2008

New Year’s Resolutions: Week 4

By Laura Moncur @ 4:55 pm — Filed under:

Self Portrait Tuesday 01-22-08 from FlickrEvery week, I’ll be giving you some direction for how to actually KEEP your New Year’s Resolution to lose weight or get more active. If you’re short on time, scroll down to the end and read “The Short Version” to get your weekly tips.


If you’re like a lot of people, you have given up on your New Year’s Resolutions, but are desperately trying to find SOMETHING that works. Somehow, you’ve found Starling Fitness. If this describes you, go back to New Year’s Resolutions: Week 1 and start from there.

If you have been faithfully following along since Week 1, then here are your assignments for this week:

Cut Your Intake By 100 Calories A Day

Last week, you calculated your daily caloric average and should have cut it by 100 calories a day. Were you able to do that? If no, stick with last week’s goal for cutting your calories. If you were able to keep your calories within last week’s range, then this week you are to cut your intake by an additional 100 calories.

Make sure you visit The USDA’s MyPyramid Site to calculate your recommended daily calorie intake. If you complete their little questionaire, it will give you an idea of how many calories you should be eating every day. You should never go below their number.

If you are eating the right amount of calories every day, then keep it up. If you are eating LESS than the recommended amount, then increase your calories by adding healthy food.

Plan One Non-Food Related Present Every Day

Last week, we talked about avoiding the feeling of deprivation by finding non-food activities to nurture yourself. Since this is different for every person, you were supposed to think of some activities that you like to do. If you didn’t do this exercise, then go back to New Year’s Resolutions: Week 3 and work on finding out what these activities are for you.

Plan a non-food activity for yourself EVERY day and protect that time. It is your reward for eating healthy every day. You MUST reward yourself every day to stave off any feelings of deprivation that limiting your calories might cause.

Eat four or five servings of fruits and vegetables every day

One way to stay within your calorie range is to eat vegetables on a regular basis. You should be adding four to five 1/2 cup servings of fruits or veggies to your diet every day now. They are low in calories, provide essential vitamins and fiber and they keep you feeling full.

Save enough calories to eat two servings of dairy products each day

You need to make sure that you have enough calories saved up for two servings of dairy products every day. This is another healthy food to add to your diet. One cup of fat-free milk is approximately 110 calories. It’s probably your best option for adding calcium to your diet, so make sure you get two servings a day.

Increase Your Exercise

This week, I want you to increase your walking mileage to 1.25 miles five days a week. I want you to do it at the same time every day. If you want, you can increase your speed to really get yourself sweating, but if you end up sore the next day, you MUST slow down. It’s more important to exercise every day than to push yourself. Consistency is key. You need to learn the habit of exercising every day and that is WAY more important than going fast or covering a lot of miles.

If you are keeping track of your mileage, you can join us at Runner+ to track your miles and compete against other beginners.

Give Yourself Kudos

If you are still working toward your New Year’s Resolution, then you need to give yourself kudos. There are little boxes on the forms every day to give yourself a shiny sticker. Each day that you stay on the program, you need to acknowledge yourself and how good you are doing.

See you next week!


The Short Version:

  • Reduce your daily caloric average by another 100 calories. Write down EVERYTHING you eat including measurements and calories.

  • Avoid the feeling of deprivation by finding non-food activities to nurture yourself EVERY day.

  • Eat four or five servings of vegetables every day.

  • Save enough calories to eat two servings of dairy products each day.

  • Increase your mileage. Walk 1.25 miles five days this week. You are allowed to increase your speed to the point of sweating, but if you are sore the next day you MUST go slow again.

  • Give yourself kudos for coming this far.

1/15/2008

New Year’s Resolutions: Week 3

By Laura Moncur @ 2:34 pm — Filed under:

Self Portrait Tuesday 01-15-08 from FlickrEvery week, I’ll be giving you some direction for how to actually KEEP your New Year’s Resolution to lose weight or get more active. If you’re short on time, scroll down to the end and read “The Short Version” to get your weekly tips.


Last week, you should have been writing down the measurements and calories for everything you ate. If you didn’t do that last week, go back to New Year’s Resolutions: Week 2 and try again this week. If you DID write down everything you ate and your calorie amounts, good job! Now you have the information to help you move on to Week 3!

Find Your Daily Caloric Average

Add all your calories for the whole week and divide by 7. This will give you a daily caloric average.

Now, visit The USDA’s MyPyramid Site. If you complete their little questionaire, it will give you an idea of how many calories you should be eating every day. Compare that number with your daily caloric average.

If you are eating the right amount of calories every day, then keep it up. If you are eating LESS than the recommended amount, then increase your calories by adding healthy food.

If you are eating MORE than the USDA recommended amount, then this is the week you start to work on losing weight. I don’t recommend going down to the USDA daily calorie recommendations unless you are within 100 calories a day. Instead, take your daily caloric average, minus 100 calories and stay within that range this week.

This might sound easy, but it can be very difficult. When you take away, even if it’s only by 100 calories, you start to feel deprivation.

Avoid Feeling Deprived

Avoid the feeling of deprivation by finding non-food activities to nurture yourself. This is different for every person, so I can’t really tell you what your magical activity will be, but here are a few ideas:

  • Give yourself 30 minutes to do whatever you want: Reserve that time and don’t let anything else get in your way. Read, play video games, crochet, whittle wood, whatever you want to do, give yourself at least a half hour to do it.

  • Take several nurture-breaks: Throughout your day at work, I’m sure there are times when you reach for food. I know I hit the vending machines or walked past the candy dish at those times of the day. Instead of eating, take 2-5 minutes to breathe deeply, call a friend or do some other activity to clear your mind and give yourself a break.

  • Watch TV Snack-Free: Every commercial seems to entice me to get up and check the fridge for some food. At commercial time, consciously do something else instead of eating. You can get up to go to the bathroom, get a drink of water, or even do a few exercises. Whatever you do, enjoy your television time without food.

I’m sure there are a million ways to nurture yourself without food. Please leave comments telling me your favorite way to reward yourself.

Eat three or four servings of fruits and vegetables every day

One way to stay within your calorie range is to eat vegetables on a regular basis. You should be adding three to four 1/2 cup servings of fruits or veggies to your diet every day now. They are low in calories, provide essential vitamins and fiber and they keep you feeling full.

Save enough calories to eat one serving of dairy products each day

You need to make sure that you have enough calories saved up for one serving of dairy products every day. This is another healthy food to add to your diet. One cup of fat-free milk is approximately 110 calories. It’s probably your best option for adding calcium to your diet, so make sure you get one serving a day.

Increase Your Exercise

This week, I want you to increase your walking mileage to 1.0 miles five days a week. I want you to do it at the same time every day. If you want, you can increase your speed to really get yourself sweating, but if you end up sore the next day, you MUST slow down. It’s more important to exercise every day than to push yourself. Consistency is key. You need to learn the habit of exercising every day and that is WAY more important than going fast or covering a lot of miles.

If you are keeping track of your mileage, you can join us at Runner+ to track your miles and compete against other beginners.

Give Yourself Kudos

If you are still working toward your New Year’s Resolution, then you need to give yourself kudos. There are little boxes on the forms every day to give yourself a shiny sticker. Each day that you stay on the program, you need to acknowledge yourself and how good you are doing.

See you next week!


The Short Version:

  • Reduce your daily caloric average by 100 calories. Write down EVERYTHING you eat including measurements and calories.

  • Avoid the feeling of deprivation by finding non-food activities to nurture yourself.

  • Eat three or four servings of vegetables every day.

  • Save enough calories to eat one serving of dairy products each day.

  • Increase your mileage. Walk 1.0 miles five days this week. You are allowed to increase your speed to the point of sweating, but if you are sore the next day you MUST go slow again.

  • Give yourself kudos for coming this far.

1/8/2008

New Year’s Resolutions: Week 2

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Self Portrait Monday 01-07-08 from FlickrEvery week, I’ll be giving you some direction for how to actually KEEP your New Year’s Resolution to lose weight or get more active. If you’re short on time, scroll down to the end and read “The Short Version” to get your weekly tips.


Last week I asked you, no begged you, to take it easy on yourself. I know you have a New Year’s Resolution to finish, but honestly you can’t finish it in a week. You had three options last week: Take it easy, overdo it or give up. Let’s figure out what to do this week based on your performance last week.

I Overdid It

If you jumped into your New Year’s Resolution to lose weight and get active, you might have overdid it. Your muscles are sore and you feel like you’re STARVING. If that’s the case, STOP IT! Seriously, right now, throw whatever plan you had to lose weight out the freakin’ window. I’m not asking you to give up on your resolution, I’m just asking you to stop abusing yourself and move on to the “I Gave Up” section.

I Gave Up

I can’t tell you how many January firsts started with a strict New Year’s Resolution plan that ended up with a Twinkie binge by January third. Okay, that’s a lie. It was one year. The other years, I binged on something else.

If you find yourself in the position of giving up, that’s completely fine. Seriously, you don’t have to kill yourself to get healthy. All you have to do is pick yourself back up, time after time. Instead of going back to your old ways, try my New Year’s Resolution plan. You’ll be one week behind, but that’s just fine. Start from here and move on:

Evelyn Underhill said,

“Every minute you are thinking of evil, you might have been thinking of good instead. Refuse to pander to a morbid interest in your own misdeeds. Pick yourself up, be sorry, shake yourself, and go on again.”

I’m not saying that eating poorly is evil, but if you use this idea for every time you eat poorly, you WILL succeed at weight loss.

I Took It Easy, Just Like You Said

The first thing I want to say is, “Good Job!” It is SO hard to take it easy, despite how it sounds. Here is your plan for Week 2:

Learn Serving Sizes and Calorie Counts

If you followed last week’s plan, you wrote down everything you ate. Excellent work. I want you to do that again this week, but this time, I want you to put the calorie counts next to all the food you ate. That means you need to measure and you need to start learning the calorie amounts for all of your favorite foods.

This is a week for education. You need to train yourself what a cup of rice looks like. You need to train yourself to know how many calories are in a Big Mac.

This is NOT a week of deprivation. You still need to eat just like you would eat before. All I’m asking you to do is to WRITE DOWN everything you eat and its caloric amount.

Eat Your Veggies and Fruits

This week, I’m going to recommend that you add two or three servings of vegetables to your diet every day. There are little check boxes on the forms for you to check off vegetable servings. You need to check off at least two servings a day. According to the USDA, you should have between 3 and 5 cups of vegetables a day. One cup is a mighty big bite to swallow, so I divide servings into half cups. Here’s a good list of veggies to try:

All I’m asking is that you make sure you eat 1 or 1 and 1/2 cups of vegetables or fruit every day.

Increase Your Exercise

I’m still telling you to go slow and easy. When I did this, the second week was actually HARDER than the first week, not because I increased my mileage, but because I wanted to increase it MORE. It was so frustrating, I complained about it on Twitter:

Here’s the run I was talking about:

And I was pushing myself too much that week. This week, I want you to increase your walking mileage to 0.75 miles five days a week. I want you to do it at the same time every day. If you want, you can increase your speed to really get yourself sweating, but if you end up sore the next day, you MUST slow down. It’s more important to exercise every day than to push yourself. Consistency is key. You need to learn the habit of exercising every day and that is WAY more important than going fast or covering a lot of miles.

Give Yourself Kudos

If you are still working toward your New Year’s Resolution, then you need to give yourself kudos. There are little boxes on the forms every day to give yourself a shiny sticker. Each day that you stay on the program, you need to acknowledge yourself and how good you are doing.

See you next week!


The Short Version:

  • DO NOT change your eating regime at all, but write down EVERYTHING you eat, including the measurements (i.e. 1 cup of rice) and calories.

  • You are allowed to ADD two or three servings of vegetables every day, but you are not allowed to restrict anything in your diet.

  • Increase your mileage. Walk 0.75 miles five days this week. You are allowed to increase your speed to the point of sweating, but if you are sore the next day you MUST go slow again.

  • Give yourself kudos for coming this far.

1/1/2008

New Year’s Resolutions: Week One

By Laura Moncur @ 9:04 am — Filed under:

Every week, I’ll be giving you some direction for how to actually KEEP your New Year’s Resolution to lose weight or get more active. If you’re short on time, scroll down to the end and read “The Short Version” to get your weekly tips.


Did you make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight? It’s a very popular resolution. I’m sure there are statistics to tell us how many people all over the U.S. decide to lose weight at the first of the year. The only problem is that for years, I made that resolution, but in the pit of my stomach I worried that it was going to be like last year.

No, this year is going to be different.

I would say that to myself every year as well.

It took me a long time, but I finally realized that those big New Year’s resolutions were actually part of my weight problem.

I would promise myself that I would lose weight this year. I would go on a strict diet. I would exercise until my muscles hurt. I would be diligent about everything and in the end, it would be too much. Something about restricting my diet that much and suddenly increasing my exercise would set off a survival instinct in my mind. I would become obsessed with whatever food the particular diet had restricted.

Then I would binge.

This year, if you have resolved to lose weight, please do me a favor. Don’t go on a restrictive diet. Seriously, just don’t do it. Don’t exercise yourself to exhaustion either. Really, do you think it’s going to work when it didn’t last year?

Let’s try something different.

Don’t change your eating habits just yet. Just write down EVERYTHING you eat. Don’t judge yourself when you do it. This week just write down everything you eat. If you want to do something good for yourself, ADD some veggies into your diet. Don’t take anything away from yourself, just add something healthy.

3-Hole Starling Fitness Yearly Journal from FlickrHere is a Microsoft Excel Form you can download and print up to write down your food:

If you aren’t spreadsheet saavy, you can order a Starling Fitness Journal here:

Exercise?

Yeah, I want you to exercise. I want you to think about what you would have done this week. Did you have a book that you were going to follow? Did you have a plan that you wanted to torture yourself with? That’s great!

Cut it in half.

Honestly, no matter what you were planning on doing, cut that plan in half. I want it to feel hilariously easy. I want you to feel frustrated because you’re going so slow or doing so little. Next week, you can do a little more, but this week keep your workout out short, slow and EASY.

If you want to know what I did to get started, I walked 0.5 miles on the treadmill five days a week. A half mile felt like NOTHING. It was very frustrating and after a couple of days, I wanted to increase my mileage, but I didn’t. My goal was consistency. I wanted to exercise every day at the same time. Learning that consistency was WAY more important than killing myself trying to rack up the miles.

You won’t lose any weight this week.

Sorry. No massive weight losses that make the commercials so appealing. You might even gain weight, but don’t let that stop you. Next week, we’ll be doing a little more and after a week as easy as this, you’ll actually be willing to do a little more.

As always, check with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise regime.


The Short Version:

  • DO NOT change your eating regime at all, but write down EVERYTHING you eat.

  • You are allowed to ADD a serving or two of vegetables every day, but you are not allowed to restrict anything in your diet.

  • Start exercise slowly. SLOW, SHORT and EASY. Whatever you were thinking of doing, cut it in half. Recommended exercise: Walk 0.5 miles five days this week.

  • Check with your doctor.

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