I’ve never really been a big fan of resolutions. Of course, I’ve always told myself I was going to change this or that and then rarely took the steps to actually do it once January 1 hit. Looking back, it’s clear to me why this always happened. I simply wasn’t prepared.
I don’t mean “not prepared” as in I was making excuses as to why I couldn’t do something. I mean “not prepared” as in I didn’t equip myself with the proper knowledge, tools, and motivation to achieve my goals effectively.
As Dustin and I have been on a weight loss journey since last spring, I can honestly say this is the first New Year’s where I am positive my goals will be met. Last April the two of us joined SparkPeople with the hopes of losing some weight. We not only lost close to 30 pounds each, but we also began an eye-opening journey into the world of food.
We’ve always loved cooking together. In fact, we loved cooking so much that within two years of dating we both put on some major pounds, or as Dustin’s mom put so nicely: happy fat. You know, the kind of weight you put on because you’ve met that one person who loves you regardless of how you look. We were so happy and in love that we just got comfortable. We loved cooking steaks, Chinese food, and buttery dishes. We also spent lots of time (and money) eating out or on the go. After nearly two years of eating extremely poorly, we not only started noticing differences in our bodies, but also in the way we felt. We were losing motivation, were always lethargic, and simply didn’t have the zest for life that we each had before meeting one another. As much as we were happy together, we became miserable as individuals.
Everything changed the minute we found SparkPeople and a little book called Eat to Live by Joel Furhman. Initially we simply practiced portion control and working out. The weight did come off, which felt great, but after reading Eat to Live, eating smaller portions of any kind of food simply wasn’t going to cut it anymore. We were both disgusted and dismayed to learn about the various industrial food practices that take place, as well as the kinds of ingredients that get put into our main food supply. We couldn’t believe that no one ever taught us this in school.
I would be lying if I said that the changes we made were easy. It was difficult. We fought many times about whether we were “taking it too far” or if we even had the money to eat organic and natural food. We found ourselves constantly scanning ingredients on every package. Every time we thought we found something healthy, I would point out another ingredient that made it bad. Suddenly many of our “go-to” healthy choices were no longer healthy. It became an extremely stressful process and at times made us wish we could have remained in our state of ignorant bliss.
Eventually though, we began to appreciate the journey. We knew that to avoid the stress, all we had to do was stick to foods closest to their natural source. We began to buy groceries at Whole Foods and farmer’s markets in order to avoid all of the temptations in mainstream grocery chains. By choosing to only buy from sources that sell food in its purest form, it became not only an easier experience, but a more enjoyable one as well. Not to mention, we’ve actually learned to spend less money on groceries by changing to a more healthy diet. Fast food, restaurants, and junk food were for so long the main cause of financial burdens and we never even realized it.
In addition to reading more books on health, food, and fitness, we also began following blogs last summer. It was so inspiring to find an even wider community of people who were living the kind of lifestyle for which we were striving. Although we’ve personally only been blogging for about a month, we already feel the wonderful effects of being part of such an amazing group of people. It is the best feeling in the world when you find people who really understand exactly what you’re going through and can guide you on your journey.
We have been far from perfect in trying to change our unhealthy habits. We love going out to new restaurants, sometimes eat from non-organic sources, take comfort in junk food on occasions, and fell off the bandwagon when it comes to fitness. Despite our slip-ups, one constant has remained. We have kept the off the weight we lost last summer. In fact, we kept it off effortlessly. Because we changed our habits and didn’t actually “diet”, there has been no chance for us to gain the weight back.
We have no desire to EVER go back to the way we used to live. Changing our diet has poured over into so many other areas of our lives and for that reason alone, we know we are on a path that will only keep bringing us in a more positive direction. We still have a ways to go, but we are ready for each and every challenge that lies before us.
With that, we bring your our goals for the Ten in ’10 Challenge. We plan to go more in depth on certain goals in later posts in order to explain why we chose them. We will also post a separate entry on our overall goals for the whole year. So stay tuned for that!
TEN IN ’10 GOALS
- No meat for 10 weeks (eggs, dairy still allowed)
- Eat one BIG salad per day
- Drink one green smoothie per day
- Complete Couch to 5K Challenge (9 weeks)
- Run our first 5K race in week 10
- Do Yoga at home at least 3 days per week
- Walk/hike on one local trail per week
- Always carry water
- Get 7-8 hours of sleep
- Eat more whole, unprocessed food
- Lose 1-2 pounds per week
- Take part in Whittle My Middle challenge for 30 days
- Limit alcohol to special occasions (ie birthdays, holidays, family visits, etc)
This may seem like a hefty list, but overall, most of our goals are just small changes we need to make in our everyday life. We’ve already started many of them and love how great we’ve been feeling in just a few days. We view the Ten in ’10 as the foundation for long-lasting habits. Keep reading our blog for weekly updates on the progress we’re making.