This year, it turns out I am a “resolutioner.” You know, that lovely term given to anyone that starts a new diet or workout plan in January regardless of whether it is actually for a resolution, or in my case, just the timing that it all happened. Is this the first diet I have ever started? No. Will it be my last? Probably not. However, I prefer the more modern words “lifestyle change” over “diet.” Seems more permanent, doesn’t it? In order to start my most recent lifestyle change, I decided to approach it differently in the hopes that it would actually stick this time. My first step was to find a plan that I could live with. Next, get my husband on board, and finally, execute said lifestyle change.
Picking out a lifestyle change turned out to be a cross between a bunch of different plans out there. The most important thing is knowing yourself and choosing a realistic plan. For me, I know that the Paleo or “caveman” and other similar protein-based diets are not for me because I joke that I am “half a step away” from being a vegetarian. I really do not like red meat or things that once lived in the ocean. To add to the trickiness, I do not like eggs (unless they are in cake or cookies!), cottage cheese, milk or yogurt. It’s OK, you can totally judge me right now. With a lot of research and help from a nutrition savvy friend, I was able to formulate a solid plan. Next up? Convincing my husband.
I am married to THAT guy. The one that eats whatever he wants and never gains weight. THAT guy that suggests popcorn covered in butter for the movie, or hey what about some ice cream while we watch TV? I knew I had to get him on board with my lifestyle change and make it OUR lifestyle change in order to be successful. I have the willpower of a 3-year-old if there are cookies involved, so I need my husband to not suggest we grab them at the grocery store. Fortunately, my husband is very agreeable. He was kind enough to compromise on us incorporating “Meatless Monday” into our menu planning a while ago. However, he gets nervous when I mention lifestyle change because the man likes his beef and seafood. The first question out of his mouth is always “It’s not only chicken right?” Followed by “I am not giving up steak or crab legs.” I can of course compromise to that! Even if it sometimes means we are making two meals to keep everyone appeased!
Plan in place, husband on board, time to execute! Before we started, I went through our refrigerator and pantry and made sure it was clear of “trigger” foods for me. This type A girl then made a meal plan for the first few weeks to keep me organized. The plan that I am working on now requires a lot of preplanning our meals with fresh, carefully measured out ingredients. In order to be successful, I got reusable containers to use JUST for our plan. That way I am motivated and not stuck on what I need to do or claiming that I don’t have the tools needed to be successful. My goal is to make this as “no brainer” as possible. This includes a LOT of time prepping in the kitchen at the start of the week to make sure we are successful. I know that this is an adjustment and it will take time.
Even with all the prep, there will be roadblocks and real life challenges that may derail you. I am no exception. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all just escape to an island for two weeks while we get our new diet down to a science and detox all of our previously bad habits? I know I am not the only one that this happens to, but have you noticed that the very week you start a new diet you get invited to calorie laden lunches, over indulgent dinners or the dreaded party full of delectable treats? I have found being upfront and honest for invitations is best. If it is a casual lunch with a friend, I suggest that we do a sack lunch picnic instead. If it is a can’t miss dinner, I load up on an “approved” meal or snack beforehand and stay strong by enlisting the help of dinner partners.
As I am still a newbie on this adventure, I know that I will fail (Totally admitting that I relentlessly attacked a piece of chocolate cake on day five! Four heavenly bites and the craving was satisfied.). I know it will take time to get our lifestyle change right and get to a place where it is just second nature with no preplanning and measuring required. Until then, this resolutioner is going to do her best and beat the odds!