One of my seven goals for 2019 was to follow a Paleo diet, but I’ve decided to scratch that goal and make it more specific and realistic.

In the last two years, I’ve gained a lot of weight.  In the past, I’ve had great success with the Paleo diet, but I’ll be honest, I don’t feel that I can stick to a Paleo diet for the rest of my life.  I like oatmeal, beans, rice, and the occasional gluten free product.  I don’t want to give them up forever.

Yes, I know that I could follow Paleo right now, and drop the weight in no time flat.  Oh, how I would love that, in part because being this weight is really, really uncomfortable.  But my weight has yo-yoed three times since Cuddle Bug was born eight years ago, and each time, I’ve gained and lost the same 75 to 95 pounds.  Being overweight isn’t healthy, but yo-yoing isn’t, either.

If I simply follow a Paleo diet to drop the pounds, I’m not getting to the root cause of what is making me lose and gain the same weight, over and over again.  For any plan to be successful, I need to understand why food is such a crutch for me and to replace that crutch with healthier habits.

So, this year, I want to implement a specific plan for living a healthier life, and I hope that weight loss will follow, though I know it likely won’t come off as fast as when I’m following the Paleo diet.

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Here’s the plan:

Eat at least six fruits and vegetables a day.

Not only is this a healthy goal, but by eating so much fruits and vegetables, they’ll be less space in my stomach for the junkier food.

Exercise for at least 30 minutes six days a week.

Long time readers of this blog know that exercise is NOT my thing, but I’m in my late 40s now, and I have to exercise to preserve my health.  I want to be a healthy, active 70 or 80 year old, Lord willing, not one that has trouble walking because I never took the time to exercise.

This 30 minutes a day can be comprised of any exercise or combo of exercises I feel like from weight lifting, to yoga, to walking, etc.  Because I’m so out of shape, I’m starting slowly, with just 5 minutes a day the first week, then 10 minutes, then 15, etc. until I get up to the full 30 minutes, which should take me 5 to 6 weeks.

Eat only food made at home.

Here’s the thing–when I cook at home, I want only wholesome ingredients–mostly organic and non-GMO.  I don’t even have white sugar in my house.  Instead, I use honey, maple syrup, and coconut sugar for sweeteners.  BUT, I have no problem buying a bag of gluten free cookies filled with white sugar and eating them all.  I only buy organic potatoes to cook at home, but I have no problem polishing off a bag of chips.  If I only eat foods I make at home, the food will be healthier and less fattening/unhealthy, hence this goal.

I’ll allow myself 3x a week when I can eat foods not made at home such as cookies, potato chips, or a meal out.

Practice meditation 4x a week.

A huge part of why I gain and lose so much weight is because I’m a stress/emotional eater.  I’ll never be able to stay at my goal weight if I don’t learn better ways to manage my emotions.  One way I intend to deal with the stress is to practice meditation.

Learn to eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full.

The first order of business is to finish reading Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat.  I’ll also write down when I’m eating, what’s happening at the time, and where my hunger level is.  I don’t think I’ll have to journal everything that goes in my mouth forever, but for now, I think it will be a good, eye-opening activity.

That’s the plan, for now.

Have you lost a significant amount of weight and kept it off?  If so, what strategies helped you?

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