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New Year's resolutions..DON'T.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

OK, this one really makes me sad. If you have spent the last few months thinking...I am going to start over in the new year, you will be sorely disappointed. An arbitrary start point does not make the job easier, it does not firm your resolve, and if anything, it makes you more tense, more apt to not complete this journey, and to set yourself up for failure.

Going on a "diet" on January 1, 2016, is the wrong approach.

Start today, or if you must, tomorrow, tracking your food, fitness and water, NO MATTER WHAT. Put it all in the tracker, and see what you have done to your calorie budget.

Water. Drink some water. Try for eight glasses because it it a good goal, and see if you can drink at least four. I use a sports bottle, because it actually holds four glasses of water. If I have two of those, I am done for the day. I keep one cold and I have at least eight glasses of water every single day.

Exercise. I have a Garmin tracker (I lost two Fitbits, because the bands are awful and will not stay on). The Garmin has a heart monitor, a exercise tracker, and a sleep tracker and can be worn swimming and was less than $50. It also has a great feature for those of us who have a little trouble and hurt sometimes. There is a line at the top to remind you to get up every hour and move around. It has helped me more than anything else as a little reminder that I can't stiffen up, and I am religious now about watching that line. Garmin also links up to Spark.

Any exercise is good exercise. Don't pick something you don't like to do, because you won't stay with it. I have learned to LOVE yoga, and do it every single day. I also lift weights and love to go swimming. I will always do these things because I LIKE to do them. If you don't have an exercise routine, just start walking if you can.

Food. I have learned a few things on this journey, the first is that you have to think ahead about food. Have things in your house that you know are good for you, and dump any junk food, any useless calories (there is no bread in my house, no snacks other than dried cherries and very dark chocolate squares), and make each snack, each meal count. Adding vegetables to your day is a great plan, one that gives you fiber, makes you full and is extraordinarily good for you. I eat at least three fruits every day, usually more, because I often make a smoothie. I have a muffin every morning (Jane's awesome bran muffins, in Sparkrecipes), usually have a burrito (Jane's awesome burritos!!, in Sparkrecipes) for lunch, and my extraordinary salad for dinner.

These meals are excellent, and if I didn't have them, I would miss them!! I'm going to my Parent's house today in Laguna Beach, CA, and they actually called me last night to fret about what I would eat. I told them not to plan, not to worry and I would eat what I could. They are awesome, and I can't wait to get there.

Don't make resolutions that just make you mad at yourself. Make a personal resolution...don't tell anyone but the person you love most, YOU, and just get started. Track food, fitness and water. Start any day you want, but don't wait for New Years. Those kinds of resolutions are arbitrary, are not done from a position of personal power, and most of them are doomed to failure.

Love yourself, track, move on if you screw up, and don't stop. Don't make any more excuses, or pick any more days to get started. Today is the best day, and if not today, start tomorrow.

This is NOT A DIET. If you want to be successful as a Sparker, you have to change the way you look at food, and you have to love yourself enough to want to change. If I can do it, and I did, you can do it.

I have been overweight all my life, and at almost age 60, I am in the best shape, mentally and physically that I have ever been in.

I wish the same for all of you.

Have a magnificent, healthy holiday season.

Spark on.
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