It’s 2019, and with a new year comes the age-old New Year’s resolution to lose weight. It’s why you may have noticed that your gym is unusually packed and you can’t get a spot in that yoga class. Don’t worry, it will ease up by February!
I, too, have a repeat resolution this year to get back on track and “lose the baby weight” (my oldest is – ahem - 11). I’ve heard echoes from my friends and colleagues. Of course, none of us want to be those who drop off by February. I thought I’d share some of the things and techniques I’ve incorporated and am trying out to make this year’s “to-do” resolution a “to-done”! Hopefully some of these resonate with you. Even if you’re not trying to lose weight, they are good tips in general for wellness and longevity!
- The New York Times 30-day Well Challenge. I am on Day 5 but it’s not too late to start! If you sign up now, your daily challenges will start on Monday. They are short ideas that you can incorporate on a daily basis; things like finding new ideas for date night (or friend night), the 7-Minute Workout you can do practically anywhere, and mindfulness.
- Drink Water, and... Yes, this is obvious. No, none of us do it. Aim for 64 ounces a day. And, try one glass in the morning and one at night with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in it (Braggs organic unfiltered only). A colleague swears she lost 44 pounds by doing only this. I’m modifying (was about to call it cheating but I’m using only kind words on this wellness journey!) by adding cucumber, mint, and lemon to make it more palatable. Use a (reusable) straw! The vinegar and lemon can be hard on the teeth.
- Use an Activity Tracker. I got myself a Fitbit. I’m obsessed. It tracks my sleep, my exercise, my heart rate. I feel like I have a little accountability partner on my wrist. It inspires me to get my steps in if I haven’t hit the mark, and it reminds me to move every hour if I haven’t gotten up—an important key in wellness, as recent science has shown that extended periods of sitting can be as harmful as smoking. You can also work with what you already have in your smart phone. iPhones come with a Health app that will help you track activity, mindfulness, nutrition, and sleep. There are also dozens of apps you can download, including reminders to move.
- Log Your Habits. The Fitbit app connects with the MyFitnessPal app, where you can track your food and water intake. As a friend on the wellness path remarked to me, “if it goes in your mouth, it goes in the log.” Truly, logging your food intake is a real eye-opener. You may be surprised at how much and what you ingest, and when you’re mindful about what you’re eating, you’re liable to make healthier choices.
- EAT. Wait, what? I thought to lose weight I’m supposed to NOT eat!? This was my biggest scratching my head moment. For decades I haven’t eaten breakfast, am starving by lunch, and then stuff myself at dinner, all the while thinking “I didn’t do so bad” and then wondering why the number on the scale never budget or, worse yet, kept rising. In the words of Michae Pollak, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” I’m not going to plug any one particular program, but at their essence they all preach a similar concept: eat small meals throughout the day with unlimited vegetables. Reduce, if not entirely eliminate, processed foods and sugar. For some, eliminating dairy and gluten products works well. And, revelation of revelations, begin your day with breakfast. A piece of fruit, oatmeal, or even just a piece of cucumber wakes up your metabolism.
- Be Kind to Yourself. There’s no “cheating,” or “messing up.” It’s just day by day, improving small habits one by one, and over time you will feel better and see results.
It’s only day 5 for me since plunging into this journey. I have yet to make it through my first weekend, but I already feel more energetic, have better mental clarity and focus, and am just overall excited to make my body run better so I can do all the things I want to do!
But (you may be thinking) Alison, you’re a lawyer, not a nutritionist! What does this have to do with estate planning? Well, I’m glad you asked! With all that energy and added longevity from your commitment to wellness, you’ll have the mental focus to get your estate planning documents in order! We’ll have healthy snacks available when we meet :)