Monday, December 30, 2013
Last January, I wrote out a full page of goals for 2013, which I haven't looked at for, oh...362 days? I just went back to read my list today. Some of them I succeeded at (going for two massages! yes!) Some of them were partly successful - I read seven books, not 12. And some were complete fails: I didn't run my longest run to date or redo our little bathroom. But I definitely made some positive changes in 2013 that I'm proud of, so rather than focusing on the misses, let's highlight the good things.
1. I started taking an omega-3 supplement every day. This is 100% because I started working for an omega-3 supplements company (which just happens to produce the best-tasting, highest-quality, and purest omega-3 products on the planet, no big deal)...but I'd had no idea about the importance of omega-3s. Our bodies need omega-3s to function optimally, and omega-3s can help with everything from cardiovascular health to brain function to workout recovery - they even make your skin and hair look healthier. However, western diets are typically really high in omega-6s, which are found in things like vegetable oils, and we're deficient in omega-3s. Your body doesn't produce omega-3s naturally so supplementation is necessary unless you want to eat a literal boat load of fish every day. ANYWAY, science lesson over, but I've started taking omega-3s every day and you should, too.
2. I flossed (almost) every day. Flossing is like taking off your makeup when you're drunk - just an annoying task at the end of a long day. I used to be really sporadic about flossing, gross, I know. I made a resolution to do it every day in 2013. I missed a handful of days but did it enough to consider this a success!
3. I ditched artificial sweeteners. Giving up foods containing aspartame or sucralose or whatever while I was pregnant and nursing was a big eye-opener for me - if I wouldn't eat it when Eli could consume it, why would it be good for me to eat any time? I used to drink a ton of Diet Coke, sweetened my coffee with Splenda, chose 35-calorie yogurt, the whole shebang. After avoiding sweeteners for a while, I accidentally picked up a yogurt with aspartame and it felt like a chemical shitstorm had exploded in my mouth. Not only did it taste weird but it left my mouth feeling dry and cottony and gross. I'd rather eat a few extra calories than a mishmash of God knows what.
4. I paid more attention to where our food comes from. We're far from being full-on locavores and we don't eat solely organic but we did try this year to eat more local, in-season produce and choosing organic for the things we eat most of or that are more likely to be contaminated (the Dirty Dozen is a great list to keep in mind if you aren't sure where to start). I also made more of an effort to make more food at home, like baking bread instead of buying it from the grocery store or attempting to make mac 'n' cheese from scratch rather than from the box. More time consuming? Absolutely. More costly? Not really - not to the point of being cost prohibitive, for sure.
5. I made weight training a regular thing. I feel a lot better not focusing solely on cardio anymore. Definitely not skinnier. But stronger and healthier. I like doing a Bodypump class during the week and a weightlifting workout on the weekend when I have more time to spend in the gym, in addition to running or doing other cardio 3-4 times a week.
On their own, these are pretty small changes to make but it feels nice to be creating some healthy habits instead of only falling into unhealthy ones (the past few weeks have been a sugar-and-carbs bonanza and I'm actually craving green things). How about you - did you make any healthy changes in 2013?