Most people I know have some sort of weight loss or fitness goal, if they make New Year’s resolutions at all. Well, I know me, and I’ve gone and done just that. Why? Because 4.5 years ago, I posted this about how I’d gotten down to 135 pounds after having TJ. I’ve put on slightly more than 20 pounds since then, and it’s really stressing me out. It’s not just a body image issue, it’s an I-can’t-afford-to-buy-a-whole-new-wardrobe issue. I’ve purchased two new pairs of size 10 jeans after having to retire a few too-tight pairs of size 8 jeans, but the rest of the size 8s are pretty uncomfortable, too.
So…I’m resolving to fit into my clothes again, and hopefully get healthier in the process. I even shared my resolution with Trop50’s True Resolutions on Facebook. (P.S. Trop50 is sponsoring this New Year’s Resolution post. Thanks to them for encouraging me to “go public” with my resolutions!)
“True Resolutions celebrates the real reasons behind New Year’s resolutions. Share your secret motivation behind your resolutions and you’ll earn a coupon for $1 off Trop50 for yourself and 50¢ off coupons for up to 50 of your friends. You can even submit incognito with a fierce disguise. Bonus: Whether you submit a resolution or not, you can also enter a sweepstakes to win a $1000 gift card.”
Getting healthier involves a lot of things for me. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for years. I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. When I’m depressed, sometimes food is the only thing I can derive pleasure from – aside from the temporary boon I get from hugs from my family – and I have no real willpower to speak of. I am a very picky eater – not because I’m finicky and want to be difficult, but because I have sensory issues and some foods just make me gag.
Losing Weight Slowly
Food and I have a love hate relationship. I love to eat, but I hate feeling my pants getting tighter because of it. So in order to lose the weight I need to lose, I have to make better choices about the food at eat…at least some of the time. I can’t forbid myself from eating chocolate donut holes (packages were on sale this week – buy one get two free) or french fries completely, especially when I’m depressed, but I can be more conscious about my food choices when I’m feeling up to it. For example, I’m sitting here having my weekly working lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings; instead of getting (fried) boneless wings and potato wedges with cheese, I’m going to go with the grilled chicken Buffalito (like a soft taco) with a salad.
The trouble is, I already make a lot of “healthier” choices. I drink diet soda instead of regular. (I know, it’s not good for me. But I can’t quit soda. I’ve tried. I enjoy it too much, and I don’t like coffee or tea.) I buy 2% milk cheddar and mozzarella instead of the full-fat versions. I buy white whole wheat pasta and breads whenever possible. But I also love pizza and burgers and stuff – and my worst food offenses are when I go out to eat. The healthier choices are too often more expensive than the tastier choices, and it’s hard to watch your wallet and your waistline at the same time.
But when I’m home, I’m trying to eat a bowl of cereal for lunch instead of something greasy or fried. It’s my own version of the Special K diet, but I don’t like Special K. I like Quaker Oatmeal Squares or Cinnamon Life. Or Cheerios.
I was sent a few “get healthier” products to try by a few agencies that I would like to mention here.
Honest Kids Juice Boxes
Bad blogger moment: The Honest Kids Juice Pouches were sent to me around Halloween time, and I forgot to post my review then. They aren’t so much for a healthier me, but for a healthier TJ. The good news is that he loved them. These organic, low-sugar (no high fructose corn syrup!) juice pouches cost about the same as the Fruitables juice boxes I normally buy. We tried Goodness Grapeness, Berry Berry Good Lemonade, Tropical Tango Punch, and Super Fruit Punch. Like I said, TJ loved them, but when I tried each type, there wasn’t enough flavor for me. Way too watered down for my liking.
This was intended for me to try. HINT Water is unsweetened water that is “lightly infused with natural flavors.” We were sent the Strawberry Kiwi and Mango Grapefruit flavors… I couldn’t drink either of them. TJ took a sip and declared they both tasted the same. My husband said it the best, ‘It tastes like plain water with a tiny bit of flavor.” As someone who hates the taste of water, this obviously wasn’t the right beverage for me. Tom said he’d drink it. If you like the taste of water, you’d probably like HINT Water. But apparently I need artificial sweeteners in my beverages in order to enjoy them.
USANA Nutrition Bars
We got to try the Oatmeal Raisin USANA Nutrition Bar. USANA makes nutrition products for athletes; they are touted as being heart-healthy and have a low glycemic index. Now, I’m not a huge raisin fan, but I will occasionally tolerate them in oatmeal raisin cookies. As such, this wasn’t that bad. With 10g of protein and 3g of fiber, these are a much better alternative to regular granola bars, and not as hard to chew as some of the fiber bars currently on the market. I think I would have been happier trying the Chocolate Fusion or Peanut Butter flavors, though.
So I haven’t bought myself any Trop50 to try yet, but I have had it when they were offering samples at Price Chopper. As someone who doesn’t like sacrificing taste for health, I have to say – it does taste like orange juice. Trop50 is a juice beverage that offers fruit juice goodness with 50 percent less sugar and calories, and no artificial sweeteners. I do find the commercials a bit obnoxious, but I like that the Trop50 doesn’t feel like I’m missing anything from regular orange juice; I haven’t had the same sort of luck trying light cranberry juices.
Exercise Any Way I Can Get It
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and what most people think of as exercise don’t really go together well. That whole “post-exertional malaise” thing means that trying to do, say, 20 minutes of an aerobics DVD could mean I’ll be spending the next two days exhausted and barely able to walk. I spent the first two weeks of December with the most intense back pain I’ve ever experienced in my life, which gradually worked its way down to my legs, ankles, and feet. My whole body ached, and my muscles felt tired all the time. My doctor thinks it was my body’s slightly delayed response to all of the walking I did when I went Black Friday shopping.
So I came up with the #50jumpingjacks plan. You may have seen me using that as a hashtag on Twitter. It’s my way of keeping track of my exercise I do in little bits throughout the day. I can handle 50 jumping jacks at a time; they get my heart rate up, I only feel slightly winded, and I can feel the blood flowing to my cold extremities. I’m not just limiting myself to jumping jacks…I’ll occasionally walk up and down the stairs a few times or fold some laundry, but I use the #50jumpingjacks hashtag to keep it searchable so I can see how much I’ve been doing. (If you like the concept, I invite you to try using your own hashtag to track your exercise. But I ask that you don’t use #50jumpingjacks, because then our exercise streams will get all muddled up together!)
I Googled to see how many calories I’m burning for some of the activities I’m able to do. Here’s what I found:
- Chair dancing to my favorite song on Spotify (light aerobics) – 32 calories per 5 minutes
- 50 jumping jacks – 9 calories (approx. 1 minute)
- Standing with light movement – 16 calories per 5 minutes
- Snow removal – 35 calories per 5 minutes
- Grocery shopping – 243 calories per hour (plus bonus credit for loading/unloading the car)
- Folding laundry – 36 calories per 15 minutes
- Cooking/baking – 17 calories per 15 minutes
- *censored* – 77 calories per 15 minutes
Trop50 $25 Visa Gift Card Giveaway So Trop50 was nice enough to offer a $25 Visa Gift Card giveaway for my post. Who couldn’t use an extra $25 to spend however they wish? I’m using Rafflecopter for the first time to run this giveaway, so please bear with me if there’s a hiccup or two!
Disclosure: I am receiving financial compensation from Trop50 to compensate me for my time in posting about my New Year’s resolutions, but all opinions stated are my own, honest opinions.