New Year’s Resolution: Healthier Me, Healthier Family

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.

Chicago Fire

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

Honest KidsBad 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.

HINT Water

HINT WaterThis 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

USANA Nutrition BarWe 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.


Trop50So 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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.

Christina Gleason (976 Posts)

That’s me: Christina Gleason. I’m a professional copywriter, editor, and blogger. My company is called Phenomenal Content. (Hire me!) I'm a multiply disabled autistic woman doing my best in this world built for abled people. I’m a geek for grammar, fantasy, and select types of gaming, including Twitch Sings and Plants vs Zombies 2. I hate vegetables. I have an intense phone phobia, so I’ll happily conduct business over email or IM instead.


  1. i love my fruits! pears, apples, pineapples, nectarines, oranges…
    littlegray88 at yahoo dot com

  2. I love the idea of using a customized hashtag to track your commitment and progress Christina! It helps keep you accountable and you can pat yourself on the back for a job well done, or when a goal is reached.
    Linda Carmical recently posted..Goodbye 2011! Hello 2012!My Profile

  3. Janice Cooper says

    My healthiest choice of drink is water. I’m trying to drink lots and lots of water a day.

  4. My favorite healthier choice food is grapes for snacks.

  5. Mary Happymommy says

    I’d like to drink flavored water instead of soda.

  6. Ashley Hatten says

    my favorite healthier choice drink is pomegranate juice I love it! thank you!!

  7. Amanda Sakovitz says

    I eat skinny cow candies instead of chocolate bars.

  8. My healthier choice food is light popcorn.

  9. Janice Cooper says

    I would like to see crafts or recipes

  10. Jennifer Marie says

    I love grapes for a snack-sweet and healthy both!

  11. courtney b says

    i like v8!

  12. Kathryn C. says

    I like to drink orange juice.

    katbirdfl (at) gmail (dot) com

  13. Kathryn C. says

    More articles about children and more giveaways pertaining to children.

    katbirdfl (at) gmail (dot) com

  14. Suburban prep says

    I drink water with a hint of lemon in it.

  15. My healthier food choice is hummus. Love to use it as a sandwich with lots of veggies, or as a dip with carrots for a great snack.
    Beth @ TheAngelForever recently posted..Making Today MatterMy Profile

  16. domestic diva says

    I like kombucha.

  17. I drink green tea with no sugar instead of soda

  18. Would be nice to see more giveaways!

  19. my favorite healthy drink is OJ because of the high vitamin C! Thanks for a super giveaway!

  20. fresh veggies

  21. You are already making healthy eating choices, and you already know the importance of exercise – I think the one thing you are missing is the connection between the two. Either one by itself doesn’t do much good – but the real secret is that while eating well won’t necessarily make you want to exercise, moderate exercise will, in fact, make you want to eat properly. Your body will eventually tell you what it wants you to eat. My suggestion would be to start slow with an existing exercise plan. Everyone that knows me knows what my preferred exercise is… I would suggest something like C25K ( It starts extremely light and easy (20 minutes, mostly walking) and, over the course of 9 weeks, gets you up to 30 minutes of running. Let me know what you think!

  22. Wanda McHenry says

    My favorite healthier foods are melons, grapefruit, berries, peaches and nectarines!

  23. strawberry kiwi smoothies

  24. My favorite are raisins and nuts
    karenmed409 at comcast dot net

  25. I drink lots of water

  26. I like silk milk or fruit smoothies

  27. would love to see more reviews and giveaways

  28. Laura Jacobson says

    I love the Smart one Broccoli and Rice meal in a bag. One of my favorites!

  29. Gina M Maddox says

    I am following nutrisystem, and I am loving all of their healthier meals and smaller portion sizes!

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    gina.m.maddox (AT) gmail (DOT) com

  30. Gina M Maddox says

    More giveaways would be great! 🙂

  31. I love skim milk more than I like whole or 2% 🙂

  32. I like whole grain pasta.

  33. My favorite healthier choice food is yogurt.

  34. I am a big fan of V8 Fusion.

  35. I love fruit in general. It makes a great snack and helps fill you up.
    TechyDad recently posted..Giveaway: A Fantasy-Filled Valentine’s DayMy Profile

  36. It’s hard, isn’t it? I can feel when I’m starting to head the wrong way and that I really need to pay attention to what I’m eating and how much… but it’s never that easy.

    I love eating fruit of any kind, but especially the ones that are lower in natural sugars, the apples of the world instead of grapes, for example.
    Michelle recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: The Pinewood DerbyMy Profile

  37. I really like V8 Light. It is actually quite filling. I need to try the Trop 50, because I love OJ, too.
    Stephanie P recently posted..It’s Buddy’s 11th Birthday!My Profile

  38. i work from home so i keep a glass of water in the bathroom.
    so, each time i am in there, i drink a full glass of water before i leave.
    it really helps me drink enough water throughout the day!
    dianapantz recently posted..: i totally want to make that : week 36 :My Profile


  1. […] this week, and I haven’t felt full for more than 30 minutes after a good meal since then. With weight loss as one of my goals for 2012, this is a big problem. And no – I can’t stop taking it. Effexor XR helps me too much. […]

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