New Year, New Resolutions

I started this blog 1 year ago, as a way to keep track of my digestive issues, what I was eating, and my moods. I wanted to see if there was any connection between what I ate, and how I felt. I thought being on the brink of 2015 would be a good time to reflect on the blog. Below, my absolute goal for 2014:

I’m hopeful that by limiting starch and refined sugar, I’ll feel better, both physically and mentally. I am tired of feeling stressed and angry. Even if things in my life aren’t going well, I’d like to be able to take pride in the way I care for myself, and eating more healthfully will hopefully uplift my spirits and give me something to feel good about

NAILED IT. No seriously, I did! I feel so much better about myself. I changed my diet, and I changed my mood. The food didn’t necessarily change anything, it was the idea that I prioritized myself, put my health first, and stayed the course, no matter what life threw at me. I continued to try to eat well, exercise, and I saw my confidence soar. When I eat healthier, I feel happier. The FODMAP diet has reduced many dietary symptoms that I found upsetting or painful, which has improved my mood on a consistent basis. I feel much happier living without the daily issues of stomach pain and bloating. I may still get depressed or anxious, but I don’t let it derail my efforts to take care of ME!

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image courtesy of Happy New Year Whats App

I started thinking about resolutions, about how this all started as a resolution of sorts; attempting to keep weekly notes on my health. I had never done that before, and it thrills me that I was able to mostly keep that going. After doing this, I realize that resolutions should be just beyond what you’re already doing; go too far, and you’re likely to quit. Don’t push yourself enough, and nothing changes.

In therapy, I frequently help people make changes in their lives, and the clients who often have the most success are those who make realistic goals for where they are at in their life at that time. When you experience success, you’re more likely to stay motivated to maintain the change and build on it. Experience failure, and it becomes demotivating; why change if it won’t work? The idea is to set the bar slightly higher than your present, and keep reaching from there. I applied the ideas that I use with clients to myself. It worked for me to attempt to keep track of this blog weekly/consistently, as opposed to daily. I also resolved last year that I would read more, and instead of keeping it vague, I joined a virtual book club with my friends, where we read 1 book every 8 weeks, which was much more achievable than 1 book each month. Resolutions should also be specific. Vowing “I will exercise more” may not be enough to keep you motivated, where was resolving to “exercise 3 days each week” gives expectations.

What will my resolutions be for 2015? Take a peek….

1. Eat 3 servings of vegetables daily

I presently eat at least 1-2 servings of vegetables each day, depending on how much spinach goes in my morning smoothie. Beyond that, all bets are off. I could eat 5 servings each day, or just 1. As a person with IBS and who eats low FODMAP, it’s really important to gain fiber from other sources outside of grains. I slip on this a lot; most of my snacks consist of FODMAP-friendly fare but that doesn’t always mean it’s that healthy!

2. Use planner daily

Organizing is not a strong trait of mine. At work, I find organizing to be easy and necessary. When I get home, the last thing I want to do is organize, and yet it is necessary. I’m hoping that by using a planner, I can keep track of projects, deadlines, and my “to do” list, which is often just floating around in my head or jotted down on scraps of paper.

3. Cook meals 3x per week

Cooking is a passion of mine, and yet I’ve neglected it A LOT this year. When I started the FODMAP diet, I felt frustrated by all the limitations and my passion for cooking dwindled. Cooking is my stress reliever; it’s incredibly rewarding to create a delicious, soul-filling meal from my own kitchen. It’s also like a big chemistry experiment to me, which is fun!

I also plan to keep reading and keep up this blog. I’m going to continue to exercise using TONE IT UP, a plan that has different daily workouts, contests, and schedules to keep things interesting! I have been participating in their program since September and I love it.

I’d love to hear what some of your resolutions are! Wishing all of you an amazing and healthy 2015; I hope it’s your best year yet!

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