The long and winding road to fitness, day 72

Quinua (Quinoa) plants near Cachora, Apurímac,...

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Seventy two days!  Unfortunately, no weight loss this week…darn it!  But I have jumped back on the wagon of healthy eating this weekend.  I cooked quinoa corn cakes to take for my lunch for work.  I baked blueberry muffins and put most of them in the freezer, so I have a healthier snack available.  I avoided buying junk food this weekend.  I exercised consistently.  I ate more fruit and veggies.  So, a few steps in the right direction, I do believe.

One of the things I’ve realized about this journey is that it truly is about taking small positive steps.  It’s not about completely changing everything in my life right now, this instant.  It’s about making small changes, working those changes until they become habits, and then moving on to the next step.  There have been many times in my life when I’ve changed everything all at once…but I could only maintain those changes for a short period of time because I didn’t give myself time to develop good habits.  I was hanging on desperately, but inevitably my grip would slip and I’d find myself in a heap at the bottom of the mountain I’d struggled so hard to climb.   I would hang my head in shame, go back to my old lifestyle, and reverse all of the progress I’d made.  I gave up until the next time I tried to solve my problems utilizing the exact same methods that hadn’t worked the previous fifty times I’d tried to lose weight.  Talk about crazy!

Now I’m working at changing slowly, focusing on health and fitness more than weight, taking the time to change my lifestyle..not through sheer willpower but through changing my beliefs and my habits.  It may take me longer to lose the weight this way, but if I can keep it off, who cares how long it takes?

How to avoid buying junk food at the grocery store

Grains in bulk

Image by RahelSharon via Flickr

Okay, everyone knows you should always shop with a list…and stick to it…no impulse purchases.  Plan your meals and snacks for the week, then make sure you buy everything you need for them so you’re not tempted when you have to stop at the store to pick up that jar of cumin that you need.  

Never, ever shop when you’re hungry.  Same goes for when you’re exhausted.  Shopping when you’re either hungry or tired (or even worse, when you’re both)  will cause you to pick up whatever looks good, whether or not it’s good for you. 

Don’t cut out coupons for junk food.  If you have coupons, you’ll be more tempted to buy it because, well…because it’s such a great deal.  And who among us can resist a good deal?

Try a new fruit or veggie every week.  Or a new, healthy recipe.  The more healthy food you have on hand, the less likely you are to reach for the junk.

Buy whole foods…food your grandmother would recognize.  Chances are, if you can’t pronounce the ingredients in a product, it’s not something your grandmother would have eaten.  I do make exceptions to this rule.  My grandma never ate yogurt or soy or Mexican or Italian food…but I think she would have at least been familiar with the ingredients used in them.

Plan to do some cooking.  You know, real meals.  Not stand at the kitchen counter and eat meals, but the sit down at the table with silverware and napkins meals.

Shopping the perimeter of the store is always recommended by experts.  That’s pretty good advice.  Usually your produce, meat, and dairy are on the perimeter of the store.  But the freezer section is also a great place to find some healthy choices..just avert your eyes from the ice cream and pizza when you walk by…quickly walk by.

Do some of your shopping at health food stores where you can purchase a lot of your staples in bulk.  That can save you money and help you avoid temptation by allowing you to make fewer trips to traditional grocery stores.  And these staples are great to have on hand when you decide to create your healthy go-to meals.

And my number one most effective way to avoid buying junk food at the grocery store is to simply not go to the grocery store.  Yes, I’ve discovered that I often go to the grocery store just because it’s Saturday (or whatever day is grocery shopping day for you), not necessarily because I need anything.  I was planning to go to the grocery store today and looked at what I actually needed (nothing).  Then I questioned myself about why I needed to go to the store if I didn’t need anything and wouldn’t need anything for several days.  I realized I was thinking about buying pizza and ice cream, neither of which do I need from a health stand point.  So not going to the grocery store today kept me from buying any kind of junk food at all…and saved me some money on top of that.  Not bad, huh?

What are your tips for avoiding junk food purchases?

 

No Soda 30 Day Challenge, Day 3

Had the day off work today so it was relatively easy to not drink soda since I don’t have any in the house…I’ve found that’s really the way to have a healthy diet, simply don’t bring the junk into your house.  Unfortunately I didn’t take my own advice.  Yesterday I bought Halloween candy to take to work this weekend (yeah, right…to take to work…) and found myself eating quite a bit of it over the course of the day.  I’ve got to get back with not buying that stuff for any reason, like the people at work really need that candy…and they won’t get half of what I bought for them because I ate it.  So really, why do I play these games with myself?  I knew, when I was looking at it at the store, that I’d end up eating it…allowed myself to pretend I was buying it for someone else…sheesh…after all these years and I still manage to delude myself.

Tomorrow’s my weigh in day and I don’t think it’s going to be pretty.  I think I’m going to go back to weighing in every day.  That seems to work better for me.  When I only weigh in once a week, I kind of allow myself a pass for a couple of days, thinking I’ll get back with it on Monday…then Monday comes and something else happens, so I’ll get back with it Tuesday…I’ve got to get serious again, deal with stress in a healthier manner.  I’m thinking a new personal challenge may be in the works…the no junk food challenge…believe it or not, I actually made it more than 100 days with no junk food earlier this year…