Mid-Year Check Up for Healthy Habits
I work at maintaining my health year round but there are 2 times a year when I kind of have to hit the reset button on my healthy habits.
The first time is in January after all the holiday feasting and special treats. I love to enjoy the seasons yummy foods but I do have to turn off the sugar and other food cravings soon after to avoid too much holiday weight gain.
The second time is after the Fourth of July. I have always been aware of my indulging around the holidays and wanting to start the year out on a healthier foot but it wasn’t until recently that I have decided to add a 6 month refresher as well.
I was aware of the fact that early summer is another season when I tend to over eat and drink however, it never occurred to me to do anything about it or be proactive until now. Duh.
I’m so energized by the warmer weather coming out of winter that I begin attending parties, grilling out, and having more cocktails. By August I’m putting on weight, feeling bloated, and generally eating “free for all” style which is not great for my waistline. So I decided after the Fourth of July is another good time for healthy habit reset.
I love the idea of hitting the reset button in January and July about six months apart because I believe it will keep my weight steady with a less dramatic swing. If I check my healthy habits in July I won’t have as much to address going into and after the winter holidays.
Not only will I look and feel better in my body but maintaining my weight and active lifestyle is simply healthier for me in the long run.
So what does this look like? What is this reset button I keep referring to?
Depending on your personal diet, way of eating, or activity levels these resets are the time to get back on track. Wherever you are not following your protocols then that’s where you need to re adjust.
For me this looks like:
Cutting the sugar out and only having the occasional treat or dessert.
Restock dark chocolates to appease the sweet tooth instead of eating the cupcakes and ice cream.
For me sugar is quite addicting, I have to make a conscious effort to stop eating candy, chocolates, ice cream, and other treats especially if they are in my immediate vicinity. The more I eat it the more I want it.
~Calories – Over Eating
Counting calories for a week or two helps to reset my portion sizes. It reminds me how many calories are in certain types of foods and to pay attention to how much I am consuming in the average day.
Practice stopping when full and paying attention to those hunger signals. I sometimes find myself mindlessly eating when I’m not even hungry.
Get rid of the highly processed carbs like pasta, bread, and baked goods. For me this is saying bye-bye to… pasta salads, eating everything on a bun, and regular cupcake intake. I may still indulge this summer just not every day.
Highly processed carbs affect me like sugar does, the more I have the more I want.
I try cutting back on alcohol, especially high calorie fruit juice cocktails and sugary frozen drinks like Pina Coladas.
For me, with summer comes more drinking. I live on a lake and we have a great group of friends we socialize with on a regular basis. I have to remember I don’t have to drink just because others are.
Prepare non-alcohol refreshments to have on hand. I love hibiscus tea with honey or cucumber and mint sparkling refreshers. San Pellegrino, Perrier, and La Croix are also good go tos.
As I enter my mid-forties I notice that when I drink too much alcohol, I get severe depression the morning after. Sometimes it even starts the night before because I sleep terribly as well and lay in bed ruminating. I find depending how strong the drinks are, anywhere from 2-4 is my sweet spot. More than that and the negative after effects far out-weigh the benefits of imbibing.
For me this cutting back to 2-3 cups of coffee if that has crept up, which mine has.
I love coffee but again, as I enter my mid-forties I have more anxiety and hormonal sleep disruptions, so I find less caffeine is better for me. I try to stick to 2-3 cups per day but…as summer rolls on I find I creep into excess everywhere.
I sometimes find myself running from event to event. I’m going to make a point to carve out a weekend or two to relax and recharge.
I have been known to drink coffee all morning and switch over to a glass of wine with no water intake at all…of course this never serves me. So this reset includes making sure I’m hitting my eight glasses of water each day.
Here’s the opportunity to eat more. If I focus on getting lot’s of veggies at each meal it will crowd out some of the less healthy options.
Time to get back to my regular gym and walking schedule if that has fallen off, which it has. Life with Shanna has been very busy, coaching clients, family obligations, and just enjoying summer.
Get back to wake and sleep schedule. Summer nights are long and warm prompting me to stay up later, probably sipping on a cocktail…
Above I have covered habits for health when it comes to eating, drinking, and activity. Some other areas of your life that may need a mid-year check-up are:
Have you maintained your finances properly during this busy season? Are your bills paid and your savings on track? Are you following your budget?
Is your house staying tidy and organized? Do you need to spend a few hours getting caught up?
Is there anyone you have been neglecting?
Maybe you’ve neglected your career, spirituality, creativity, or fun?
This mid-year healthy habit check-up is exactly what I need right now in my life, I hope you too can find some tips that are useful to you in maintaining your own healthy habits.