Aarti Sequeira's Healthy New Year's Resolutions
This is possibly the biggest lesson I learned this season on Drop 5 Lbs with Good Housekeeping, and one that might be the toughest one to break because I, like so many people, do this without thinking. When recounting what you may have eaten the previous day, how many of you say, “well, then I was bad and had a cookie," or, “I’ve been really good the past couple days!” Good and bad are weighty words, and in some cases can be insidious. For example, I definitely have some food addiction issues and when I label myself as bad for having eaten or not eaten something, a tape starts playing in my head that goes something like this: “You stupid fat kid. Couldn’t control yourself for even a second, huh?” That leads to a rapid shame spiral, which makes me feel helpless and worthless, which leads to multiple trips to the freezer where the ice cream lays. I eat my feelings, then feel bad about myself for doing so, inevitably leading to yet another slump over to the freezer. It’s a viscous cycle. Our morality is not determined by what we eat; that is a lie and a distraction! Don’t waste your energy on that. Go do something “good” for someone else when you feel guilt over something you ate coming on, and stop using those words. I’m going to start saying things like, “I indulged” or “I have been very disciplined this week.” I’ve already started actually, and I’ve found that it’s caused me to a bit more mindful about the times I’ve jumped off course in the direction of the pastry shelf at the local coffee shop!
Fitness expert JJ Virgin taught me this mantra during one of our exercise segments. On those days that I can’t get to the gym to do a full 1-hour workout, all is not lost. Bang out a few sets of push-ups and crunches in 15 minutes, because even doing that is better than doing nothing at all. Not only will this help my achievement-based psyche, but it will also help my body!
I snack constantly. In fact, I realize now that I snack so much that I often find that I’m not hungry by lunchtime. When I’m cooking dinner, I snack on nuts or whatever I happen to be chopping and, again, I'm not hungry by dinner time. Samantha Cassetty (our nutrition expert) told me that each bite I take is about 25 calories. At first that didn’t bother me; I ate a few nuts and found myself reaching for another handful. That’s 50 calories, I told myself. Another couple and it’ll be 100 calories! Mindlessly ingested whilst making myself a “healthy” dinner! This year, I’d like to stick to two 100-calorie snacks per day (one of those can be dessert), and the closer those snacks resemble real food (i.e. nuts as opposed to potato chips), the better!