How I’m Going to Meet my Health Goals

Just setting goals is not sufficient for me – they’re too abstract.  I also have to put behind them a task list that gives me “something to do” that will let me reach those goals.  Here, I’m going to talk about my health goals in more detail and what I’m going to do to reach them.  I’m focusing on creating “habits” rather than just doing something once and forgetting about it.  Ultimately, I want to be healthier, hopefully fix my back issues (resulting from pregnancy, not weight, so not sure I can do this) and eat better to be a better role model for Daughter Person.

Goals

  • Lose 15 lbs, with a stretch goal of 20 lbs
  • Exercise at least 3 times per week for at least 20 minutes each time
  • Eat at least 3 servings of fruits or vegetables per day – potato based foods do not count as a veggie

Losing Weight

Since I know that BMI is a poor indicator of my health, I’m focusing more on body fat percentage and how I feel than my exact weight.  I’m just hoping that the weight will follow.  My current body fat percentage is 42.2%, and pre-pregnancy, it was pretty consistently about 36%, and that was still a bit too high for me.  I’d like to shoot for 30%, which is at the higher end of the “healthy” range.  I don’t know what that will look like weight wise for me, but I’m hoping it means I can fit into smaller jeans 🙂

Losing weight is about 80% what you eat rather than what exercise you do.  You can lose weight without doing any exercise at all (been there, done that), but there are consequences, such as lost muscle tone and reduced metabolism.  And losing muscle mass is not ideal for me since I want to have a higher lean/fat ratio.  So, I’m doing a combination of reducing calories and exercising (see next goal).

I’ve joined My Fitness Pal, and I’m focusing on logging my food daily.  I’ve even set up a gympact for it – I have to record at least 3 meals per day before midnight for 5 days per week, or I lose $5/day.  MFP has me at 1200 calories per day,  which is low.  I’ve tried raising it to what would be “normal” for my weight, but I just gained weight over the last 4 weeks.  I know 1200 calories will make me lose weight.  BUT, I have to eat back any exercise calories I “earn”.  I have a fitbit, which accounts for my non-exercising calorie burn – I usually get 2-300 extra calories per day from that.

Exercising More

I started this at the end of last year.  I’m waking up early every other day to exercise in my living room.  I started with 20-30 minutes videos, but I’ve found I prefer the 1hour long videos.  Because I’m waking up before Daughter Person (and thus guessing at when she’s going to wake up), I’m shooting for at least 20 minutes for each workout.  I know I’m waking up early enough to fit that in, and possibly a whole hour.  I’ve been doing random DVDs I happen to have around, most are circuit training, so they’re working both cardio and muscles.  Any calories I burn here will go into MFP and I get to “eat them back”.  A heart rate monitor is on its way to me so I can get a pretty accurate measurement of the number of calories burned.

Eating Better

I’m a horrible eater.  I rarely eat fruit, and green things are generally “yucky” tasting to me.  I avoid all bitter foods, which means spinach, kale, and pretty much anything leafy green.  I do eat butter lettuce (green or red leaf) as long as it’s got some dressing on it.  My mom was not a great cook growing up, and I’ve since learned many things I thought I didn’t like, I didn’t like because of the way my mom prepared them.  Dad has introduced me to several vegetables that I will now eat – squash being the biggest one.  Daughter Person eats more things than I do – she *loves* fruit, I can’t stand the fibrous strands in almost all fruit.  I do eat apples – as long as they’re Honeycrisp, Pink Ladies or a similarly hard crisp apple. No wonder I thought I didn’t like apples when you compare the more common red delicious apples with the pink ladies!  Luckily, Pink Lady apples are a “storage” apple, and can hang around and stay fresh for a *long* time – like 4-5 months long in the fridge.  My goal is to increase how many fruits and vegetables I eat.  I’m likely to stick with the ones I know I like, but Dad has agreed to help me cook things in different ways to see if something else is enjoyable (I’ve heard roasted broccoli is good for people who don’t like bitter tastes).

My plan is to have a salad with dinner – which is one serving of vegetables (probably 2 given how much lettuce I put in mine), and have one serving of vegetables with dinner.  Then either a vegetable or fruit for lunch.  That gets me 3 servings per day.  And I hope to slowly increase that number throughout the year, but 3 is a starting point.

Have you mapped out how you plan to meet your goals for the year?

2 thoughts on “How I’m Going to Meet my Health Goals

  1. Refinerr

    Excellent goals! I’ve been meaning to do a post on my fitness side too. You’ve already got some of the tips I’ve used successfully in the past. I started to get into shape about 7 years ago with a BMI around 33%. I’m down to 29% but looking to get to 25% which has been a real struggle since it’s harder to lose fat as you have less of it. Your body wants to store it as fat is your evolutionary emergency kit but I’m up for a challenge! I’ll have to get that post up to share anything else you may not have tried yet. Good luck!

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