Education Matters

On the road again
by sheenabarnett
 Keep Running
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A few ideas to throw around as we kick off 2012...

First off, what's the photo to the side, you ask? Well, it's just one example of how the tiniest things make me happy and get me motivated.

It's a long story as to why, but my job needs me to keep up with the number of times I go to the gym. I've tired doing this for the past month, just by marking little stars on my work calendar for each day that I went, but I was never very good at it. I needed something a little more fun.

So I went to a Dollar Tree, bought tropical calendar and a book of nearly 500 reward stickers, and for basically $2 I have an easy and fun way to keep track of gym visits. I'm keeping the calendar and stickers either in my car or in my gym bag, so the minute I leave the gym I can get a new sticker on that day.

I bought the stickers and calendar a few days before Jan. 1, and I was seriously bummed to learn my calendar didn't include any December '11 days! It's crazy how little things like that make you happy.

That being said, I feel like 2012 is a new start.

I know a lot of folks are making losing weight and getting healthy their resolutions. I've never liked resolutions. After all, for the last two years my resolution was to finally get serious about losing weight, and I never really did. It took one scary trip to the doctor in July, not January, to kick start my weight loss efforts last year.

Still, I'm at about the half-way point in where I need to be. I'd like to lose my remaining weight - about 37 pounds - by my birthday, which is May 6. It's do-able, so here's hoping I can do it!

With that goal in mind, and after the mess that was December, I'm ready to get back on my serious, strict track. (Remember those two pounds I said I'd lost? Apparently my thighs found them. And those two pounds brought friends.)

Still, what I learned in December is how social eating can be. At Christmas, you're either required to bring some kind of dish to a party or you're invited to a lot of parties, and then come the social problems: folks assume you're going to bring something unhealthy and un-yummy (can't tell you how many times I've had people tell me, "Oh, I guess you're bringing something healthy" and they say that like I'm bringing the plague), or you run the risk of offending your host if you turn down their super-sugary double chocolate fudge brownie delights or whatever. I really don't know how to walk the line between being socially acceptable at any and all fuctions and staying on a strict diet. I guess I'll get more practice next year.

But for now, my brand new running shoes are still getting a good breaking in every night, and my fridge is re-stocked with Greek yogurt and fruit and other goodies. Yay!

And here's one more resolution/goal for you, but I think this could be fun. I saw this on a weight loss blog this morning and I thought I'd share.

Every day, put eight (or more) bracelets - or rubber bands, or Silly Bandz, or ribbons, or whatever, really - around your wrist. Take a band off for every 8-ounce glass of water you drink that day. If you drink something caffeinated, put a bracelet back on or keep it on.

The goal is to get you hydrated each and every day. Sounds like a pretty fun way to remember to drink enough water, and it'll put all of my Superman and Harry Potter Silly Bandz to use.

Here's to a healthier 2012!

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