Well it’s the starting of a new year. Somehow we’ve gone from 2018 to 2019 and it almost seems liked it happened in a blink of an eye (though I know that it wasn’t quite that quick).

I’ve decided that 2019 is going to be a year of large number of changes. One of the areas that I’m going to try to focus on more is my fitness and nutrition. I had been doing well for a while, and then in October hit an emotional wall (losing two dogs in four days) and I undid a lot of the results that I achieved during the summer. So as 2019 starts I’ve decided one major thing: I’m going to drop the word diet from my vocabulary and I’m also going to be revamping how I look at my nutrition and fitness.

So why am I dropping “diet” from my vocabulary? For one thing—it isn’t a lifestyle. It is something that one does to lose weight, and unless you can follow the plan forever—you usually gain the weight back, and then a little extra (as I can attest to). Also there are so many different types of diets out there right now: keto, paleo, vegan, and those are just the main stream ones (I’m sure that there are other ones that people develop on their own), by the time you start one another has come along to replace it.

I also dislike the “fact” that it then puts food in “good” and “bad” groups (depending on what diet you’re following or book you’re reading). This usually ends up with me swearing off something (usually sweet related—chocolate, candy, ice cream, and cake) and then binge on the sweet at some point, and mentally beat myself up over it. I love carbs and cheese as well—which means I don’t do well with the mindset that you should limit the amounts of everything.

I’m also not going to be trying to count calories or macros—but I am going to pay attention to what I am eating. If I feel like having a cookie (or cookies) with coffee in the morning on the weekend; I will and balance it out during the day. I will write down what I’ve eaten (and possibly how I feel before and after) and see through the week if there is something that I may be having more of than usual (and if I’m writing down my emotions as well, see if they’re correlated). I know that my biggest challenge on this will actually be sitting down and writing out what I ate for the day (as I’m basically two days behind on this as I’m currently writing this post).

I will try to limit processed foods, mainly because this is where high levels of sodium are hidden; I’m not too worried about the levels of fat, because depending on the amounts of carbs you have in a day—your body turns to fat as the next thing to burn for energy (it usually goes carbs—fats—protein in terms of macromolecules your body burns for energy). So what processed food am I going to try to limit? These are going to include getting lunch on campus (some of the sandwiches can contain almost a day’s worth of sodium in them), biscuits with dinner (again these can contain upwards of half a day’s worth of sodium), and then the condensed soups for cooking (these will take a little more research to see if I can actually make my own to sub in for the cooking). Sweets (such as cookies, candy, and so forth) have more fat and sugars than sodium (usually) so these will be monitored, but potentially not as much as the other processed foods.

So 2019 will be the year of exercising (I’m still trying to figure out the best tracker for that), and slowly changing my nutrition (incorporating small changes over time is better than trying to totally revamp how you eat and then falling back into bad habits) to get into the best shape of my life (notice I’m not putting a number to my transformation, but a phrase). So it’s time to sit back, remember to take it a day at a time, be patient with myself, and see what the year has in store.