Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Good Choices


Thinking about the Walk-It Challenge & comparing Old Sara to New Sara got me to thinking about all of the things I do differently every day.  This ad (though for a largely nutritionally ambiguous product) really sums up how I feel about my new life...the goodness compounds & it just keeps getting easier!

Some choices I make now that Old Sara never would have dreamed of:
  • I measure everything: peanut butter, salad dressing, milk, cheese...I go through a million measuring spoons & cups every day (thank you Dollar Tree for helping me stock up!) & I couldn't do it without my food scale.
  • I read labels.  When I'm buying a packaged food, I will stand in the aisle at the store & compare labels for as long as it takes to find the best choice.  Not all wheat tortillas are created equal!
  • I order like Sally.  It's kind of a pain, but asking for my food the way I want it when we go out is just part of my routine now. 
  • Speaking of eating out, I order totally differently now.  I was shocked to find out that a healthier meal without piles of fried food & cream sauce is still a delicious treat when I don't have to cook it or clean up after it & I don't HAVE to be in pain when I leave a restaurant.  Did you know they make these things called boxes so you can take some of your meal home?  Old Sara sure didn't!
  • I try on new clothes.  When they sometimes fit, there are a lot less tears & a lot more smiles. 
  • I cook.  To say nothing of the staples that I'm making myself (bread, yogurt, applesauce), I prepare real meals with a main dish & a veggie nearly every night.  Old Sara didn't cook.  Period.
  • I upgrade recipes.  Old Sara was so clueless about cooking that changing a recipe was out of the question.  Now I have a passing knowledge of cooking & actively look for ways that I can make recipes healthier by using lighter dairy, whole grains & adding extra veggies.  My food is NEVER pretty, but it's got nutritional value!
  • I coupon.  This may seem unrelated, but with only one income I had to make some changes in order to afford some of the more expensive, healthier foods that we eat.  Avoiding packaged, processed "diet" foods helps, but so does looking for the deals.  I used to say "I pay retail" as if it was a badge of honor...now there's nothing I love more than a good deal on a good item.
  • I talk about food with my kids.  Ok, really just kid singular, but when Coraline is ready to listen, the conversation will be on the table.  We regularly talk about good choices for our bodies & what foods are just "sometimes" foods.  Link doesn't expect treats all of the time, & the unexpected side benefit of that is that he truly savors the treats that he gets.  It is a joy to watch. 
  • I drink water.  I still don't drink ENOUGH water, but the fact that I drink any is a victory.  Consider it a work in progress.
  • I exercise.  On purpose.
  • I'm not in a hurry.  Probably the biggest change over Old Sara is that I have fully accepted that this is about making good choices for life, not a diet.  Since I would be making these same choices regardless, the pounds are just a side benefit--the effect, not the cause.  Not being driven by "losing weight" but rather by being healthy is my biggest accomplishment & my greatest legacy.

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