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It’s not me, It’s you.

We know people will have opinions when they see us doing something different. Don’t let that stop you.

Updated 12/2020 and 12/2021

This is your time to shine.

It’s easy to stay with what we know. People will have opinions when they see us doing something different. I think about this when I watch shows like “What Not To Wear” or “Love it or List it”. How come it takes a camera crew and at least two on-air experts to get you to buy a new sweater or re-imagine your space? Lately, too, in the past few weeks, I’ve been reading things that are quite curious to me. So here’s what’s on my mind as the new year heads our way.

We know the health issues related to being overweight. We also know that overconsuming calories doesn’t mean overconsuming nutrition. You can be unhealthy and missing nutrients you need on either end of the calorie spectrum.

Being exceptionally thin or exceptionally overweight isn’t the best option.

Being excessively active or excessively sedentary isn’t the best option.

Everyone is good at something and lacking skill at something. Health and well-being is no different, it just doesn’t feel like it sometimes because we all eat and we all “live” in our own bodies, so we don’t know any different until we do something different for an extended period of time.

Talk is cheap. Let’s get to action. Here are some common topics for New Year’s Resolutions followed by what you can easily do to start to achieve your health and well-being goals. Of course it’s always a good idea to have a chat with your doctor/trained health professional before making changes to your diet and exercise regime. Get a baseline so in a few months when you are wondering how you are doiong and want to see progress, you have something to base it on. Change can be slow, so it’s easy to forget or not realize how well you are actually doing. Metrics, my friends. The right ones.

I want to be more active. Fantastic. You need a plan. If you literally have never done anything since say, high school, buckle up. You’re in for a treat because you will likely feel SO much better.

Open your calendar and schedule it in. If you don’t put it in your priorities, it will not get done. Kind of like anything else you deem important. Forget “best time of day”. Forget “I don’t like to be sweaty”. Find what you DO like and what WILL work.

Figure out small ways to work in more steps. It adds up and you won’t even feel like it was hard to do. Oh – and if you are already a gym goer, and you spend time circling the parking lot for the closest spot, you may want to reconsider your actions. Hello, extra steps walking into the gym….

I want to eat better.  Excellent. You need a plan. Make it fun. If there is literally no way you want to alter a favorite dish, fine. That’s right. You can simply take one less scoop of it. Portions are everything for the foods we know are more decadent than delivering daily nutrition.

If you enjoy treat foods more frequently, consider your total day’s intake and the portion sizes of everything you choose.

“Should eat better” versus “let’s try something new” are two different things in terms of how it feels to do. What if you “try something new” that is better for you that tastes better, too? Score. (and way more fun feeling than “I should eat this.”)

I need to learn how to cook. You aren’t alone on this one. Start small. Learn knife skills, how to select, store, and make (in the simplest way) your favorite foods. Rely on recipes to help with this. It’s also important to note that you can eat better without making every meal, snack, or bite worthy of a picture on Instagram. I personally am not interested in arranging every delicious bean in my corn and black bean salsa.

Popcorn is a whole grain. Reduced fat cheese and crackers with some fiber per serving paired with fruit is three food groups. A sandwich is a balanced meal, too. Relax. You can eat better without a production every single time.

There’s just no time for any of this. Ha. We almost all feel that way at some point. We all get the same 24 hours in a day. It’s not about no time. It’s about how that time is used. You know how your smart phone tells you your screen time? Think about that. Time flies when we are online looking at how other people are living.

If you have time to watch 30-60 minutes of your favorite show, or 20 minutes to scoot around on social media, you have time. It’s not about one or the other. It’s about integrating and using your time wisely. Watching tv? what if you also walked or did some stretching or activity, even if “only” during commercials? I don’t speed through commercials. I get up and do stuff while they are on, whether it’s loading the dishwasher, doing some sort of activity, or taking the folded laundry to the closet. It is an easy way to not miss my show but also not just sit on the couch for endless amounts of time.

Make this your year to live your truth. Not someone else’s. No one has the inside scoop on you like you do. Go for it.

By Kim Kirchherr

I am a dietitian working in food and fiber (agriculture) through retail, addressing opportunities to make things better for people and planet.