Happy February! It’s a big month: Valentine’s Day, Ground Hog Day, Super Bowl Sunday, Leap Day. And for some people, this is when those New Year’s Resolutions fall by the wayside.
New Year’s Resolutions, those things that most of us define, but seldom keep past February. According to data gathered by the University of Scranton, although 45% of Americans who usually make New Year’s Resolutions, only 8% are successful in achieving their resolution. For me it’s been something similar every year, workout more, eat better, spend more time with family.
It’s funny how even retailers jump on board with our vulnerability. My inbox has been swamped with emails relating to New Year’s resolutions. Yes, Under Armour, I appreciate the reminder about how I vowed to work out more this year, and thank you for your support in my endeavors by offering me a “special” price on your workout clothes. Sadly I deleted the email and moved on.
My resolution this year was to break out of my resolution monotony. I wanted to make a resolution I could accomplish, and with my “SMART” goals in mind, I made a list. With graduation coming this summer, I felt it would be good to focus on some professional resolutions as well as personal. One of my resolutions was that as a student or dietitian, I would never recommend something to my clients I haven’t tried myself.
First up: Meal Prep! Not just a little meal prepping, but full-blown making ALL my food for the week meal prepping. I have even pulled out the crock pot! Sunday is a long day of cooking and it takes a lot of planning to make sure I have 3 meals and 2 snacks for every day, but so far so good. In the evening before I go to bed, I pack my lunchbox with my food for the next day, and in the morning I just have to grab my bag and go. I have plenty of food to get me through my day and haven’t had to make any desperate trips to the vending machine or the Willy’s that all GSU alums are familiar with. It’s a great feeling to come home from class in the evening and not have to worry about what I’m going to cook for dinner. It’s already prepped and waiting for me in the refrigerator. All of this planning has allowed me more time during the week to focus on my family, friends and school work. Plus, one less thing to worry about in the evenings helps reduce my stress level. Win-win all around! Giving up my time on Sunday is definitely worth it for the convenience I enjoy during the week. I’m sold.
Next: Tracking My Food and Exercise Daily. I’ve done 48-hour food recalls, but I knew tracking my food everyday would take commitment. My biggest challenge in the past was motivation. Well, now that I have a resolution to track it, game on. I’ve done 2 weeks so far and all I have to say is WOW, this is a lot of work. An app like MyFitnessPal makes the task extremely easy, and even with that I’m impressed that some of my clients have been tracking their food and exercise for weeks and months, if not longer. I will say, when tracking my consumption, I often thought twice about having an extra cookie because I knew I had to log it in MyFitnessPal. For someone who has the motivation to track their food and exercise, and likes the accountability, it’s a great counseling tool to utilize.
Already I feel like I’ve grown as a nutrition professional through my resolution. In February I am going to focus on making sure my meals and snacks are MyPlate friendly. This idea is often one of the first places I start with my counseling clients and it’s important I have the knowledge about putting meals together in this fashion. I’ve started to consider this when doing my meal planning, but this month I’m going to make it a priority when putting my meals together. Happy February, stay tuned!