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New Year Fitness Goals

We all made it through the holidays and I believe the average weight gain for Americans is 5 pounds. Of course, all of us have started our new efforts or renewed efforts to lose weight or maybe the plan has already been abandoned? It's real hard to keep up a workout or weight loss goals without a plan and changes to your lifestyle.

The biggest change ever for me was planning as a couple. We found a way to change the way we thought about food, exercise and lifestyle. We now exercise together at least three times a week and many of our spring through fall activities are outdoor in the garden, etc. But the walks that started 2 years ago have been the core of our cardio exercise. We have either walked or used indoor equipment when the outside was hostile for activity. It is hard to maintain a schedule but by doing it as a couple it is easier. One of the challenges we faced was our gender differences. Without categorizing everyone I am very competitive, like to plan, keep track of performance, etc., and Deb is the total opposite so earlier efforts to have this fun together failed. After I realized that I was making it hard for her I backed off and relaxed a bit and it worked. We now enjoy our time together and either of us can say not today or later but it still improve our chances of working out by doing it together.

The other piece of fitness is what we put into our normal diet and lifestyle. We decided to improve fitness by changing a lifestyle versus just doing a diet. We realized that our food portions were too large so we bought smaller plates (even using salad plates for the entrees at times). We then loaded up the vegetable and fruit options and have meatless meals as well. We do enjoy pasta so pasta and vegetables is great! We reduced the amount of fast food but still enjoy it at times especially when "on the road again".

About fast food: One thing we do now is eat a burger without the bottom bun. We found it easier to flip it over and use the top bun and remove the bottom piece of bread. We also stopped ordering combination meals to avoid fries which we no longer feel the need for--we also now qualify for senior drinks so its also a cost savings for us.

To avoid excessive hunger for a meal we also started having a snack between meals at 10 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. We have half an apple, celery with peanut butter or cream cheese, carrots, two or three healthy crackers with cheese or peanut butter, etc. This is recommended by many dietitians and it really has worked for us. Of course you have to follow the plan by not eating as much at mealtime and we found the snacks helps us do that.

Finally we do have dessert and enjoy it. We try to eat it before 7 PM and there are so many healthy things you can have (and yep we do enjoy some non healthy ones occasionally). There is now "No Sugar Added" ice cream which has become a favorite topping and we enjoy it and I can no longer tell the difference. Deb said she can taste a difference but it does not bother her. We also eat a lot of homemade yogurt with nuts, fruit, etc., added!

I hope you have a healthy and physically fit 2009! Send us your helpful ideas by commenting so others can use them in their busy hectic military community lifestyle!

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