Sunday, January 1, 2012

Health and Whimsy: Success with New Year's Resolutions

Hello ladies,

I know many of you are putting together your New Year's resolutions. I am going to share my list with you along with some tips of what has worked for me and strategies for success.

The first thing to recognize when creating your list is know the difference between resolutions and results. Lose ten pounds is commonly included. This is simply not a resolution. A better way to approach a desire to lose weight is to make your resolutions specific with what behaviors you need to follow weekly. This will help you convert a wish to lose weight into a plan and then an achievement.

I will also advise against fixating on a specific goal weight and instead urge you to focus on fitting into a clothing size that is healthy for your body. The scale only gives a partial story. A woman who is athletic and has developed lean muscle can weigh over 10 pounds more and still be the same size as woman who is thin, but not muscular. Personally, I would rather have more muscle than a lower number on the scale.

While I don't think there is anything wrong with keeping a general goal weight in mind, if you have to micromanage your diet and exercise to maintain that number, then give yourself permission to weigh three to five pounds more and live a happier life. If you are the type of person who becomes too reliant on the scale, I advise throwing it out (or packing it away) and weighing in occasionally at the gym or the doctor's office. You can chart your progress using a measuring tape or by the fit of your clothes.

My new day planner helps keep me organized.

2012 New Year's Resolutions

Part of my list will contain behaviors that have worked for me in the recent past and that I want to turn into consistent, healthy habits. Other resolutions will present new challenges.

  • Teach my friend Laura how to cook. We can start in late February as both of us will have more established schedules at that time. Cooking is my strongest point when it comes to healthy living. Sharing your talents can make establishing or sticking to a health program more enjoyable. 
  • Finish the first round of P90X (9 more weeks) and complete one more round of the program in 2012. 
  • Establish a weekly workout schedule (when not doing P90X) that includes at least one day of yoga and a day of strength training. Since I enjoy power walking, this activity will likely round out my routine. I do best when I am exercising five or six days a week. 
  • Continue writing Health & Whimsy. I have been enjoying sharing my progress each week. I'm looking forward to introducing topics as well as devoting some weeks to journaling about behaviors and changes. If you have a blog and are planning on spending more time on your health in 2012, I suggest sharing your experience with your readers. Keeping a positive attitude and healthy focus is key, whatever regimen you choose to follow. I am delighted with the interest and reach Health & Whimsy has gathered. I certainly wasn't expecting to be inspiring so many of my readers to make positive changes in their lives. I feel blessed for the opportunity. 
  • Keeping a food journal. I have been logging my meals and snacks on Twitter @ladyfingersblog. I was surprised to discover that my followers on Twitter were recreating some of my healthy meals at home and adding my favorite snacks to their grocery lists! Using a social network to record your food choices is a way to keep focused and share ideas. If you decide to utilize Facebook for this purpose, I would advise limiting your food journal to one update a day. I think Twitter offers a better format for this purpose, but connect with whatever network you use regularly.
  • Substitute soy cheese for dairy cheese. If I'm making an omelette, nothing but real cheese will do. Melted on a sandwich, soy cheese is favorable option. As much as I enjoy cheese, even with being able to limit myself to a serving, I don't need to eat it every day. 

I had a good holiday. I continued with my healthy diet and exercise program I lost two pounds over the past two weeks, which brings the total to 23 pounds down since September 1st. I feel like all the weight and resistance training is the equivalent of an interior designer coming into my apartment and rearranging all the furniture in the most aesthetic way possible. I am also appreciating the gains in strength and flexibility. I am going to conquer those push up variations!

I hope you all had a great holiday. Are you making New Year's Resolutions for 2012?

Happy painting, ladies!

Health and Whimsy is intended as a journal of my personal experience. Please consult your doctor before making changes to your health regimen. 


  1. Great post! I didn't know you had a health and whimsy ! I like your resolutions and this post has forced me to think about some resolutions that I need to focus on.

    I'll be reading.

  2. All I can say is Well Done!!! I'll try a similar process for me this year. Although I would really love to get a job first :( Anyway, you go for those resolutions! You can do it, for sure :D

  3. I really enjoy these healthy and whimsy posts! I haven't necessarily made any resolutions yet, only that I started some healthy habits and hope to continue them. You have been so inspirational! In the past month I have slowly made some great changes it's so helpful to learn about the experiences of others when I'm feeling a little lost. I don't have a scale and have been looking for a way to track my progress, the dress size is a great idea!

  4. You've done so well. I'm really impressed. Even losing weight over the holidays! I gained 2lbs. I think I'll gain more this week. I haven't been watching what I eat at all. I've been eating many things that I haven't eaten all year. I believe my eating is emotional. I just get frustrated with myself. I've been having a lot of pain & not getting much sleep. I noticed when I don't get much sleep I eat more. I will get back on track again. I' proud of myself for keeping off 100lbs for 3 years. In the past I've lost weight & then gained it back. Keep up the good work Diana. Don't ever let your weight get out of control. It's not worth it.

  5. I started off the year bad, just eating junk. But I am determined to just eat healthier overall starting tomorrow. Gotta start somewhere, right? :)

  6. meredith: Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed the post. I update Health and Whimsy weekly on Sunday or Monday evening. :)

    Akuma Kanji: Thank you, dear! I wish you all the best in your job hunt and success with your resolutions. Keep me updated with how you are doing. :)

  7. Rosario: Thank you! I'm happy to share my progress with you. I'm glad it has been helpful to you. It sounds like you are on the right track. I'm so glad you stopped by and let me know how things were going. Best f luck in all things.

    Kimberly: Happy New Year to you and your floofy darlings! xoxo!

  8. Lucy: It's so hard to stay focused when dealing with pain levels. You've given me an idea for a future post about anti-inflammatory foods. There are fruits and veggies that can help with pain management. I understand how difficult it can be when you want comfort and treats. A slight weight gain over the holidays is not a worry. You've done great maintaining your loss overall. xoxo!

    kitty: Lady, you were on vacation! Starting you resolutions once you are back in your routine makes more sense. :)


Thank you so much for stopping by! I do my best to answer comments. I read every single comment. If you have any questions or links that are unrelated to the post, please e-mail me.

Please be respectful and avoid leaving your blog link in the comments unless requested. Refer to the FAQ if needed.