I am not a bandwagon person when it comes to New Year's resolutions. I don't like going to the gym in January at all -- so I generally take my cardio to the local school fitness center where they allow public to use equipment or run the halls after hours. I think it's great and energizing and revitalizing, all of the optimistic voices out there, swearing to lose 50 pounds and run a marathon. I am just not one of them. Not anymore.
I like to take a more realistic approach. I don't even think announcing your intentions on Facebook on January 1st helps with accountability. I like to make a chart. I use check marks to look back on the month (no matter what month it is) and consistently see if I'm doing enough. Sure, January 1st is a great time to reflect and strive for better, but in this house we want to keep healthy habits going year-around, not let them fizzle like a sparkler after great fanfare, once the New Year hangover sets in.
So what are we doing? We constantly look for ways to spice up our activities. Just recently at the high school (I was stone serious about going there to workout to avoid the resolution crowds at the gym in January) I decided to bring my almost four-year-old son. Boy did that amp up the cardio! The loops are in 1/3 mile lengths and we must have ran then until there was a small trough in the tile from our pounding sneakers. The janitors were rolling on the freshly swept floors with laughter each time my son would sail by with new antics, ever the clown. We played tag. We pretended to be Dusty Crophopper and "flew" around. We were members of the Paw Patrol and boy were we on a roll. You want to know something? I've never been so sore after a TWENTY MINUTE session! Truly, I think I packed in an hour or more of my usual cardio into just twenty minutes with my kiddo and we both had fun. And he slept like an angel that night.
In the mental health realm we've committed (way back in October) to reading books every night, without fail. We read around five books, sharing the job of being reader or enjoying being listener. I bring the newborn into the bed to maximize the reading goodness. We reflect on our day and talk about our favorite part, all four of us. The babies favorite part is always milk break--which I iterate for him! Then we snuggle. And though we have a family bed and I usually leave with the baby and then return after hours of feeding and burping and cuddling and cooing, one of us is always there for our son to cuddle. These changes happen all the time, not just in the New Year. It works for us.
In the food arena, after nine months of swearing off sweets in the name of a healthy baby and combating Gestational Diabetes, I have sort of been binging on sugar. Instead of saying "January 1st I'm done!" I have simply realized that I don't feel good when I eat an entire box of Sugar Smacks in a sitting. I still like a taste of the cookie dough or a small piece of candy after supper. I know that my cravings for sugar are dying out now that I do not have to eliminate it entirely (at least the super refined crap food kind) so I just let it continue to be a fading stage. However, to balance things out, I still keep our "health food" largely encompassing the bulk of our eating. I also hide my candy stash in my office. :)
One thing that is a recent change, but nothing to do with the New Year, is the replacement of a not-so-good food in my son's lunchbox with a better option: Stonyfield YoKids Squeezers. My son loves the sweet strawberry taste and it is much more satisfying as a mama to send him with some yogurt than a fruit roll-up. He still gets the tangy fruit flavor, just in a much better way! (They are even similarly shaped packages, so though he's a smart boy, I think this subtle similarity made the transition way easier!)
I borrowed this picture from Stonyfield to show you what to look for in the grocery store!
So while we don't have hard and fast resolutions that reset each winter with the start of a new calendar year, we DO have some health-minded habits that we like to keep in practice. New Year's Day reminds us to check in and see how we're doing. This year we just made things a little tastier!
How do you keep healthy as a family?
I partnered with Stonyfield to make this post possible. All opinions are my own.