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My New Year's resolution list usually starts with the desire to lose between 10 and 3,000 pounds.

-- Actress Nia Vardalos

I quit making New Year's resolutions years ago. I know my limitations.

In the past I would make "pseudo" resolutions. I think I wanted to make myself feel like I was ready to make changes, when it was all I could do some days to get out of bed, go to work, come home and make dinner before I'd collapse back into bed.

And judging from what I hear from other people, I am not alone. Change is hard. It's uncomfortable. I have found myself saying, "Is it worth it?"

But if you are a die-hard resolution maker, I salute you. And if you stick with your resolutions, I admire you.

I have made positive changes over the last year. I've lost weight and become more active. But I've lost a bit of momentum in the last couple of months.

As a diabetic, I know that eating healthfully and being active will help control my disease, help me to feel and look better, and contribute to a more positive outlook on life overall.

The bottom line is that if we decide to make resolutions it's best to pick realistic ones, take small steps toward the goal and learn to take slip-ups in stride. When things are great and we're doing well, we need to congratulate ourselves for our success.

We need confidence that we can commit to making the change. Resolutions are a process, not a one-time effort. It's like a dear friend of mine says, "Don't make resolutions, build habits."

Rumor has it that it takes 21 days to form a habit. I think that's subjective and probably varies from person to person. Whatever your intended goal is, working toward it can be a good way to build self-esteem, tenacity and strength.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

I found an article on myfitnesspal.com titled "The 11 Most Common Weight-Loss Blunders Dietitians See." Contributors are registered dietitians who are familiar with the traps and roadblocks of getting into better shape. Knowledge is power. When we know what we are up against it's easier to stay on our intended path. They say:

1. Focus on what you can eat. Instead of focusing on what we can't have, like sugar, alcohol, bread, dessert, we need to focus on what we can have and tally up all the filling, nutritious options out there.

2. Don't adopt an all-or-nothing attitude. Instead of depriving ourselves of foods we love, we should learn how to incorporate them into our diet in a healthier way. It's about making better choices.

3. Have a solid, realistic plan. With a strong foundation it's easier to build lifelong healthy habits.

4. Don't cut out an entire food group. It will make for an unbalanced diet. And it's often not sustainable for a lifetime.

5. Replacing meals with liquids is often a way to miss key nutrients in your diet, and the drinks are often loaded with sugar and calories due to large portions.

6. Instead of cutting calories way back, eat more nutrients. Don't focus as much on calories, focus on counting nutrients, because what we eat can be just as important as how much we eat.

7. Don't cut out healthy fats. A moderate amount of fat is important and it helps us feel fuller. Try nuts, seeds, oily fish, avocados or dairy products.

8. Don't ditch fruits and vegetables because you think they contain too much sugar. Some do have higher amounts of naturally occurring sugars, but they also contain fiber, which helps counterbalance the effect on blood sugars.

9. Don't rely on weight-loss pills. The only long-term effective weight management skill is to change the way we think about fueling our bodies.

10. Don't take weekends off. We can still have fun, but eat mindfully. Enjoying good food without wrecking our hard work can be done.

11. Be sure to drink enough water. Staying hydrated has a variety of benefits for our health and well being.

Email me at:

rboggs@arkansasonline.com

ActiveStyle on 01/01/2018

Print Headline: Successful resolutions need be realistic

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