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Are You Getting Ready For A New Year's Resolution?

I make New Year's resolutions every year, and quite often fail at keeping them. Luckily for my poor fragile ego they're more for fun than anything.

I have noticed, though, that I'm more likely to succeed at keeping them if I do the following:

1) Write them down and read my list often.

2) Break each one down into smaller steps, and schedule completion for each step.

This year, as always, weight control is one of my resolutions. I've been thinking a lot about how I can devise a strategy that will actually work, as opposed to half-trying the same things over and over again.

I think what I need to do is examine my failed approaches in the past and figure out what went wrong.

For example: resisting impulse snacking!!!

(aw, who wants to give that up? Chocolate is gooood ;-)

C'mon now, focus.

(Pfffft. Fine.)

Step number one: on January first, I will take all the leftover Christmas treats and put them away in a really really hard to get at location (or just give them away).

As horribly un-fun as that may be, I think it will help ;-) Wish me luck!
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My Version Of Low Cal Hot Chocolate

If you're like me and leery of artificial sweeteners, low calorie treat alternatives that don't use them are always welcome.

I started thinking about the sugar in hot chocolate one day, and decided to try it without. After all, many people drink coffee and tea without adding sugar, why not hot chocolate?

It turns out that it's not bad at all! Here's the recipe that I use:

1/2 cup skim milk
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
almond and vanilla extract
boiling water

I premix the cocoa powder, vanilla and almond extracts, and milk while the water is boiling - the cocoa is a bit powdery and takes some extra stirring. Once they are blended, I then add the hot water. It's not sweet (obviously), but it definitely takes care of my chocolate cravings!

Like this evening, for instance - I was about to serve myself a bowl of ice cream (several hundred calories) and had this hot chocolate instead (about 60), and I'm totally satisfied.

(Now I just have to go to bed before I start thinking about the ice cream again!! LOL)
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7 Signs Your Diet Is Off Track

1) Your husband wants to get rid of the exercise bike because "nobody uses it".

2) You find yourself rationalizing eating snacks as "prep for your new year's weight loss - hey, gotta have somethin' to lose!!"

3) When you run, things (um) jiggle.

4) You can't find the scale because of the box sitting on it that contains your secret stash.

5) You don't want to give away your maternity clothes because they're sooooo comfy :-)

6) Your curvy girlfriends tell you that you look normal now.

And last but not least....

7) You've gone up two cup sizes (not coffee ;-)

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The Best Weight Loss Program

A friend of mine's Nan, who's 86, lives by the "KISS" principle - i.e. "keep it simple stupid".

We were talking about weight loss help the other day, and her response was one that few can argue with. She said:

"The best way to lose weight is to eat less and move more."

LOL, you're so right, Nan!
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We're All More Sedentary These Days

Here's an article I found about the trend for decreasing activity in kids.

They mention specifically the fact that fewer kids walk to school, and of those who do, the majority walk less than 600 meters (or about 6 blocks - 1 block is about 80-100 meters).

We live three blocks from school, so there is no possible scenario that would make us drive. We would literally have to park the car closer to the house than to the school, and it would be beyond silly...

Still this article has got me thinking about why fewer people are willing to walk further:

1) Bad weather. This is easy to combat, with the right clothes. Even those who can't afford expensive stuff can still layer to keep warm and dry.

2) Safety. I can see this being an issue for older kids who don't want to be seen walking with their parents. Mom or Dad could drive them closer to the school and drop them off without really being seen by peers. I'm not going to judge - I'm not 12 anymore. What seems silly to me could be of paramount importance to a tween. Still this leads to the issue of neighbourhood safety - how do we address that?

3) Time. This, in my opinion (being someone who lives in a pretty safe 'hood that never gets below -10C) is the big culprit. I think kids and parents alike are sleep deprived enough as it is without having to get up :30 - :45 earlier to allow time to walk.

What other reasons could there be to not walk? Any thoughts? Identifying the barriers is the first step to overcoming them.
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