SHEENA BARNETT: Healthy tips for 2013

By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal

It’s January: the month of gym memberships, salads and promises to get fit. It’s one of the most popular new year’s resolutions, but also one of the easiest to forget come March, February or even late January. Bad habits are hard to break.
Since August 2011, I’ve been on a mission to lose 75 pounds. I’ve lost about 55 of them. I lost a majority of that weight early on, from about August to spring 2012, and since summer of last year, I’ve basically maintained. Nope, that’s not how I wanted to do it; I wanted to lose it all, quickly, right now, yesterday.
If the last year and a half has taught me anything, it’s that weight loss never happens how you think it should. But it can happen. It’s totally possible.
I am definitely not a doctor, but the last 18 months or so has taught me quite a lot about getting healthy and losing weight.
Here are a few tips to those of you who are joining me in this weight battle in the new year.
• A healthy lifestyle is not a snap decision; it’s a bunch of little decisions, every day, every meal. Don’t worry: after a very short while, it becomes second nature. Once your body gets used to being fed healthy foods, it will definitely let you know when you slip up. A serving of real sugar after abstaining from it for months will make you feel gross and slimy, and you’ll wonder why you ever ate sugar in the first place.
• Get your doctor to help. Some keys to weight loss are obvious: of course steamed veggies are a better side than fries. But you’d be surprised what other foods may be super sugary or full of fat, or may just be wrong for your body. Your doctor can tell you that.
Use food diaries – there are lots of excellent apps for your phone – to keep track of your calories, etc.
• At the gym, find something you enjoy doing. For me, it’s a bit of elliptical with a lot of running, Zumba and jumping rope. The second you get bored, change your routine.
• Treat yourself. Did you eat healthy meals every day this week? Buy yourself a season of “The Golden Girls.” Did you run an extra mile? New pair of shoes.
• As your body changes and you need new clothes, please consider donating your old clothes to charities, like Goodwill or S.A.F.E., Inc, our local domestic violence shelter.
• You’ll have good days and bad days, good meals and bad meals, good workouts and bad workouts. It’s not the end of the world. Just keep going and try to do better.
There are a lot more tips/insights I could provide – to keep the conversation going, visit my healthy living blog, Keep Running, at, or shoot me an email. There’s strength in numbers.
Here’s to a healthier 2013!
Sheena Barnett writes a Tuesday column for the Daily Journal. She may be contacted at

Click video to hear audio