With 2018 on the horizon, it’s time to start thinking about how we’re going to do things differently in the New Year. For me, I’ve got a long list of resolutions that I really need to adhere to in the year ahead. Truth be told, the last year has been a bit trying to say the least – both on the career front and on the diet front.

This post is going to focus on my diet.

Ever since the 2016 election, I have gained eight pounds. That’s eight pounds on top of the 20 that I had wanted to lose in the first place. While I faithfully exercised on my Peloton and have logged over 300 rides this year, that didn’t stop the pounds from creeping up on me. So how can it be? Simple. Whenever I exercise, I give myself permission to eat more. Add to that the fact I am convinced that I’m going through perimenopause and there you have it. For the first time in my life, I have boobs and a muffin top. While I have always battled big calves, a big butt and big thighs, I have managed to keep my waist trim and my bra size fluctuated between an A and a B cup. These days, it seems like I’m inching towards a C and my jeans just don’t fit the way I’d like. My legs, thankfully look better than they ever have (thanks to my Peloton) so I blame some of the weight on muscle gain which technically weighs more than fat. Okay Beth, keep telling yourself that.

Even though I worked out at least 4-5 times per week, I spent way too much time online and in front of my TV. And that sedentary behavior has lead to the weight gain too. I’m obsessed with MSNBC and can watch it for hours on end which is totally unhealthy. When I wake up in the morning, I check my emails, my Facebook feed, the New York Post app, CNN and Twitter to make sure I’m updated on everything taking place that day. Then there’s all those news alerts. By the time I turn around, I’ve been sucked into a black hole where I’m reading everything from the Washington Post, to The Hill, to Politico, The New Yorker, Elle, Teen Vogue, and on and on and on. On the bright side, I’ve never read so much in my life. But on the down side, I haven’t cracked open a real book in months and every time I watch the news, I just get more and more aggravated.

So what am I going to do differently next year so I can stop this vicious cycle, lose weight and keep it off? I’m going to take the advice of my dear friend, Toby Amidor, the author of the Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook and a leading dietician who always has great advice for me on how to lose weight and keep it off. I just need to stick to it and do it!

So here are my diet resolutions for 2018:

  1. Drink more water. No matter how much I hate water, I’ve got to suck it up (literally) and just do it. At least 64 ounces of water per day. Every time I’m feeling hungry, I’ll reach for water. This is going to be tough but I have given up Diet Coke so it can become a habit eventually.
  2. Just say “NO” to the bread basket. This is totally my weakness. Whenever we go out to a restaurant, I love the bread basket. Corn muffins or warm sourdough bread gets me every time but this year, all bets are off. I may break down once in a while, but 2018 is all about cutting out carbs so I can reduce the size of my perimenopausal muffin top.
  3. Double up on veggies. Instead of including a starch with my meal, I will continue to get creative with vegetables. My instant pot has seriously upped my cooking skills so this year, I’ll continue using that amazing product to make our dinners delicious, filling and satisfying.
  4. Eat out less.  We have started doing this already but I know that the more I cook at home and the less I eat out at restaurants, the better we will be – from a health and savings standpoint. We’ll still go out on weekends but I’m committed to cooking at least 5 days per week in the New Year.
  5. Less wine per week. On the weekends, I totally enjoy having wine with dinner. But I find that if I have more than 2 glasses, I become exhausted and completely bloated. In the New Year, I’m going to limit my wine intake to either 1 glass per weekend meal. I’m also going to cut out drinking during the week.
  6. Start dancing and weight training again. While I do love my Peloton, my friend Toby tells me that as menopause approaches, I need to burn even more calories. That means, I need to find another way to sweat and I’m either going to get a class pass to try out some Zumba in my area or I’ll download the BeachBody on Demand App and take their classes instead. I actually purchased these cool boots called Kangoo Jumps which are great for people like me who have bad knees so I may just combine a dance workout with the Kangoos and see if the pounds start falling off by mixing up my cardio routine. Toby also says that weight training is a great way to speed up your metabolism and lose weight. Even though I do weights on the Peloton, I need to add more strength training into my routine and can easily use their Beyond the Ride option to take more of those classes too.
  7. Write more. Sure writing is a sedentary exercise, but it prevents you from reaching for a cookie while you’re typing. When it comes to my blog, I always vow each year that I’m going to post more and then I just don’t. I can’t make any promises but I will definitely try. Even if it means banking a few posts to run during the week, the more I write, the happier I am. So look for more blog posts on weight loss, inspiring moms, binge-worthy shows and funny stories.
  8. Join a singing group. In year’s past, I was always rehearsing on the weekends for a show but about three years ago, that stopped. Since that time, I’ve been talking about wanting to sing again but haven’t done anything about it. Well that stops this year – it’s time to find a group or a class where I can sing again. I miss it, I love it and that’ll keep my mind off food too.
  9. Cut down on the TV News addiction. This one is tough since I am obsessed with practically every show on MSNBC. I start my day with Morning Joe, I love catching Velshi and Ruhl for my finance tips. I look to Nicole Williams for great commentary on what’s going on at the White House. I’m hooked on Ari Melber and his insightful and lawyerly approach to the news of the day. And don’t even get me started on Joy Reid, Rachel Maddow and Laurence O’Donnell. I think if I ever met any of them, I’d pass out. Honorable mention also goes to Chuck Todd, Chris Matthews, Chris Hayes and Andrea Mitchell but I do have to work and spend time with my family so I don’t have MSNBC on a 24 hour loop as much as I’d like to. So as tough as it is, I’m going to cut back on my MSNBC addiction. Or just do something productive while I’m watching like ride my Peloton or slip on my Kangoos.
  10. Delete Facebook and Twitter from my phone. I don’t know if I have the guts to do this, so I’m going to just put that out there and will keep you posted if I actually do it. I really love reading my Facebook and Twitter feed but it is a total time suck. When I wake up in the morning, I should pop out of bed and hop on my Peloton. Instead, I spend an hour in bed liking posts, reading articles and getting sucked into the Russia investigation. I need to get those hours back and the best way to do it is to delete those apps from my phone. One more thing is to leave my phone downstairs whenever I work out. Otherwise, I’m distracted and I don’t work out as hard.

So there you have it – 10 ways I’m going to work hard at losing weight this year. I refuse to drink shakes, put butter in my coffee, become a vegan or eat food I hate. I’m going to downsize by eating less, working out and doing the things I love. The only thing I didn’t mention was cutting down on sugar. Since I do have a sweet tooth, I’m not going to rule out having something sweet in my diet each day, but I will opt for dark chocolate over cool whip and ice cream but that’s about the only thing I won’t give up on my quest to lose weight for the umpteenth time in my life.

If you need to lose weight in the New Year, I hope I inspired you with these resolutions. If you have any suggestions, let me know. I’m all ears as long as it doesn’t require doing shots of apple cider vinegar or fasting. I’m ready to lose weight the old fashioned way. Hope you’re with me too!