OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWelcome to our healthy lifestyle challenge lead by our program dietitian Vicki Bovee and her husband, Bill. Because we can always do better to live a healthier lifestyle Vicki and Bill decided to work on a weekly challenge together to provide support and accountability for each other and hopefully inspire you to make healthy changes. Follow along with them as they tackle a variety of challenges to eat better, eat more mindfully, and improve physical health and emotional well-being. Vicki and Bill invite you to participate and accept the challenges to improve your lifestyle too. Some of them may be difficult and please feel free to modify the challenges to accommodate your dietary needs and physical abilities.


Challenge # 19 Start Your Day Right
After two weeks of counting and my dismal performance with last week’s challenge to follow the 100 Bite Diet, I decided we needed a turnaround. We needed a challenge that was not food-related and emphasized self-care.
Several weeks ago I ran across an article with six ways to start your morning to have a better day. Who doesn’t want to have a good day? Starting out your day getting up on the wrong side of the bed is not the way to go forward and make friends. We changed the order of the 6 steps to do what made the most sense for us. You can put them in the order that works best for you. Because we were adding something to the morning routine, that also meant no hitting the snooze button.
1. Stretch. You’ve been sleeping cramped up, knees bent, and you may be stiff. We stretched in bed under the covers but you can get up and stretch on the floor. Be sure to stretch out your arms and legs.
2. Sit up correctly. (This will be step 1 if you decide to stretch on the floor.) Roll over to your right side and push yourself up into a sitting position. Then stand straight up, keeping your back straight.
3. No screen time for at least 15 minutes (I suggest 30 minutes). If you use your phone for your alarm, turn it off and turn it over. No iPad or tablets in bed. No checking emails or social media. Take the time for yourself before the technology takes over for the day.
4. Make some lemon water. No coffee, drinking, or eating anything for 30 minutes. I googled this and drinking lemon water looks like it can cure every aliment in the book. This article makes health claims but whether they are true or not, I can’t say.
5. Meditate for at least a couple of minutes. You can do this while you are waiting for the water to get hot for your lemon water. Bill practiced Qigong and I practiced Qigong and Tai Chi, both of which are very relaxing and meditative for us. You can also just sit quietly and focus on clearing your mind.
6. Set goals for the day. Don’t make too many, three is a good number. Make them goals that will improve your health and well-being rather than work or running errand goals. If you need ideas, check out some of our previous challenges on the bottom of this blog.

Vicki’s Observations:
• No screen time wasn’t even an issue for me. No coffee for 30 minutes however, was an issue. I usually get up and make my way to the kitchen for my coffee (timer set) and pour a cup to start my day. The first couple days were the hardest and then after that I accepted it and watched the clock.
• I can’t say I noticed any difference in how I felt drinking the lemon water and after the challenge I went back to coffee.
• The stretching felt good and that has continued.
• I couldn’t roll over to my right side to get up because Bill was in the way. (I sleep on the other side of the bed.) It’s supposed to be better for your heart to get up on your right side but I don’t think it would be better for Bill’s back for me to roll over him to get up.
• I really liked the 3 goals and am continuing with this step. I didn’t set work goals because I do that at work. I continued with previous challenges putting down my fork and no eating standing up. I also added some like no calories after 7:30 PM and only eating the food I brought at work.

Bill’s Observations:
• I liked this challenge because it made me feel better (by stretching), more organized and it kept me from picking up my iPad first thing in the morning. Nothing good can come of reading all that negative news first thing in the morning.
• I could not drink the lemon water as I felt the lemon juice (acidic) affected my reflux. I went to warm water after the third day.
• I felt the time I spent practicing Qigong was very beneficial and it made my whole body and mind feel energized. It is amazing that only 5 or 10 minutes of meditation type exercise can make you feel so good.
• Setting three goals helped me improve my day both mentally and physically and was a very positive way to for me to start my day. I recommend this.

Your sleep, or lack of it, affects your day. Even if you’ve had a crummy night of sleep you can take some simple actions to get your day going on a positive note. And if you switch from coffee to lemon water, let me know how that goes.
Next week we make the moves to prevent holiday weight gain. Yes, it is possible. Check in next week and see what the research shows us about holiday weight gain.
Eat Smarter…
Vicki Bovee, MS, RDN, LD

PS Our “official” weigh-in is on Saturday mornings. Here’s our results for after Thanksgiving from our baseline weight: Vicki -.4#, Bill -.8#. For Thanksgiving dinner, we used small plates, ate with our little cocktail forks, and had no seconds.

Want to catch up on what you’ve missed?
The road to success is always under construction. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-weekly-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #1 Eat everything sitting down. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-weekly-lifestyle-challenge-week-one/
Challenge #2 Eliminate cheese as an ingredient. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-two/
Challenge #3 Walk sideways in your home. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-three/
Challenge #4 Include a fresh herb in your daily meal plan. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-four/
Challenge #5 If there is food in your mouth there should be nothing in your hand. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-weekly-challenge-week-five/
Challenge #6 Eat the MyPlate recommendations for fruits and vegetables. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-6/
Challenge #7 Stand (and walk if possible) while talking on the phone. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-7/
Challenge # 8 Don’t eat out of the package. Put your food on a plate or in a bowl. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-8/
Challenge # 9 Keep a food record. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-nine/
Challenge # 10 Power down while eating. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-10/
Challenge # 11 Eating to reduce inflammation. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-11/
Challenge # 12 Eating to help our environment. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-12/
Challenge # 13 Switch it up. https://www.westernbariatricinstitute.com/?p=2576
Challenge # 14 The road to success is still under construction. https://www.westernbariatricinstitute.com/?p=2583
Challenge # 15 Little bites. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-15/
Challenge # 16 Drink your water. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-16/
Challenge # 17 Count your chews. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-16/
Challenge # 18 The 100 Bite Diet. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-18/

Vicki Bovee is the Registered Dietitian for Western Bariatric Institute and leads the non-surgical weight loss program, "Health and Lifestyle Program."
Vicki Bovee is the Registered Dietitian for Western Bariatric Institute and leads the non-surgical weight loss program, “Health and Lifestyle Program.”