Wordless Wednesday: It's that time of the year!
Tunes for Tuesday: Don't Stop the Party, by Pitbull

Keep it simple, superstar.

Empty bottles
Tossed them in the trash this morning.

See those empty bottles? I dumped out the contents this morning, flinging two "miracle" supplements in the trash.

And -- poof! -- there goes my magical thinking.

They were just two of the many supplements hyped by a certain TV doctor. I had tried and tossed many more supplements that he suggested, and all they got me was nauseous and lighter in the wallet.

I'm sticking with a multivitamin that has plenty of vitamin D, fish oil, and an occasional boost of calcium. That's it.

I went jogging with the dog yesterday (my mutt is not a great running partner -- he was on the tree and fire hydrant tour), and one of my favorite No Doubt songs came on the iPod -- "Simple Kind of Life." 

"Simple -- that's what it has to be," I said to the dog, who really isn't all that interested in my weight loss ramblings. His diet is definitely simple -- a bowl of low-fat grain-free dry food and the occasional Milk Bone.

I tend to make things more complicated than they need to be -- fistfuls of vitamins and minerals, certain superfoods I should be eating, ticking off boxes for drinking water, weighing, measuring, logging, journaling, tracking, counting, uploading, downloading.

And did any of it work this year? I'm exactly the same weight as I was this time last year.

I need to strip back a few layers and keep it more simple. It won't be easy but it definitely can be more simple and less fraught with anxiety.

And fraught it is -- every week I step on the scale, the number is accompanied by a brief and angry "AARGH." 

I did that again this morning when I stepped on my shiny new Withings scale. I am not one of those "throw out your scale" kind of people. Instead, I like to see the numbers behind the main number -- what my body fat and muscle numbers are doing. 

The scale helps to keep things simple by hooking up to a Withings phone app, which also keeps track of other tools, like Bodymedia armbands. You can check your progress with charts on the app, and if you have a Bodymedia, you can also track your activity and sleep efficiency.

I've got the exercise pretty much nailed down -- five days a week, half of it strength training and half cardio. 

But the food -- I can unravel an entire day of good eating with a late-night trip to the kitchen. How to stop that? 

With some well-planned little "snack kits." I'm going grocery shopping soon and my cart will be full of fresh produce and clean proteins. I'll then haul out all little plastic containers and portion out my kits. Simple.

More and more I keep hearing the same refrain -- the word diet needs to remain a noun and not a verb. It's also something that comes up in the work of my favorite weight-loss hero Robert Ferguson. He has a follow-up program to the Food Lovers Fat Loss Program called Diet Free Life. The whole point is to stop "dieting" and start eating normal portions of regular, clean, healthy foods in a balanced way. It's a far less neurotic way of looking at eating. 

Proteins, carbs and fats -- all the major players are there and almost nothing is forbidden. If you want fries with your burger, then fine -- eat SOME fries and ditch the bun. Simple. If you want salmon and broccoli for dinner, then have it, but have a palm-sized portion of salmon and make sure you have enough broccoli. Simple.

Pink gatorade towelI never, ever, ever think about throwing in the towel -- that would be ridiculous. In fact, I want a new towel -- specifically one of those cute pink Gatorade towels. (I need one and can't find them anywhere!)

I'll be kicking off 2013 with a simple workout -- the Commitment Day 5k with my sister, her daughter and my son. All we need is sneakers. Simple.

And every night I will take time to recommit to my simple plan with a simple snack and a simple glass of water.

I like the phrase "keep it simple, stupid" but I changed the phrase in the headline. No one should refer to themself as stupid. 

What else will I be doing in 2013? Here's a peek, which I'll be writing about this month:

  • Studying to become a Weight Loss Specialist.
  • Putting my money where my mouth is.
  • Writing down my goals with a concrete, realistic timeline.
  • Making most of my carbs plant based.
  • Firing up my willpower muscle.
  • Having someone else do the cooking for a week.

Those are just a few of the tasks this month. And now, a lovely little simple song: