After spending most of the summer working through the Top 10 French Fries in Beaver County, I probably shouldn’t be surprised that my stomach is a lot larger than it was around this time last year. Not surprising, but still pretty gross.

I guess it’s fair to assume that all those trips to my favorite restaurants in the name of “research” are starting to catch up with me. I’m not as young as I used to be…and a few trips to Planet Fitness every other week or so isn’t working like it used to.

To make matters worse, I just got back some results from a blood test that weren’t very encouraging. In addition to being a lot rounder than I was last year, I’ve also got some cholesterol and triglyceride issues to deal with.

So with that…it’s official: I need to go on a diet.

And not one of those lazy diets like I usually do where every day becomes a “cheat day.” I need to be serious about this.

What I Know About Healthy Eating

So where should I start with this diet thing? I’m no expert on nutrition, but I probably know enough to be dangerous.

I know that if you made a Venn diagram of my favorite types of foods and the worst possible types of foods, there would be an awful lot of foods that fall right in the middle.

French fries. Chicken wings. Nachos. Burgers. Dr. Pepper. A couple drinks after work just about every night. Yeah…I’m not real healthy…

But on the other hand, I love most healthy foods too. I’m just too lazy to make them for myself.

That’s why my New Year’s Resolution is to stop eating out everyday and start cooking reasonably healthy meals at home.

Cooking at Home

Through the first two weeks of the year, I’ve been making dinner at home on Sunday and Wednesday nights…with enough leftovers to keep me occupied for the days that follow.

I made this awesome roasted chicken recipe with garlic mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes.

Then I made these awesome chicken and steak fajitas with homemade salsa.

These meals were every bit as satisfying as my usual take-out favorites, but they also had the benefits of leftovers for the following day. They’re also easier on my wallet.

The Surprise Benefit

In addition to already feeling a few pounds lighter, I have also noticed a really interesting side effect developing over the past few weeks: I’ve been more relaxed.

You see, I actually like the process of cooking dinner. It lets me focus on something that isn’t work for a few hours.

I’ve also had a lot more time during the day thanks to the fact that I’m not waiting in line at one of my favorite Beaver County restaurants. So I’m getting more work done anyways!

I can’t promise that I’m going to stick to this resolution all year. There’s a good chance that I’ll be back to burgers and fries by early February. But for now, I feel really good about a lot of the decisions I’ve been making…and I’m going to do my best to keep making them.

Andrew is a professional freelance writer and lifelong resident of Beaver County. He created Your Beaver County to promote and showcase all of the positive aspects of our incredible local culture! You can find more of Andrew’s professional information at Brooklyn Content, or you can also follow him on his personal twitter account, @theAndrewSelby.