One of my favorite places to go is Barnes and Noble. I love the creative state it puts my mind in and enjoy hearing the chit chat from others around me. Today, as I walked in, I was greeted at the door by a mountain of health and diet books. I had two thoughts: one, wow I’ve read quite a few books; two, people truly need this information.
With the new year here, many choose to get healthier. I am happy that people are becoming more conscious about what they eat and are taking the much needed responsibility of their own health. However, it never amazes me at how quickly this particular resolution comes to an end. The answer to why is pretty simple actually. Everyone is ‘going on a diet’. We all know that from the day you make the choice to restrict yourself from every tasty food you’ve ever known, you are counting the days until the dreadful challenge is over. You hold your head high and are proud to boast your “30 Day this” or your “so and so’s, lose 30 pounds diet plan”. And that’s okay. If it makes you feel good and changes your life, go for it. However, what happens after the 30 days? What happens when it is all over. You return to your normal crappy eating. Wouldn’t you rather live healthy and create eating habits that last? [Trust me, if you are the bragging type, saying that you are creating a healthier lifestyle sounds so much more permanent and fulfilling than, “I’m on a diet”. Doesn’t it?]
BUT HOW?!?!?! How do you sift through all of the knowledge stuffed in every book stacked in the front of Barnes and Noble? How do you know which way of eating if the best plan for you?
I am going to make this really simple for you.
First, tell yourself that you are not going on a diet. You are creating a healthier life for yourself and your family. [The people around you change when they see you doing this. It’s called the ripple effect].
Second, realize that you are not forced to do anything. This is a choice. And one for the better I might add. You are choosing to eat to live rather than live to eat. [I cannot tell you how long it took me to drop this thinking. I was proudly living to eat. Silly me.]
Third, take action. This is not a race. And to create lasting results you will have to be like the tortoise and run a steady pace. Once you have transitioned your thinking, steps 1 and 2, its time to stretch. You wouldn’t want to start a marathon without it right? Watch what you choose to eat for a day. Evaluate your choices. Why do you think you eat the way you do? Some will say finances others will say time. I disagree with both of those excuses. A bag of frozen veggies at the grocery store are usually no more than $2. Also, isn’t it easier to pull out a sandwich bag of carrots or apples with lemon juice from your purse or bag than it is to stop at the vending machine or gas station? You bet. All you need is proper planning.
Fourth, start simple. Try doing one thing on a consistent bases. Eat a veggie with every meal and a fruit for breakfast. If you want to push it, have more veggies on your plate than meat. Make vegetables your main dish. The easiest way to get started is to crowd healthy foods and habits into your life. Don’t worry about cutting out anything. As you start doing more and more of the good stuff, you’ll find less time for the bad. [Trust me, it works!]
Fifth, Play! Play! Play! Personally, I hate the word exercise! That may sound crazy coming from a Health Coach, I know. Aren’t you just exhausted saying the word? E-X-E-R-C-I-S-E. My mind visualizes the scene from Lion King when Scar says, ‘Mufasa”, to the hyenas. It gives everyone the creeps. [Unless you are a personal trainer boasting on Instagram, of course. No judgements–do you]. How about we call it play instead. Go run. Walk. Jump. Skip, even. Jump a rope. Just move your body! Do you have children? Even better, have them join you. Make it a competitive game. Whatever you choose to do, be specific. I am going to walk for 20 minutes. I am going to do 15 pushups. Doesn’t that seem less stressful than having the dreadful thought of exercising hovering over your entire day. You have several twenty minutes in a day; it’s not going to kill you to devote 1 of them to play…is it?!? Quite honestly, you can expand and utilize the definition of play. Enjoy something fun for yourself each day. If it is not creating sweat, it will certainly be reducing stress and we all need less of that in our lives. [Stress is the number 1 killer these days!]
Well, I am sure that we have covered enough habits to get your healthy lifestyle started. To sum it up, I’ll list them for you:
1. Stop dieting
2. Eat to Live
3. Plan your meals
4. Eat more vegetables. [Try dark green leafy lettuces. Remember, frozen vegetables are good too!]
5. Play more!
6. Drink plenty of water!!!!!!! [Of course I had to add that one. I’d keep adding exclamation points, but I think you get my drift.]
Here’s a fact for you…
|Percent of people who are successful in achieving their resolution
Don’t make a resolution…make it your mission to live a healthier life!
With joy and love,
Health Coach Alayna 🙂