Healthy is a state of mind

I don’t know about you guys but don’t like to start the new year with all of these resolutions on how I’m going to be a better me, be more fit, take more vacation, excel in my career and etc.  Now don’t get me wrong, its great to have a plan and a goal, however I feel like when I continuously press the reset button it sets me up for failure as I resort to that excuse time and time again knowing I can just “start over”.

That use to be me pretty much my entire 20’s and possibly even into my early 30’s.  However, I’ve come to this discovery through my own personal journey that being healthy and fit is a mindset.  I know that sounds cliche but let me explain.  For example, if you look at the week ahead and say, “ok, on Monday I’m going to eat healthy all week and on Saturday I’ll have a cheat day and do whatever I want”.  That mindset, will set you up for failure – at least it did for me.  I would over indulge on the weekends and it would start to roll over into the next week.  Why, because I looked at my life as a payment/reward system.  Like if you do this, then you get to have this.  With dieting I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t have to be so hard.  Now my mindset is simply, I’m going to be as active and eat as healthy as possible everyday.  Does that mean I don’t splurge on some meals?  Absolutely not, but the splurging becomes less and less and the desire to be healthy and eat healthy food becomes greater and greater.

Now I will say, there is a way of getting healthier gradually, like I did overtime or there is a reboot that works for some people.  I’m not one of those people, however it does work for some.  By a reboot I mean juicing or detoxing of some sort to rid your body of sugar and processed foods.  Honestly, once that step happens you path becomes that much clearer.  It takes approx. 10-21 days to rid your body of sugar and the addiction to sugar.  Once you’ve won that battle, the rest is just up to you to stay motivated to be healthy.  Anyone can do it.  Many people of all shapes and sizes have done it and continue to do it, you have to want to change and then you have to make gradual steps towards your goal.

Being active is a huge part of this equation as it helps to stay motivated and it helps to keep your focus.  When you are active you are also more likely to grab for the apple rather than the candy bar because you just ran 3 miles.  Starting out is the hardest part but establishing a routine and making a date for yourself to do something active.  For example, I will start each week and plug in classes I want to take or pre-plan my workouts with a time.  If I miss a morning workout, I vow to make myself do something in the evening and visa versa.  It’s balance and its dedication to yourself to improve your well-being.

 

 

It’s all part of the journey

This week I was reminded to take a step back and stop being so hard on myself.  Sometimes I get into this routine of thinking I’m not doing enough, I should be eating healthier, I should be working out more and it starts to stress me out.  I get into this downward spiral of negative self talk, which then projects outwardly into my relationships, my work and my overall daily outlook on life.  It’s not exactly pretty.  What I have found over the years is that negative self talk contributes to my stress and emotional instability causing me to dig myself into this hole, starting to eat more, not becuase I’m hungry but becuase that’s all I can focus on  In turn, I start becoming more depressed because I don’t have the energy to workout which then contributes to my stress of eating more and not working out.  Do you see what I mean?  It’s a downward spinning cycle and once you get sucked into the vortex it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel and regain the positivity you once had.

My point to all of this is to help people though my experience and what I have learned through trial and error, what I have learned from teaching others so therefore they are real life examples of things that people struggle with on a daily basis when trying to be healthy.   You have to go into a healthy lifestyle with positive thoughts and a focus on an end goal.  Is your goal focused on physical attributes or emotional?  It should be a combination of both.  Most people go into most things with an idea of goal and it ends up spitting out byproducts of so many more benefits than you originally intended.  Take losing weight for example.  If you decide you want to start eating healthy to lose weight you immediately start thinking about the physical attributes.  Maybe you will think about the emotional stuff like “I want to feel better” or “I want to have more energy” but generally speaking there is an end physical goal.

Let’s go with that.  Let’s say you want to lose 10 pounds in 2 months.  A completely realistic and safe goal that is attainable at about 1-2lbs/week.  You immediately imagine yourself at that weight to give you inspiration.  We are visual people so it’s easier if we can see ourselves at that goal so we can give ourselves the inspiration we need to succeed.  Now we start to think about all of the things we need to change.  For instance, “I need to go to the gym 3-4 days a week and do X”, or “I need to start eating X calories a day”, or ” I need to remove all processed foods from my diet”…..the list goes on.  Rather than thinking about all of things we need to change, why not embrace where we are today? By taking into account your current fitness regimen, which may be non existent, why not focus on a first step rather than taking a giant leap and committing yourself to 3-4 days a week when maybe you don’t remember the last time you were in a gym ?  Why not commit to a daily, attainable goal?  For example, committing to take the stairs everyday at work, or walking during lunch or just being more active?  If you start out with too big of a commitment and tend to lack the motivation, this can be the ultimate reason you give up because the task at hand seems too large.  For this very reason you see gym hikes by 60-80% in January and within 8-10 weeks the drop off is virtually the same as the spike.  It’s astounding to see and it all comes down to setting goals based on the individual.  These are small, attainable goals that eventually get you to reach your larger goal.

97103594-1089-4334-8375-D24900EDE417When people ask me what to do to lose weight, how to eat healthier, what to do at the gym I always ask the same question.  Tell me where you are currently?  What do you currently eat?  What do you do now to stay active?  What is feasible within your work/home life schedule?  All of these things NEED to be taken into consideration or you are setting yourself up for failure.  There is not a quick fix.  It takes time, dedication, preparation and a positive attitude.  Sure there will be days when we have one of but not all of these things but the important thing is to stay focused on your goal, have a plan, stick to the plan and stay positive.  The rest will fall into place.