Hi Everyone! If you haven’t noticed it already, this month is all about being healthy! Today I want to share some tips with you that will help you start living a healthy lifestyle. I made this change about 5 years ago. When I look back now, I can’t believe all of the bad habits I had fallen into. I was so unhealthy and unhappy. We are in charge of our own health and happiness and I love the way I live now.
But back then, I was full of bad habits. I had a negative mindset. Every day I had the thought of, “I’ll start tomorrow.” But when tomorrow came, I would say the same thing. Or, I would think a couple of cookies won’t hurt. And, while that’s probably true, it wasn’t true when I was eating a couple of cookies after eating a huge burger and fries, and a couple of cookies a few times that day. I had a million excuses as to why I didn’t work out. (I didn’t have time. I was too tired. I didn’t want to get sweaty. Or every week I would say I’ll start on Monday.) I wanted to start eating better and working out, but I honestly didn’t know where to start. I went round and round with myself and stressed over every food decision that I made. And, in the end I would always make the wrong choice and tell myself that I’ll eat better tomorrow. I finally broke this cycle!
I want to share ways that helped me transition from a very unhealthy, inactive lifestyle to a healthy and active one. If there is anyone out there that is wanting to start living healthier, now is the time to do it! What better time than the start of a new year?
The best advice I can give you is to take it one day at a time and set small daily goals. This will help to change your mindset and also break it up so it’s not all so overwhelming. When you focus on the smaller changes, it helps you to form good habits and also to train your mind. It’s not hard once you form the good habits. Then it’s just a part of your life.
Write out your goals and make a plan to meet them. You need to be prepared to start something new. If you know exactly what you’re going to do then you will be successful!
Walk more! Take the stairs instead of an elevator. Park far away from the door. Try to move as much as you can. Plan your exercise and make it a part of your day. Try to do at least 30 minutes each day. Find some kind of exercise that you enjoy so that you look forward to it. Don’t do something you hate because then you will find reasons not to do it.
Drink more water. Carry a water bottle with you all day. Put some fruit in your water so it tastes better. My favorite is oranges or strawberries. Don’t drink your calories! Keep track of what you drink for a week and see how many calories you are consuming. Sodas, alcoholic drinks, juices, and cappuccinos are all full of extra calories that you don’t need!
Don’t skip meals. That will lead you to feeling sluggish and overeating later.
Eat when you are actually hungry. Learn to recognize when you’re eating because you’re bored, stressed, or emotional.
Cut out processed foods. Do I really need that honey bun or donut? Think of food as fuel. I’m betting that after you eat that processed junk that you feel sluggish and are still hungry. Snack on whole foods and eat more protein.
Eat more fruits and veggies. Try to eat a serving of one of these with every meal.
Cook more and use fresh ingredients. Eating at home helps you to get on a healthy track. (But if that’s not an option, check out my post on how to make healthy choices when eating out.)
Plan your meals. If you know in advance what you are going to eat then you won’t reach for unhealthy foods. If you plan, you can also prep. That way your breakfast or lunch is already ready for you to grab it and eat it when you’re hungry.
Watch less tv. This is what helped me to get a good start on my journey to be healthy. I would come home from work and park myself in front of the tv and snack mindlessly. I didn’t exercise, and I ate way too much. Now I only watch tv after I’ve worked out and had a filling, healthy snack.
Don’t compare yourself to others. It’s real easy to get on social media and see all the fitness posts and start feeling down. It’s amazing to see the weight loss transformations, but you don’t know where someone is on their fitness journey. Everyone is different, and everyone’s bodies are different. You can’t look at others and think that’s where you should be when you’re just starting out. They may be years into their journey.
Use an app to help you get started. I like My Fitness Pal. You can record your food and exercise each day. It’s a way to help you stay accountable.
Make small, healthy swaps.
Don’t use good as a reward. That used to be my mindset. “If I run today, I can eat that burger tonight.” Set small goals for self and when you reach them find something other than food to reward yourself with. Maybe you go buy a new pair of shoes or that pair of jeans you’ve been wanting. Or maybe you treat yourself to a massage or a movie night. Don’t use food as a positive reinforcement.
Don’t beat yourself up when you slip up. We’ve all been there. It’s hard to form good habits and it takes time. You are probably going to fail at some point. Whether you miss a few workouts or eat something unhealthy, it’s okay. Just learn from it and keep going, don’t give up. Don’t let one mistake mess up the progress you are making. Be proud of yourself for trying!
Some things that also helped me were these sayings: