Can I tell you something?
There’s something that I didn’t realize when I first started working one-on-one with people who want to make their health and wellness a priority, people who are sick of feeling less than amazing, and people who are confused about who to listen to for advice.
Here it is: Most of us already know what we need to be doing to improve our health!
There is a lot of information (and misinformation) when it comes to the foods we eat. Just look at the variety of books in the ‘diet’ or ‘health’ section of your local bookstore. But when it comes down to it, we still know the basic things we should be doing to improve our health.
In fact, when I ask my clients “What are three things you think you could be doing, to improve your health?” I get similar answers each time:
- Be more active
- Stop eating _______ or stop drinking ________ (or stop smoking!)
- Eat more vegetables.
We intuitively know how to make ourselves well. But when it comes to following through? That’s where we fall apart. I know!! I have done it, too. I might be a health coach, but I’m still human! I eat chips, I drink wine, and sometimes I even have dessert!
For the next week, I’d like you to think about the obstacles that are stopping you from living your healthiest life. Think about it, journal about it, reflect on it.
What obstacles are standing in your way? Maybe you work long hours and cooking a healthy meal seems too time-consuming, or maybe you feel that the price of healthy food is too high. Perhaps you will discover that you aren’t sure if you really deserve to feel amazing.
Your job for the next week is to simply think, reflect, and journal on these obstacles. Knowing your obstacles, habits, and patterns will help you figure out how to work around them!
I’ve created a list, just for you, of the top 10 things you can do to improve your health:
1. Keep a food journal.
This is where the transformation is. I cannot tell how many times my clients have seen huge progress once they started to become conscious as to what they were putting in their mouth. There is something about having to write it down that makes us accountable and aware.
2. Surround yourself with positive peeps.
We hear this a lot, but it is 100% true. Be around those that will support your health endeavor and offer loving and encouraging words. Ditch the toxic people from your life and go for your dreams!
3. Drink ½ your body weight in ounces of water a day.
Water has so many attributes that your body loves. First, it keeps you hydrated. Next, it flushes out pathogens and toxins from your system so it can run optimally. Last, it can keep you from snacking and derailing your efforts. I often tell clients, if you feel hungry, first drink water. Sometimes thirst masks as hunger.
4. Shop the perimeter of the store.
Fresh veggies, organic meats, vibrant fruits…those are what is on the outermost square in the supermarket. Don’t even venture into the middle. Everything there is just housed in a bag or a box and that is not food! It’s masking as food! If it can last on yourself for over a week, imagine what it is doing in your body!
You need to move your body. Walk, do yoga, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), spin class, hiking outdoors. Pick something that you like and do it. Find an accountability partner that will exercise with you. It makes it way more fun and you will stick with it. Plus, having a partner witness your progress is creates a bond and deepens friendships.
6. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else.
That little voice that has you second-guessing every move you make…That just wastes your life. You are unique. There is no one like you. Often times we stop before we even start because we are so wrapped up in our own stories. Get out of your own head and move your body and eat more clean food.
7. Set up your environment for success.
Sometimes it is hard to stick to a plan because we don’t have the right tools. Now I’m not saying to run out and spend a bunch of money setting up your kitchen but make sure you have the basics to get you started. A good blender, a good set of knives, and a set of BPA storage containers is a great start!
8. Make a List and Prep.
One of the biggest pitfalls of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not being prepared! I don’t know about you, but when I want to eat, I want to eat NOW. Spend some time writing out a grocery list, shopping and then prepping your food. Plan on spending a good 3-4 hours initially honing this routine. Once you do it a few times, it becomes much easier. My Sundays are all about food prep. Washing and preparing my veggies & meats, so I have something quick to grab when I’m hungry!
This is, by far, one of the most crucial aspects of staying healthy. I know you have a huge to-do list and it all has to get done, but, let’s face it, it won’t get done well if you are tired. Shoot for 7-8 hours a night. This is when you systems get to rest and your body replenishes itself. Healing occurs when we sleep. Not only do we get to reset ourselves, but our metabolism also gets a chance to re-boot.
10. Reduce your Stress load.
You might have just laughed in your head thinking, “she doesn’t even know how busy I am.” Oh yes I do. ☺ But it is still hugely imperative that you find a way to reduce your stress. One way to do this is to look at your calendar and block time every week that is just for you…20 minutes alone doing something NOT work or family related, is a great break. Try mediation too.
My favorite app is Calm and it walks you through your own meditation. You can even pick your own time limit. It is a wonderful way to slow down, even if you only have 5 minutes. Yoga. Truth be told, I resisted yoga for years. I couldn’t understand if I was going to spend an hour somewhere, how I wouldn’t try to maximize that time and burn a zillion calories on a run. Ok. I was wrong. Yoga has changed my life. Not only has it mentally challenged me in ways I didn’t even dream possible, but it has also physically challenged me to push past my own limitations and be present. If you have been thinking about trying it…go! It has helped me reduce stress in a BIG way.
I would love to hear your comments below. Tell me what is stopping you! Let’s work it out together!