So, you want to get healthy?
So, you want to get healthy? Oh wait, you didn’t say that, did you? It was me. I want to get healthy! So there, I said it out loud, I REALLY want to get healthy. Yes, I have said it a million times before, and I meant it, every time. Or that is what I thought. Sylvia wants to get healthy……
No, I do NOT want to GET healthy!
I want to get healthy…umm, no, NO I don’t. I just realized that what I have been saying was not a true statement. What? Did I lie? I guess I did, I lied to myself and countless others over the years? Unintentionally, of course, but still, I’ve never truly meant what I was saying. I NEVER wanted to GET healthy. What I actually wanted was to BE healthy, and that my friends, is a whole different ballgame! I wanted to just wake up one morning thinner, younger looking, and full of energy. I wanted to BE that person, but sadly, I couldn’t get that done overnight. My desire to BE healthy exists, I truly want to live that healthy lifestyle. But if the truth is told, my desire to GET healthy has not been on my agenda. It’s the “getting” there that I wanted no part of.
I know what I SHOULD do
Yeah, I know what I need to do, what I should do to improve my health, but I can’t seem to get motivated enough to do it. Like many others I search the web, scanning the internet, looking for quick fixes, healthy recipes and easy to do workouts. I think wow, I should really try that! And then I don’t. Why? Who knows?
Excuses, Excuses, Excuses…
I wish I had some good reasons for not following a healthier lifestyle, but for the life of me, I can’t think of even one. However, there are many excuses that I can think of, but now that I am writing all this down it is becoming clear to me that they were just that, excuses!
I have a thousand reasons not to take that step, none of which are legitimate or even partially believable. I blame how I feel, “I don’t feel like it” or “its the middle of the week and you can’t start something new on a Wednesday”. Or how about the weather? It never cooperates, when it’s 85 degrees outside you just cannot do exercises that make you sweat, and when it’s 40 degrees, that is entirely too cool to work out. Yeah, I know, they are lame excuses, but when you are looking for reasons, not to work out, they don’t have to be legit, and the temp outside simply must be 72.5 degrees!
Getting fit takes work!
You see it takes a lot of work to GET healthy when you are starting this late in the game. After all, I will be tackling an unhealthy lifestyle that I have been enjoying for over half a century! I’m too set in my ways to change now without an extreme amount of effort. Considering that I am starting from Ground Zero, I’m pretty sure I am too lazy for all that! Or am I?
I have a good understanding of what needs to happen for me to achieve a healthier lifestyle. Exercising is so important, and there is no excuse for not moving around more than I do. For goodness sake, my daughter is a personal fitness trainer, she actually teaches fitness trainers to train correctly, not to mention her nutritional and metabolic expertise! She always takes it easy on me and my unwillingness to even try to do better, and I do appreciate her for that. Health and fitness just drip off her, so I can’t use ignorance as an excuse.
Anyway, who doesn’t know that eating healthy is paramount to living healthy? I know all about superfoods, whole foods, and non-GMOs. It is not my lack of knowledge that keeps me from pursuing the lifestyle, it’s zero motivation, a love for chocolate, and a serious addiction to soft drinks, specifically, Diet Pepsi. It’s certainly not because I don’t know better, I do.
And when you know better you should do better.
I am ready to commit
After giving this a lot of thought, and considering my health issues, I have decided that I am ready. I am ready to commit to living a healthier lifestyle and to take the necessary steps to achieve that. This blog is a conscious effort to hold myself accountable to “getting” healthy. It would be so hypocritical to share my story, and articles on how to be healthy while eating a whole sleeve of fudge sticks and drinking a 32 oz cup of diet Pepsi. I don’t want to be that blogger!
So where do I start?
So, what do I do now? Where do I start? After discussing these questions with my health and wellness guru daughter, her first response was that I needed to write down some things. Ugh, homework. What is wrong with that girl? Here I am trying to jump on the bandwagon with as little effort as possible and she assigns homework? Surely, she has some industry secrets that she could just tell me about and we can skip all these formalities. Or maybe, since I approached her, she is doing what she does best and is laying the groundwork for her mom/client’s success. Ok, I’ll write down whatever she tells me to write down. You can get free worksheet here to help with your homework!
My first assignment is to figure out why I decided I was ready to change my lifestyle. What exactly is my why? What was going on in my life that made me want to jump on board the healthy lifestyle way, after years of not really caring? In all honesty, I did care, a little, but not enough to even try to make changes, and certainly not enough to stop drinking soft drinks excessively. But now, I have a change of heart, and it’s clearly motivated by my current state of health. I am an overweight diabetic, with autoimmune disorder flare-ups, experiencing pain daily from fibromyalgia, and a heart condition. It is time to stop the madness, the first assignment completed.
Here are my “whys”.
- It is way past time to start being kinder to my body.
- I want to feel better
- I want to live to enjoy my travels with my husband and best friend.
- Our grandkids are so much fun, and I want to be around to see them grow up.
- I still have a lot of things that I need to get done and I want to live long enough to do them.
Ok, there you have it, these are my “whys”.
Wow, that didn’t hurt too much. Just the writing it all down gives me some motivation. Click for free worksheet!
What Can I do Today?
What can I do today to start that healthy lifestyle journey? Just thinking about the task ahead of me is daunting, in fact, it’s overwhelming, but after doing some research, and getting the inside scoop from my daughter, I came up with some ideas to help me get started. If you are struggling with beginning a lifestyle change, maybe these tips will help you too.
Now that I have written down exactly why I am headed down this path, I need to think about my goals, what do I hope to accomplish? How do I see myself in the future? Let’s make a list of some changes I want to make, things I want to start doing that will enhance my health. Then list some things I want to stop doing that are detrimental to my health. Great, more homework… Pick 3 items on each list, choosing 3 of the easiest things to do and 3 things I want to stop doing. Write them down! Make those 6 tasks your goals for the week. We are starting small so we can have quick victories. Victories motivate us to keep going. For me personally, a quick victory may mean the difference between success, and settling for failure and a diet Pepsi with a side of brownie. I like being able to check off a task, marking through it, done, completed. What is next on my list? Hopefully, I will be inspired to work on the other items on my lists. With a sense of accomplishment, and check on my list, I can confidently move forward.
Here are some things I can do today to start living healthier. Here is my list of goals, things I want to start doing. I am starting from ground zero, so your lists may be different from mine. Remember, these are baby steps, and I am a baby, I need achievable daily goals.
My personal list of things I want to START doing every day:
- Start drinking more water. Water keeps us hydrated and helps curb cravings.
- Start mornings with a glass of water with lemon. Lemon water is said to soothe digestion, it aids in detoxing, and supports the immune system.
- Eat a healthy breakfast
- Eat whole, unprocessed foods for lunch
- Add a vegetable to each meal work up to 5 servings a day
- Eat a raw fruit every day
- Eat raw veggies every day
- Make sure I have protein at every meal.
- Eat low sugar snack between meals
- Start doing a few stretches as soon as I get out of bed.
- Set an alarm and do some type of exercise for 10 minutes every two hours.
- Go outside for 10-minute breaks
- Remember to take deep breaths
- Take morning walk for at least 20 minutes
- Stand when on the phone
- If TV is on, move during commercials, exercise, leg lifts, pillow presses, ankle circles
- Learn some yoga stretches
- Park far away from front of store and walk
- Dance to one song every day
- Get an accountability partner
- Make an inspirational playlist
- Eliminate toxic chemicals in my kitchen
- Eliminate toxic chemicals in my bathroom
- Go to bed earlier than usual. Set a bedtime alarm, and move it a little earlier each night until I am getting 8 hours sleep.
- Write down 5 things I am thankful for every day.
- Write down 3 positive affirmations about myself every day.
- Establish an essential oil routine for everyday
- Learn about a new oil at least once a week
Things I want to STOP doing:
- Cut down on soft drinks, working up to eliminating them completely
- Stop eating candy
- Cut back on eating chips
- Cut out sugary snacks
- Limit pasta to one day a week
- Staying up till the wee morning hours
- Skipping breakfast and not eating anything till 2 pm or later
- Snacking all night while writing
- Stop buying my favorite candy
- No baking cookies every week
- Stop eating fast food
- Stop eating processed food
- Cut out all High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Stop eating anything that has aspartame in it
- Stop eating anything with MSG in it
- Cut back on fried foods
- Stop drinking soft drinks while in my car. (I can’t pass the store without stopping for a fountain drink)
- Stop sitting for more than an hour without moving
The object of making these two lists is to show small ways that I can change my behavior. I am going to pick 3 items from each of the lists, 3 things I want to START doing, and 3 things I want to STOP doing. I will work on these 3 items for a week. After completing those tasks, I will add another item from each list. Checking off items from my lists as I master each task, will give gentle nudges to keep me going. Baby steps, quick victories, one step at a time, one day at a time, will eventually turn into new healthy habits as I let go of the unhealthy ones. What I change today is one step closer to a healthier lifestyle.
Don’t forget to be grateful
Living healthy is not only about taking care of our bodies, but making sure our minds, and emotions are healthy as well. Adopting an attitude of gratitude has many health benefits. It decreases depression, promotes positive emotions, and improves sleep. Studies show that people who express thankfulness routinely have a more positive outlook, and are happier. Practicing gratitude will help change how you view the world, and more specifically, your own environment.
When I focus on the positive it takes my mind off the negative. I challenge you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for every day. These 5 things can include the important blessings of family, or be as simple as flowers on the side of the road.
Here is my gratitude list for my first day:
- I am so thankful for my sweet husband
- My beautiful children and grandkids are a precious blessing
- I have amazing parents
- The smell of fresh rain on a summer afternoon
- Pink flowers blooming just outside my kitchen window
Change how you view yourself
In this superficial world, we have the tendency, or at least I tend to sell myself short. I am constantly speaking negative words into my spirit that are self-defeating. Science tells us that what goes into our ears, hangs out in our brains, and settles in our hearts. “I can’t do this”, “I cannot live without soft drinks”, “I have no will power”, “I am not dedicated enough to do this”, “I am not enough” ….and the list goes on and on. Each negative word or sentence slowly chips away at my motivation and encourages failure.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:21
I have decided that I will speak life. My goal is to change those spirit-crushing declarations and replace them with encouraging affirmations. From now on, I am going to make an honest effort to make a positive declaration about myself every day.
My list is going to look something like this:
- “I can do this”
- “Today I am strong”
- “I am smart enough to learn this”
Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time or efforts. As women, we need to love ourselves and be proud of who we are, instead of ashamed of how others see us or how we see ourselves.
Don’t give up
There will be times when we have setbacks. Setbacks are not failures. When faced with a setback, we have 2 choices. We can backslide into our old ways, OR we can accept the fact that we are human and humans make mistakes. Instead of beating ourselves up for eating that much-coveted brownie, we need to learn to forgive ourselves and get back on track as soon as possible. This is a lifestyle journey, and change takes work, and time, but the rewards will be so worth it. Getting healthier will change how we feel, and how we see ourselves. We’ve got this!
I am starting this journey from ground zero, and invite you to hang out with me for discussions on all things natural that affect our health. What will you do today to get started on this journey? I am a list maker, so I need a worksheet to keep up with all the lists I’ll need for this journey. You can click here for your free “Get Fit” worksheets! Or, have you already started this journey? If you have tips that have helped you on the road to a healthier life, comment below and share with our community. If you need an accountability partner, feel free to let me know, sometimes just having a friend to share in our journey makes all the difference in the world!
“Alone we can do so little, Together, we can do so much” Helen Keller
And don’t forget, if you have any health issues, be sure to talk to your doctor before starting any new diets or exercise programs.