I believe health is not about the scale. It is not about BMI. It isn’t even about how you look. We can get so wrapped up in pounds lost or gained and it de-motivates us in the long run. Health comes down to lifestyle and how you feel.
I started out this post calling it, “The Year of Health.” But then I realized…I cannot contain my health within 2017. In my mind that gives me an end date. It gives me an excuse to go eat the junk food I love as soon as 2018 hits. I don’t want that anymore! For years I only wanted to complete short term goals. 30 day diets, 6 weeks of an intense exercise program, things like that. But now…now I want something more. I want a healthy, feel-good lifestyle. But what exactly does that mean? How do I know if I am achieving this goal? In nursing school they drilled it into our brains to make measurable and realistic goals for our patients. So I had to ask myself before I made these goals; what makes my body feel the best? How far do I want to take this? Will I allow myself any junk food? How many times a week can I realistically exercise? I analyzed and analyzed, trying to come up with the perfect plan, but then realized there is no perfect plan. A perfect plan would be being able to get up at 6AM to exercise, drink plenty of water throughout the day, eat 3-5 protein-packed, veggie-filled meals a day then be able to go to bed at 10PM! But we all have lives. We have kids, work, sickness, house cleaning, and whatever else life throws at us.
My husband gives me great inspiration to stay healthy, and one day he told me something he heard Jillian Michaels say. She said if your going down the road and one of your tires blows, you’re not going to pull off to the side and slash the other 3 tires, right!? Well…this is exactly what I have done for years every time I ate junk food or skipped a workout. It didn’t inspire me to get back on track, it made me follow my cravings and eat even worse from then on or stop exercising altogether. So what changed? Why am I so motivated to change my lifestyle? I am learning to listen to my body. When that 5 Guys burger makes me feel bloated and bogged down I now crave water and veggies for my next meal. I know what foods give me energy and make me feel good, and now I crave the foods that make me feel good, be energized, and sleep well.
SO! What steps am I taking to achieve my healthy lifestyle? Here’s what I am doing…
- I have been keeping a food journal since the beginning of the year. When I am able to review what I have eaten each day I can analyze what I can improve or change, or see why I feel a certain way after I eat certain foods.
- When I have to write down everything I am eating it makes me more conscious about what I am putting in my mouth. Mindless eating is truly a hard habit to break. But when I am counting the number of cookies I put in my mouth, well…it may make me eat maybe 2 instead of 6.
- If you follow our blog you know how I feel about water. I cannot stress enough how important it is to drink enough each day. Coffee, pop, and even juice dehydrate you and increase your water intake requirement for the day. The rule of thumb is for every cup of coffee/juice/pop you drink you need 1 ½ cups of water to replenish what you’ve lost. For more info check out one of our previous posts on water.
- Right when I wake up in the morning I chug ½ liter of water before I do anything else. It refreshes me, wakes me up, and starts my gut off to the right start. Throughout the rest of the day I make sure to drink 1 ½ more liters. Drinking enough aids digestion, sleep, and energy. And bonus! Staying hydrated keeps my headaches away!
- Am I going to deprive myself? No! I can’t avoid cake at my son’s upcoming 1st birthday party or say no to my father-in-law’s blueberry pancakes! Which is why I am following the 80/20 rule. 80% good, 20%…not so good. Choose your cheat meals wisely!
- Okay…so I have not implemented anything structured so far. But what I do like to do when I have time is do the Daily Moves on toneitup.com. Karena and Katrina are my fitness inspiration! You can find great free workouts on their You Tube channel.
Any other suggestions? Anyone else motivated to live your healthiest life yet? Let me know what you do to stay motivated and healthy below in the comments. Happy 2017 everyone! Stay tuned for my healthy lifestyle updates each week.
Until next time,