Eight tips for healthy success
When you set out to change your lifestyle, you may face some challenges you hadn’t thought of or even expected. Often, these unexpected challenges can throw you off track, either for a short period of time or permanently. To help you avoid this fate, I have put together a list of tips to keep in mind before or during a lifestyle change!
1. Know your whys. You have to know why you’re going to do something. You must think about the whys all the time. The whys should be the things that will motivate you when you don’t feel like going to the gym, when you want to eat off your plan, and when you want to wave the white flag. The first thing I have my online challenge groups do is make a vision board – a tool that visually represents your goals. I tell them to make copies of it, take pictures of it, even set it as their phone background, anything they can do to bring their WHYS to their attention throughout the day.
2. Take the word “diet” out of your vocabulary. When changing your lifestyle, it needs to be something you can maintain for a lifetime. I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t be able to go a lifetime without eating potatoes, bread, and ice cream…..I LOVE ice cream!!! Learn to eat healthy and well-balanced meals throughout the day with a carb, fat, and protein source in each meal. The word “diet” often comes with a set time frame, but true success will come when you can find the balance of healthy eating as a lifestyle.
3. Know the power of your mind. If you think negative thoughts you’re going to get negative results. It’s easy to develop the “poor me” syndrome. This syndrome include thoughts and spoken words such as, “Poor me…I can’t go out to eat with my friends, I can’t enjoy life, I have to go to the gym, I have to eat clean…” You have to remember that you want this lifestyle change for a reason. You want to feel amazing, confident, and to look your best. You want to be healthy, to live longer, and you really want to put those jeans on without having to hike them up over your stomach. It’s time to make a change in your thinking and focus on the positives! Take note of how you feel when your food is healthy, how your skin glows from proper hydration. Notice how awesome your joints and muscles feel when you’re killing it in the gym, or how proud you are when you set a new personal best. These are the positive thoughts which need to replace the “poor me’s”.
4. Find your support system. This is a hard one! Not everyone will understand or support your WHYS. Your significant other may not want to eat grilled chicken and asparagus every day, so they may not give you the support you need (at first). Your extended family may be really offended that you packed your own food and brought it to the party because they don’t understand your WHYS. If you’re going to a gym, do your best to make some friends that are also going through the same changes you are and develop a new support system. Talk to them about what you’re doing and ask them what they’re doing. The members of my online groups form bonds and friendships with each other through sharing their successes, struggles, and motivation on a daily basis. We support and encourage each other. We may have different WHYS, but we’re all working towards being healthier, happier, and stronger mentally and physically!
5. Learn to be flexible. Life gets in the way and from time to time you’re likely going to eat less healthy foods, and that’s okay. Cut yourself some slack and set reasonable goals with some flexibility. For example, aim to eat healthy 80% of the time and allow yourself 20% for those off days or treat meals. Allowing yourself this flexibility will help you avoid feeling any guilt over eating foods off your plan, and lets face it, guilt can eat you up or cause you to eat up! A slip up from time to time is not an excuse to give up on your goal, and by working this balance into your plan, you won’t feel like you failed.
6. Find a balance. Strive to incorporate your new lifestyle into your everyday life with friends and family. Learn how to go out for a meal and keep it healthy so you can continue to enjoy social outings without feeling guilty. Think about how amazing you feel when you’re out with your friends, and how great you feel when you stay on track. Learning to combine your healthy lifestyle goal with your social life will make you feel even better! Changing your lifestyle isn’t a sentence to spend the rest of your life alone in the kitchen and gym.
7. Be cautious how you speak to others about your new lifestyle. If your friends and family are hearing your “poor me’s” all the time they will question your why, struggle to support your goal, and will likely get sick of hearing about it. The more you highlight what you can’t do and what you’re missing, the less likely they are to support you. Remain quiet about the changes to your diet until they ask, “Girl, what are you doing because you look amazing?!” And this leads me to my final tip and my favorite saying!
8. May you inspire the world to make positive changes! A healthy diet and regular exercise is the least prescribed, yet most effective treatment for depression and mental disorders. There is no doubt that your new lifestyle will make you feel mentally and physically amazing. But, the most rewarding feeling you will get is when someone tells you how your change inspired theirs!