As we approach the New Year and many of us make resolutions to change something, I thought I would provide some helpful suggestions for those wanting to take better care of their own health!
First, I suggest you start with small changes! The reason resolutions fail (usually within the first few weeks) is we take on too much change at one time. People ask me all the time “there is no way I could do what you have done” and I agree with them to a point, you cannot do it all at once! My journey began with small changes. As I saw how the changes where helping me live better then I made more changes.
Small changes could be as simple as drinking mostly water and given up the sodas, tea or milk. You could start with walking 2 miles several days a week and maybe adding some light running into that walk. How about eating less, force yourself not to finish everything on your plate, especially at restaurants. DON”T supersize! Maybe you could make one meal a week without meat, eliminate fried foods, and start taking your lunch to the office. Any one of these small changes can make a huge difference over time.
Second suggestion – read books about natural health and healing. I have really enjoyed inspiration stories about people who have overcome huge challenges and changing their lifestyle. Note I did not say diet books! Diets do not work, lifestyle changes do. My other post has suggestions about reading material and websites. If you are not a reader then try podcast or audio books. I am a terrible reader so most of the books I have are audiobooks.
Third suggestion is to be patient. When I started my journey 18 months ago, I could not run a single mile, I was 60lbs overweight and I eat horribly. It took almost 4 months for others to notice the changes in my appearance; however, I could tell the difference in how I felt within a few weeks. Remember it may have taken you years or your lifetime to become unhealthy; you will not fix it overnight. Your persistence will pay off and do not get discouraged. Even if you break down and blow off all your changes on a binge just go back to them, 1 week of the old habits will not undo months of good ones.
Finally do not use the scale to judge your progress, it will only discourage you. Listen to your body and use your clothes as a guideline. Your body is an amazing machine and you know when you eat bad food, get indigestion, and become tired after an unhealthy meal. Take on your challenge as a way of living, not fixing a problem. Make your changes permanent and take them slowly.
Fad diets can work because they shock the body, deprive you of calories in the short run, but you are in it for the long haul. Do not join a program that counts calories or has some point system, your body will tell you when you are hungry and will tell you when it is full IF you will take the time to listen to it. In addition, any diet that restricts natural foods is a sign that it is unhealthy. Fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts in their natural state cannot be bad for you because God gave them to us to eat! When people say stay away from starchy foods or carbohydrates, they are wrong! What they should be saying is saying is stay away from processed or refined foods.
What I have noticed most about my own change is I eat a whole lot less when I eat the right foods. I do not ever starve myself and I eat what I want; I just changed what I want to eat for the better.
If you decide to go the gym that is great, but remember that aerobic exercise is the key. Lifting weights is fine, but you must include 30-45 minutes of sweating, either by running, elliptical or cycling. Lifting a few weights will not change your overall appearance and does little to make you healthier.
Good luck and I hope to see a better you in 2013!!!!