Most of us know that when we want to change our body, change our mindset, and change our hormone levels we have to change a few habits. Those habits will most certainly include nutrition and exercise. And those are not easy things to change. I understand that completely revamping your eating style and exercise regimen can be very challenging, expensive, and time-consuming. But without doing so, what are you left with? Your same body, your same problems, and your same mental block. And who wants to be stuck with that?
So you’re ready to make a change in your life! Congratulations! The road ahead will not be easy, it will not be a quick fix, and it probably will not just fall into place (if it does you are a lucky one!). But I can assure you it is all worth it. Becoming a stronger person, inside and out, feeling good about yourself, taking pride in what you eat and lift: it is all waiting for you. Here are some tips on how to start on your journey towards renewed fitness and healthy eating.
- Throw out your processed and refined foods. Fueling your body with food that has chemicals, hydrogenated oils, unnecessary preservatives, refined sugars, will not get you any results; I guarantee it. When we eat foods that are “junk” we actually start to crave them more and more. So it will be hard in the beginning to ditch the potato chips, soda, and cookies but it will get easier over time. If those foods aren’t in the house then you can’t eat them.
- Focus on whole foods. A whole food is one that is complete. Fruits, vegetables, wild-game meats, nuts, seeds, are examples of whole foods. I’d rather have you ditch the juice and eat the whole fruit (eat an apple over apple juice) to get the full benefits of the actual food. Keeping it in it’s whole form will ensure that you are ingesting all of the original parts of the food, as opposed to refined and processed food that has been stripped out of its natural form.
- Start moving. Depending on what you are currently doing for exercise we may have to change it. If you haven’t been doing anything for some time, I’d ask that you just start moving. It can be walking or riding a bike; it doesn’t have to be extreme. If you have been doing something for some time, we need to up the ante then. If you’re strength training, it may be wise to change up your routine. If you feel confident that your exercise regimen is challenging, encompasses full body work, and you understand the whys of what you are doing then maybe you should keep on doing what you’re doing. I’d recommend scheduling a session with a personal trainer that can give you direction on what you need for your body and how to reach your goals.
- Be consistent. You are not going to get results if you work out once in a while and if you eat well half of the time. Don’t kid yourself; yes, you may be doing so many new and healthy things from what you were previously doing; however, if you want results you can’t cheat. Kudos to you for making healthy changes in your life! But again, look at your goal. Think of what you want. So yes, you may have changed habits but the weight is still hanging around and you are frustrated. Consistency. Ask yourself, “Am I performing the best that I can? Am I making excuses for the other bad habits that I still have?” See what your inner self has to say to that.
- Stay positive. Being prepared for obstacles and setbacks is very important. Knowing that it is all part of the journey towards becoming healthier can ease the negativity of ‘screwing up’. We all stumble and fall, but keeping your head up and getting back on track is key. Someone once told me that a plane veers from its course 95% of the time, but yet it still always (hopefully) makes its destination. It is okay that we get off of the path we are traveling; just make sure we keep heading back to it.
Getting prepared to make a change in your life can be very overwhelming; make a list of the reasons why you want to change and post it somewhere that you often look. Follow the tips mentioned above and you should start feeling better about yourself and your control over your life. It is never too late to start, so start now, start today, for a healthier you!