So you decide one day you want to lose a couple of pounds. If you are like most you look online for more information and you start going to the gym to get some exercise. The more you read or the more videos you watch, this ‘lifestyle’ word keeps coming up and you are being told that you need to change.
But what if you don’t want to change? What if you’re happy with how everything is but you want to change one thing like ‘being more fit’? Then this idea of becoming healthier and losing weight becomes a whole lot harder to wrap your brain around. I don’t know about you, but when I used to think that I had to change my lifestyle I thought that meant I wasn’t going to be able to enjoy my life or my food anymore. Gone would be the days of bar-b-ques with all the fixin’s, ice cream by the beach, cheese smothered everything, staying up to the wee hours of the morning and forget about having a drink at the end of the day. That didn’t seem appealing to me! I just wanted my clothes to fit better!
Thankfully, that was in the past. I have learned that I could have a healthier lifestyle and still be able to have fun and enjoy my food, actually more! Changing a few things, I now have more energy and I am physically stronger, too. I can do so much more without tiring so easily. It’s funny how our perception can be skewed when we think about what change is going to mean to our daily lives.
Think about your Lifestyle… What does it mean to you?
Have you ever thought about your lifestyle? What sorts of things do you do on a regular basis? Are you happy with your day to day routines and quality of life or do you find yourself wanting things to be different?
Here is a definition of ‘lifestyle’
A way of living of individuals, families (households), and societies, which they manifest in coping with their physical, psychological, social, and economic environments on a day-to-day basis.
Lifestyle is expressed in both work and leisure behavior patterns and (on an individual basis) in activities, attitudes, interests, opinions, values, and allocation of income. It also reflects people’s self-image or self-concept; the way they see themselves and believe they are seen by the others. Lifestyle is a composite of motivations, needs, and wants and is influenced by factors such as culture, family, reference groups, and social class
I think that’s pretty accurate and encompassing. It’s everything about how we think, feel, behave and spend our time.
Now that you’ve thought about it for a few seconds, I bet you noticed that you do a number of things out of habit or routine and don’t think about why you do them. If there are things that aren’t serving you and you aren’t completely happy, then it’s time to make some changes.
Gradual Lifestyle Changes Work Best
Is almost impossible to change your lifestyle all at once. If you were to try, you would easily become stressed, frustrated, or overwhelmed and we already have enough to deal with on a day-to-day basis with our work, running the house and maintaining our relationships.
You may not be able to do it all at once, but what if you were to do just one thing at a time? How confident do you think you would be to change say… eating a little bit more lean meat each day or maybe adding some fruit to your breakfast in the mornings?
Now, if you were to practice one of those things daily I bet you would agree with me that after awhile it would be pretty easy, right? Then, if you added another practice like going for a daily walk, do you think that would become part of your regular routine? Every couple of weeks add something else to practice and you will keep your stress level down and you will be continuously making positive changes to your day to day routine. The more positive changes you make, the closer to your goals you get.
Perception is Everything
Most of the time, you don’t have to change everything about your lifestyle in order to have a positive impact on your health and fitness well-being. If you are choosing to eat foods that are minimally processed and you move your body enough to keep your muscles strong then there is still loads of room for living life to its fullest. A few things I think are pretty important and everyone should pay attention to are making sure you are getting enough sleep; yes, your body needs at least 8 hours a night because that’s when it’s repairing itself. Your body is 60% water and needs to be hydrated so drink some, you know, that stuff that’s clear and refreshing that doesn’t have anything added to it. Food shouldn’t come from a box or a package so shifting away from prepackaged food can go a long way to improving your skin, your health, your energy, not to mention losing some of those excess pounds.
When moderation has gone out the window that you may need to take a closer look at making a complete overhaul and then I could see that being a little scary. A little knowledge, some support, sprinkle in some forgiveness and anything is possible. Start with changing how you perceive the change. If you look at it as being a negative thing, it will be and you won’t maintain it. If you look at the changes with an open mind and curious of what’s to come you will find yourself looking forward to the next step in the journey.
Your Healthy Lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle can mean a lot of things to a lot of people and you need to figure out what that looks like to you. You can still be healthy and feel good in your body without being a gym rat and only eating chicken and rice.
To me, the biggest part of figuring out YOUR healthy lifestyle is making sure you have a healthy relationship with how you eat and how you treat your body. If you are ‘treating’ yourself to high-sugar or high-fat foods regularly, or having a glass of wine or beer to unwind because you deserve it, then I would suggest taking a closer look at alternate ways to unwind or reward yourself. Combinations of sugars and fats or alcohol will derail your best efforts to reach your goals and done over long periods of time will cause worse health issues than excess weight. If you find you are turning to them regularly, you may have to take a closer look at why they have such a hold on you and get help from a professional for support.
If you are ready to see what a healthier lifestyle would look like to you and you would like some daily guidance and support as you do it then I would suggest taking a closer look at my Transformation 365 program.
There are daily lessons, daily practices and daily accountability that help you focus on one thing at a time in the scope of your day to day life. Forget about the quick fixes that never lost or the complicated diets that are too hard to maintain. This program is longer than most and it is gradual so that the changes can stick because you will have time to practice and develop your skills.