What would it look like if it were simple? When was the last time you asked yourself that question about your health and nutrition?
I don’t know about you, but when I first started thinking about making changes to my lifestyle all I could think about was all the things that I would have to give up. I loved snacking on chips, having ice cream once in awhile, and I didn’t want to think about not being able to have any more takeout! But the biggest thing that worried me was I had to start cooking! Talk about making mountains out of molehills!
The famous last words ‘if only I knew then what I know now!’
I can honestly tell you that I made it harder than it was. I did know how to cook … I needed to take the food out of the package, put it in the pot and cook it up, I was very good at making great casseroles, and everyone would comment how they loved my chili. With a little practice in trying new things, I realized that I did have the skills and with a little more practice I could whip up a fantastic meal in no time! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t do all the cooking in my house but I am able to cook and make a great meal.
Exercise… what would it look like if it were simple?
There are lots of other things that people can blow out of proportion and make them seem so much more daunting than what they really are. When you first start exercising, you don’t want to be starting with PX90 or a Jillian Michaels’ video or you will forever associate exercise and pain together! So, what would it look like if it were simple? Think about that one for a second. I want you to think about putting exercise into your daily or weekly routine … how would that look if it were simple? My philosophy begins with creating a workout with what you know. Keep it simple when you start. The next day you should be able to feel your muscles but it shouldn’t hurt. When you get to a point when the next day you aren’t feeling anything then you need to think about increasing the intensity. That could be more reps, more sets, a harder variation of the exercise or add some weight.
How about healthy eating … what would it look like if it were simple?
If you think of eating healthy as ‘all the things that you need to give up‘, then you will need time to mourn all those useless empty calories!
If you were to keep this simple you would focus on creating meals that you look forward to eating. By now, you know that you should be eating vitamin-rich vegetables, lean meats and proteins, and healthy fats while minimizing high-calorie low-nutrient type foods like white breads, white pastas, cakes, cookies, and packaged food. So how do you do that while keeping it simple? Focus on what you CAN have. Fill your plate with healthy whole foods and you will be fuller, longer, so you won’t have a chance to think about all the junk you used to eat. The easiest way to go about doing that is to create a list and write down all of the meals that you typically eat. Most people eat the same 8 to 10 meals regularly. Now, look at those meals. Do they include a vegetable, a protein, and a healthy fat? If they don’t, how can you make that meal just a little bit better? Can you swap white pasta for the whole wheat variety, can you make a serving of pasta or potatoes just a little smaller, can you skip the sugar or high fat? There is nothing that says that you have to be perfect and progress is better than getting overwhelmed and quitting altogether and going back to your old ways.