Who doesn’t want to live a happy, active, and healthy life? It’s a goal that we all share and strive towards. But it might feel so far away at times that it’s simpler to keep doing what we’re doing and not think about it until we need to purchase larger clothing, are horrified by a picture of ourselves, or get awful news and harsh directions from the doctor. And after we’ve started, “Starting tomorrow, I’m going on a diet and working out,” we proclaim this attempt with no plan, method, or strategy, only fuelled by a mix of good intentions and pure exasperation. And how long will our unplanned advancement continue? Not for very long. This is because you cannot simply go from point A to point Z. A newborn does not crawl one day and then run the next, does he? There are intermediate measures that must be taken to assure your success. You may naturally and practically shift from dieting to healthy living by following, practicing, and reviewing your present positions on these four phases.
Preparation of the Mind
There are just a few habits and behaviors that we can alter from one day to the next, and improving our health and eating habits are not among them. We’re talking about reversing a lifetime of beliefs, connections, and relationships with food and exercise. Your chocolate yearning, well, need, your fondness for lasagna, your aversion to Brussels sprouts and most of their vegetable family, not to mention the emotional connection we have with food. Most people don’t find solace in a dish of brown rice with teriyaki tofu and fresh fruit for dessert; instead, it’s mashed potatoes, gravy, fried chicken, and pecan pie with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. And, whether you were the school’s jock, cheerleader, or the last person chosen for sports, you have some good or bad connections with physical fitness. These connections, concepts, and beliefs are firmly established, and they will not give up their firm grip without a struggle. So you must begin the long process of forming good habits and developing a positive, health-promoting mentality that is open, inviting, and supportive of a change in healthy eating, exercise, and general healthy living.
We usually keep our health objectives to ourselves for two reasons. “I’m not going to tell anybody about my desire to drop 20 pounds and then really throw them for a loop with my fantastic change,” or reason #2 Fear of Failure “If I declare I’m going to drop 20 pounds before my birthday and then don’t, everyone will think I’m a failure and a loser.” In both circumstances, you are doing yourself great harm since you deny yourself support, responsibility, and encouragement by hiding yourself from reality and sheltering yourself from criticism. And by not telling your supportive, positive friends and family about your goals, you are avoiding responsibility, which is reinforced every time you hear a well-intended check-up question like “So, how’s the diet going?” or “Have you started eating more veggies and drinking more water instead of diet soda?” or “Did you go to the gym as you said you would yesterday?” It may seem simpler to keep your healthy aspirations to yourself if you’re not taking action and not doing what you said you would, but that’s not helping you; it’s harming you by keeping you trapped and repeating the same pattern.
Rethink Your Diet
Get serious about your nutrition. All those drinks you consume include calories, just like the milk and sugar in your daily five cups of coffee. Just because you don’t sit down to eat doesn’t mean it doesn’t count. And, although it’s fantastic that you’re eating more salads, it sort of defeats the point when it’s drenched in dressing and studded with crispy chicken, bacon pieces, and a cup of cheddar. Most of us know what we need to do; we know we need to be more mindful of what we eat, that we need to eat more fruits and vegetables, and that it’s better to cook our own meals, but we struggle to do it. Again, this is due to a lack of fundamental awareness of how and where to begin and a lack of a support structure to keep you responsible. So be careful to do everything it takes to set the groundwork for success. Nobody said it would be simple, but being honest about what you’re doing wrong and then taking meaningful action to fix those poor behaviors, including asking for assistance, is a critical first step.
While some physical exercise is preferable to none, this is another area where we need to be realistic. Eating when standing up does not burn off the calories you consume. Running on the treadmill for 30 minutes does not compensate for eating a chocolate bar. If you like the stationary cycle because it is the ideal gym equipment for reading, you should remain at home and read since you will most likely burn the same number of calories. Getting the most out of exercise requires effort, which may be why it’s considered a mental and physical workout. If you are not prepared to commit to a focused session in which you give your all, you will not get as much out of your exercises as you believe or desire, which means you will be frustrated and quit. Discover an activity you love; sure, exercise can be enjoyable if you find something you enjoy. If you don’t like regular gyms, there are plenty of alternative options, such as dance, jogging, fencing, hiking, tennis, swimming, boxing, roller/ice skating, bike riding, and so on. Participate in these activities 3-4 times each week. When engaging in physical exercise, be attentive and present, focusing both on body and mind. Respect that you have taken time out of your day to do something healthy for your body, and keep your aim in mind.
Taking the initial steps toward a healthier lifestyle requires effort; results do not appear fast, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle requires even more effort. The essential thing is to enjoy the rewards and advantages you get rather than focusing on the work and what you have to give up. And the key is to begin; therefore, begin with these four easy actions now; why wait? Today is as good a day as any.