Archives for May 2016

One Small Change at a Time

One Small Change

A big mistake people make when wanting to be healthier is to try to do a complete life overhaul virtually overnight. Come on, we’ve ALL done this…Starting tomorrow (why not now? What’s the magic about tomorrow, anyway?), I will drink 2 liters of water, work out for an hour, eat no sugar, meditate for 20 minutes, write in my journal, cut out bread, pop, chips, etc., and the impossibility of this list continues! We set ourselves up for a complete and epic failure. We manage to complete two out of 10 of the laundry list of resolutions we set. We beat ourselves up, think “Why bother?!” then regress back into the bag of M&Ms because what’s the point, anyway? I can’t do all these things! Sound familiar?

I got turned on to the concept of making small changes by following the 100 Days of Real Food 14 Weeks of Mini Pledges. I am attaching a link so you can see what I did.

http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/100-days-of-mini-pledges/

Each week, I made the commitment to follow the mini pledge, building on the previous week’s pledges. Most were pretty easy to follow, such as eat two fruits or vegetables per meal, drink REAL beverages, no deep fried foods, etc. As one of these mini pledges became a habit, I added another. Sometimes, it took more than a week for the pledge to become a habit. After awhile, I really cleaned up my nutrition! These habits became a routine, a way of living.

You know you’ve developed a habit when the decision making process is removed from the equation. There is no second guessing, no deliberation, no “should I or shouldn’t I?” You just do it, because it’s part of your life now. This is true for both good habits, as well as those habits which are not so healthy.

As you build your arsenal of wellness habits up, you will find that a day or two of indiscretions or poor choices won’t break the bank. You get right back up and resume those healthy habits, and you’re back on track. All those seemingly little decisions you make each day that are benefitting your wellness add up! You start to feel better. You have more energy, you lose the brain fog, and you find yourself craving for more…more habits to help you become the best possible version of yourself! You become a seeker of wellness!

The process is simple, but it’s not easy. The magic bullet for me was finding others going through the same process who were willing to support me. I needed accountability and a plan to make it happen. I had to find my “exit buddy.”  More on that topic next week.

 

It’s Time to Find Your “Why”

Why photo

I’ve been lucky enough to know Stacy for over 25 years now! We met in college, where her outgoing personality and sense of adventure drew this shy, introverted girl out of her shell! I am so happy Stacy invited me on her blog to share a little of my story as a guest blogger this month. We ALL have a story to tell, and each of us has value to add to another by sharing a bit of ourselves, scar tissue and all.

My wellness journey has not been a linear experience, hence the term “journey.” It’s like this for just about every typical person out there, I think. We go through stages in our health. In my twenties, I’d go on and off the path, ranging from complete vegetarian and regular exerciser, to being a couch potato and developing a daily McDonald’s chocolate shake habit (not proud to admit that).

Stress and life events can have a huge impact on the decisions we make about  how we choose to nourish ourselves, mind, body, and spirit. In March of 2015, I had devoted the previous 5 years to having a family and raising our kids. I have a six year old daughter and a four year old son. March is the big birthday month in my house. Both my kids were born in that month (2 years and 3 days apart). My birthday is in March, too. My husband and I were just coming out of a three year stretch of horrible sleep, and less than stellar eating (My chocolate shake habit morphed into an M&M habit) and I realized that something had to change.

I knew that I needed a lifestyle shift. It went way beyond wanting to drop a few pounds. If weight loss is the only motivation you are using in making a shift to a healthier lifestyle, then you are doomed to fail! I did some serious soul searching, and dug deep to the root of the real WHY I wanted to do this. My personal Why centers around the fact that I am an “older” parent. I had my daughter on the cusp of 40, and my son on the cusp of 42. I want to be active in their lives as they grow up. I want to be there to share in the major milestones they will experience going through childhood into becoming independent adults. I don’t want to be mistaken as their grandmother in the stands at their high school graduation! Really, I want to be fully present, and a viable contributing member to my family and society in general for years and years to come. See what I mean by digging deep?

To make permanent changes to a way of living that embraces wellness, you gotta have your why, and it’s gotta be deep enough to keep you going on those days when all you want to do is lie in bed and watch reruns of Law and Order instead of exercising, or when you know it’d be so easy to make a pass through the drive-through rather than take the time to prepare a healthy meal with the produce you bought with the best of intentions, that is starting to go bad in your fridge because you’re too damn tired and unmotivated to cook.

My first suggestion to you is to look deep inside and ask yourself why you want to begin your journey of wellness. Why do you want to commit to healthier eating, to making movement and fitness part of your regular life? When you uncover these reasons, write them down. Reflect on them. Your why has to be big enough to sustain your desire to change, rather than keep the status quo, which isn’t serving you. Your wellness journey MUST begin with your WHY. Once you have your why, then you can start considering the how…