Happy Tuesday friends! I hope everyone’s week is off to a great start. We all know the struggle with how to make being healthy a lifestyle can seem intimidating and tasking. We start the year strong with a rigorous gym schedule, a new fad diet and buckets of hope. After a few weeks though, life gets in the way and it all starts to fall apart. It’s not easy staying healthy but if you make it a part of your lifestyle, it starts to become natural and doesn’t feel like so much work. There’s no magic pill (yet haha) and today I’m sharing six ways I make healthy living a part of my everyday life.
This is a bit of a long one so grab some tea or a glass of red wine and settle right in.
1. Set realistic goals
This is a big one and the foundation to making it all work. Most times, when we set off on a healthy lifestyle journey, we want to do everything at once. Work out seven times a week, cut out all carbs, do a crash diet, run a 5k every weekend, do a cleanse, etc. You get my drift. It’s like deciding you want to learn to play the piano and then starting with a Beethoven piece as your first lesson. You will beat yourself up on day one, quit and never want to see a piano again lol. Working out is no different!
Break up your audacious goal into small, attainable chunks and pat yourself on the back as you achieve them.
For me, one of my goals is to workout on Mondays no matter how tired I am, and that always sets the tone for the rest of the week. Easy right? I achieve my Monday goal, pat myself on the back and I’m motivated to keep it going for the rest of the week. When I set a goal to workout five times a week, I almost always fail because when I skip Monday (yup when, not if haha), I think “o it’s okay, I have six more days to meet my goal”. And then I skip Tuesday and next thing I know, the week is over and I barely got a workout in!
2. Do what moves you
When it comes to exercise, if you don’t enjoy it, you won’t keep up with it. So find what you enjoy and make it your main workout; there are so many options out there that there’s bound to be something you like. I enjoy group fitness classes like kickboxing, dancing and HIIT and I actually look forward to getting my sweat on with these workouts. For you, it might be running, tennis, brisk walking, basketball, strength training, etc. I also find that working out with other people keeps me consistent and accountable, but what works for you might be different. The good news is that there are so many videos and workout apps available that you can do from the comfort of your home, and you can have a virtual support group!
Your body craves what you give it so the more you workout, the more you’ll enjoy it. It will become a part of you and you’ll want to do it more.
When I’m not consistent with my workouts, I get miserable. Real talk. Just stick with it and if you fall off, dust yourself off and start over but don’t give up!
3. Push yourself
We all know that growth never happens in our comfort zone so we have to push ourselves. Give yourself some credit when you achieve a goal, but don’t stop there.
You are more capable than you think!
For instance, when starting my week with a Monday workout comes naturally to me because I’ve been consistent with it for long enough, I throw in another challenge. Some days it’s adding an extra 30 minutes to my workout and some days it’s switching it up. For example, I hate the treadmill and all its cousins but every now and then, I’ll gather all my favorite hype songs and stick it out for 30 minutes. It keeps things dynamic for my body, and keeps me from getting bored. Other days it’s something simple like using heavier weights for the day’s class or drinking one extra glass of water, or adding an extra serving of leafy vegetables to my meal. Which brings me to my next point.
4. You are what you eat
Honestly, I could write a whole post about this because this is the hardest part for most of us *groan*. I used to be tempted to try one crash diet or another but I finally gave it all up and just started living lol! Think about it – how many crash diets have you done in the last year and how many times have you gone wayyy off track and had to restart? It’s not so much that these diets don’t work, it’s that they’re not sustainable and most times, they’re bad for you because you’re usually starving your body of some much needed nutrients.
Moderation is the keyword and life is all about balance.
For example, instead of cutting out carbs completely, maybe try eating fewer carbs, and pick the right ones. Again, your body craves what you give it so think about what you’re about to feed your body before you eat. You’ll be shocked at the sugar content in some foods that are commonly considered healthy. Take a look at your fridge and your pantry. Do the items you have in there reflect the healthy lifestyle you’re trying to live?
5. Know your food weaknesses
My biggest food weakness is eating crunchy snacks in bed while watching mindless TV or reading a book. Give me a savory, crunchy snack over a real meal any day and I’ll love you for life; it’s a struggle y’all and it’s terrible! I could lie to myself and say I’m going to cut them out completely and never eat them again but I’ll just end up eating more. Instead, I try to research some healthier alternatives that are still crunchy and yummy and I stick mostly to those. I also try to have a real meal before I snack so that I don’t fill up on snacks and skip meals. It’s all about knowing your weaknesses and finding creative ways to overcome them. I’m still working on this one but there’s hope lol.
It’s not about being skinny, it’s about being healthy.
Maybe your weakness is soda, or other sugary drinks, or rice, or dessert. Cutting them out completely might not be realistic and in some cases, might even be unhealthy. Instead, set a goal to split your soda intake in half for example and replace the other half with water. Or only eat half of your usual serving of rice and replace the other portion with green leafy vegetables. Or eat some but not all the dessert. Remember, it’s all about setting realistic goals that you can stick to.
Always be ready
Finally, make it as easy as possible to get a quick workout in when you have little pockets of time. For example, I always have a packed gym bag in my car. I also keep these fitness bands at home or in my bag. They are super light and easy to travel with, but can add an extra punch to your workout. I do workouts similar to these at home; easy to fit in and they’re fantastic for the booty!
Phew I just preached to myself! I hope you found these tips on how to make being healthy a lifestyle helpful. It might seem intimidating at first but the good news is that once you start incorporating these one at a time, it becomes second nature. You’ll start to see the changes and you’ll want to keep going. Remember, it’s all about the journey so have fun with it and don’t focus too much on the destination. You can do it!
What are your thoughts? Anything you agree or disagree with? Let me know in the comments and thanks so much for reading!