Lately I’ve really been getting on track again when it comes to healthy living. I’m watching what I eat, exercising more and minding my mental state. While I’m nowhere near perfect I have learned some things already that I would like to share with you all. Hopefully this post will help you or motivate you to live a healthy and happy life again.
Meal planning. when it comes to food, I’ve found out you’ve got two kinds of people; “regular eaters” and “snackers”. The regular eaters are people that keep to breakfast, lunch and dinner without any difficulty. Snackers are those who eat the standard meals but always find ways to snack in between. I’m a snacker. Whenever I’m bored, or even when I’m figuring out what I’m going to make for dinner, I will be snacking on something while doing so. This may seem like something that is impossible to stop without feeling bad. It’s not.
The key is meal prepping. Get a notebook, find recipes you like and plan your weeks in advance. Every week I plan my main meals and one supply of healthy snacks (this could be my healthy fruit cakes, healthy granola bars or something else). I make sure I have this because no matter how easy it seems to just grab a piece of fruit, sometimes we just want something hearty. Healthy granola bars will then be easy to grab and satisfy your craving. Meal planning is also so much easier with shopping. When I plan my week I make my shopping list so I’m sure I’ve got everything for a week.
One last bit of advice regarding meal planning: make sure you occasionally incorporate new foods. Otherwise you’ll get bored and quit.
When it comes to exercise, there’s only one simple solution for getting back on track. Just do it. You have to motivate yourself to exercise the first couple of times but once you get into a routine you’ll feel that your body starts craving it.
So how to start this? Find a workout you like. It can be cardio, biking outside, weights, yoga, whatever makes you feel good. You have to like what you’re doing otherwise you’ll never stick to it. And yes, sometimes that will change. I did yoga every day for months when I suddenly felt like doing more high intensity workouts, too. You can switch things off. It’s just about moving your butt, doesn’t matter in what way. Right now I’m alternating between cardio + exercises with weights and yoga. Do what feels right, just make sure you feel it.
Another useful tip is to make a bullet journal type checklist. Make little squares for each day of the month and color in a square when you’ve exercised that day. It’s so easy to not be aware of when you last exercised. By doing this you’ll be more aware of your schedule and you’ll feel a bit more motivated to color in that square.
For years I’ve told people that I believe mental health is a huge part of overall health. So here are a few little bits to remember when you’re trying to get healthier.
Accept where you’re at. You could want to eat healthy and exercise to lose weight, get stronger or just to feel better. While you can strive to obtain these goals never ever let it get down on the you you are now. Take note of, appreciate and accept where you’re at. Enjoy every part of the journey. That includes the here and now.
Give yourself time. Your body works hard every day to sustain your lifestyle. When you start exercising that doesn’t mean your body suddenly changes into your dream-bod. Allow yourself time to change and improve. Personal example: I really want to lose a little bit of fat. I hold it near my stomach and I wish I didn’t. Right now I’m exercising daily (except for days when I work) and I’m eating healthy. But even though I’ve been doing this for a little while, I’m not yet where I want to be. Instead of focusing on the fat that’s left I try to focus on the positives. I’m noticing my muscles, I’m getting stronger and I feel better. My stomach will be the way I want it in the future, for now, there’s plenty to be happy about.
Allow for “mistakes”. When we try to live healthily we usually go all in. But you’re human. There’s going to come a moment when someone offers you an unhealthy snack, there’s going to be a time when you just feel like getting fries. Its okay! While it’s good to primarily focus on a healthy lifestyle there are always moments where you will get a little unhealthy. If you don’t, there’s a pretty big chance you’ll end up binging in the future and feeling terrible. So get that piece of cake, eat that burger and skip the workout. It’s all part of keeping the balance.