Starting a healthy lifestyle journey can be an enjoyable and exciting experience. There is no better investment than investing in yourself and your health. I remember when I decided that it was finally time to make a change in my life related to my overall health and wellness. I had grown tired of not being intentional about what I chose to eat and not being active enough. As I grew older and became more mature in thinking, I knew that I would not get away with unhealthy indulgencies as I did in my twenties. My bad habits had to go, and I was willing to take the long road no matter how long it took. Here are a few tips that I used and believe will work for you as well:
- Housecleaning – whenever you decide to change your life, you must be prepared to make space for newer and better things. What this means is that you have to get rid of things that are not good for you. The first thing I did was to replace unhealthy foods and products one at a time gradually. I no longer purchase junk food for my house, only healthy ones. I needed zero room for temptations. You will be surprised to know that you are more prone to eat what is around you, and if you surround yourself with the right things, you will learn how to appreciate them over time.
- Friends: Now, I am not saying that you are to get rid of your friends, not at all. But it would help if you let them know that you have decided to change your lifestyle, and as a consequence, there are certain things that you do not wish to do anymore because it is not healthy or will not be beneficial to you going forward. You may have a few who will still try to convince you to remain as you are, but from my experience, they will learn to facilitate your new journey at some point. Be prepared to lose a friend or two also; that is okay because such is life. Do not feel guilty about finding additional friends on a similar journey. You will need support and encouragement, especially on your rough days. So go right ahead and extend that friends list.
- Be realistic– I know that this is an exciting time, and you cannot wait to see positive changes. Heck, you want to get on track right away instead of in the long term. Stop! Listen, you did not develop the habits you are currently trying to break in one day; it took years to get where you are. So now that you are sick of your current lifestyle, you must realize that it will take time to change, but you will get there, so you do not need to rush. Trust the process you will get there.
- Believe in yourself – Now, this is very important. You have decided to change your life, and that is FANTASTIC. Next, you must believe in yourself; you can do it because you possess the strengths, determination, and will to do so. Having the right mindset will keep you on your path to wellness, and there is no stopping you. You got this.
- Be your own cheerleader – From what I have learned since being on this journey is how to cheer me on. You will find out that when you make a decision that is important to you, at times, there will be no one in your corner. You will look in the stand, and no one will be there cheering for you. And, if you allow that to get to you, you are already defeated. Therefore, it is imperative for you to encourage and cheer for yourself. Tell yourself that you are your biggest fan, and everything will be fine. For every milestone that you have reached, celebrate and treat yourself because you deserve it. Sometimes being an island is just what you need to focus on, creating a better, stronger, and more mature you.
- Nutrition – Whatever you do, ensure that you have a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and grains. The closer your food is to nature, the better your results. Be bold with your meals and try combining various foods. By doing this, you will find what you like and do not like. I feel a bit weird saying this but planning your meals may be a good idea. I suck at meal planning and often just freelance. I am working on this because it will allow me to have a more precise routine. But if you are not good at throwing the perfect meal together at the moment and run the risk of being tempted to eat something you do not want to because you did not plan, then, by all means, do your preparation.
- Fitness/exercise – Once you have commenced a healthy lifestyle and you are doing all the right things, you will see the result whether you exercise or not. I remember how fast I melted off the extra pounds without even exercising. I was getting used to this because I was right where I wanted to be weight-wise, so I figured no need to do much more. Wrong. Exercise is important. Many will try to tell you that you do not have to exercise, but that is a lie! Exercise is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle and offers tremendous health benefits. You also want to build and strengthen your muscles, which will make this possible and give you a much leaner and toned look. Do not think you have to spend long hours in the gym lifting weight or running. Whether you choose to do so is entirely up to you. Just walking and moderate strength training daily is good for you. The best advice that I can give you when working out and being consistent is to do what you love. For example, if you have always enjoyed dancing, find a routine that incorporates this; it will be more enjoyable, and you look forward to doing it each.
- Share your Journey – Do not be afraid to share your journey and what you have discovered along the way. There will always be someone out there who wants to make a lifestyle change but struggles to get started. By sharing your journey, you can motivate and encourage others. Not only that, but it helps to keep you motivated and accountable as well. So basically, it’s a win, win.
Want to know why you should make a lifestyle change instead of endless dieting? Read the post below.
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