I am in a mentoring program, and we set sticky goals every month. It has been amazing to see my progress over the last few years, from the kinds of goals I set to the number of goals I can accomplish. For a while last year, I was stuck. We write our goals into different areas, with one being health and fitness. I have been on this healthy journey for quite some time now, and I have made some major changes to how I live. As I sat to write my goals, they sounded “boring”, and when I looked at them, I also felt I had too many. Then I realized how I have created all these habits, and my habits are contributing to the “boring” factor. When I say I’m going to run, do a yoga challenge, eat mostly according to AIP, have a smoothie every day, drink bone broth, take my supplements, drink my water every day, and have a veggie at every meal, that is what I really do day in and day out. Now, do I have some slips here and there, of course, I am human. I just don’t let it spiral down though, I get back up and back on track. Was this an overnight overhaul? Not exactly. I am the type of person (the upholder, according to Gretchen Rubin), who can change several facets all at once and stick to the plan. What my healthy looked like 9 years ago couldn’t hold a candle to my healthy today though. Back then, I ate once or twice a day, usually at a restaurant. I worked as a bar tender, and often sampled drinks or had shots bought for me. I decided to get healthy, and gave myself 12 weeks. I ate every 3 hours, only food I prepared at home, and gave up all alcohol. I started working out too, when I had been doing nothing. I did 45 minutes of intervals on the elliptical 6 days a week, and 5 days of strength training for about an hour. I lost 33 pounds in 11 weeks, and it felt great. My husband and I first tried paleo over 5 years ago, and we read a book to start. Then we followed a 6 week plan and went all in to the endeavor. When I wanted to try the AIP diet, I went out and eliminated all the foods at once, and jumped fully into the lifestyle. This is not how most people operate though, and you need to recognize if you can operate this way. I know that when I jump all in, it is in something I thing is right enough. You cannot second guess, is this the right path to go down, or which type of gluten free bread should I buy. I know I will continue to grow and make better choices the next time around.
If you are going to make a small change, decide which will be the biggest game changer for you, and go there. Make sure you are focusing on creating new habits, and not just ending bad habits. To say, I am going to give up fast food is near impossible, if you don’t make a plan on having convenient food at home. Some of my favorite habits to start with are increasing water consumption, making sure we are eating frequently enough, having a veggie at every meal, and eating food prepared at home.
“Feeling sorry for yourself, and your present condition, is not only a waste of energy, but the worst habit you could possibly have.” Dale Carnegie
When you are ready to live a healthier life, you need to be ready to put in the work. It is so cliche, but true, if it was easy, everyone would do it. People who eat healthy don’t stumble into healthy foods, it takes planning and prepping and being prepared. To expect yourself to be perfect at healthy eating is unrealistic and setting yourself up for failure. To start, there is no one way that is superior to the rest, so one person may choose to drink bone broth daily, and another to be vegan. It is more about what your body needs than what society deems as healthy. To think that fit people have more time in their day to work out is not exactly true, we all have the same 24 hours in a day. If you are committed to your health, a race, a competition, you make the time to work out. People who make themselves a priority are not selfish, they are making themselves the best they can be, so that they can be the best husband-wife-daughter-mother-uncle-employee-employer-you name it. What is one habit you will focus on creating this week?