Monday, January 26, 2015

Living a Healthier Lifestyle 365 Days a Year

I took the weekend off of social media.  It felt so nice to unplug and take time to think and reflect on things.  I no longer make resolutions for the New Year.  However, 2015 for me was all about setting goals both, professional and personal.  

My goals always include being a better wife, mother, sister and friend, which is something I struggle with and beat my self up for every day.  Am I doing enough to please everyone in my world?  I think a lot of us women deal with that, with finding balance.  

The truth is, I love my life.  I love my family, I love blogging, making videos, personal training and being healthy.  I not only love these things, but, this is who I am!  I workout because I love the feeling, I eat healthy because I love my body and need to take care of it in order to be there for my family and friends.  

Lately, I have seen tons of photos of people indulging over the weekend because they have reached the end of a 21 day health challenge.  My question to them is: what's your health and fitness goal for the rest of the year?  What is your health and fitness goal for the rest of your life?

A lot of these program that promise rapid weigh loss in 21 days do not really go over what the next step is.  A lot of us entering these programs view "health" as a temporary thing and as a weigh loss diet.  Most of us who fall in to the trap complete the programs and go right back to our old eating habits.  I completely understand the trend, believe me, I was once just like you, doing those 21 day fixes, binge eating for a week or two, and going back to another diet to loose all the weight I had gained.

Here is what those diet trends forgot to tell you..
  • You need to change the way you look at food.  Protein, fruits, veggies, healthy fats and complex carbs are not diet food. These are whole foods and essential nutrients your body needs.  You should be incorporating a serving of each in every meal.  
  • While it is true that anything you do for 21 days can become a habit, changing your eating habits drastically can become difficult to some and can lead to binge eating behavior.  Just like with fitness, you need to start making small changes not unrealistic ones.  For example, if you drink 10 sodas a week, switch to 8 sodas the first week, then 6 sodas the following week and so forth.  You are most likely to build a better relationship with food by slowly eliminating unhealthy habits.  Trust me you will still notice a change, without starving your self.  You will get to that 1 soda a week and eliminate it for good with no cravings.
  • A 21 day fix is not an "all diet fits all".  We are all different and have different goals with our health and fitness.  If you have never worked out a day in your life, like with food, you need to start small.  I believe you are most likely to stick and actually enjoy a workout that is realistic and sustainable for a beginner.  Going from no workout to an intense 5-6 days workout routine, along with a restrictive diet is not sustainable nor a healthy way to live.  This is a crash diet! 
  • Start out with 1-2 days of working out the first week for a minimum of 10 minutes.   Increase the time by 10 minutes every week, until you can properly complete a 30-50 minutes workout for those 2 days.  Increase your routine to 3 days a week for 30 minutes and so forth.  Find a workout program you love.  Whether it is group classes, spin, running, walking, dancing.  Fall in-love with fitness!  I promise that once you find something you love, you will look forward to doing more of it. 
  • Commitment is a big thing with living a healthy lifestyle 365 days a year.  Schedule that workout and prepare your healthy meals at home, commit to it.  Aim for progress not perfection.  Allow your self to enjoy a delicious restaurant meal with family and friends once a week.   But, do not forget that health is number ONE in your life.
  • Loosing weight is not easy and does not happen over nite.  There's no magic pill, it takes work and dedication.  Health and Fitness changes require sacrifice and commitment.  Commit to a schedule, cook healthy meals at home and start doing this slowly.  Find recipes you love and introduce them to your family and friends.  

Make health your life partner in 2015, not a "21 day fling"!