Disclosure: Some links in this post are affiliate links, which means, at no additional cost to you, I may get a commission if you make a purchase. I ♥ your support. (want to know more?).
At the end of last
week year (crazy, right?!), I shared why I’m making 2017 my year of rest. I have to say I was a little stunned at the response. So many of you poured your hearts out…you’ve been there, heard that, and you’re tired of feeling like you can’t win.
I get it. I really, really do. But one of my goals was to be a better coach. I realized that I’ve been writing from a place of selfishness…what I’m currently struggling with, my wants, my needs. The reality is that this blog isn’t about me. It’s about you.
So. I want you to get a journal and spend some time exploring your health…where you are and where you want to be. To do that, answer these questions:
- What do you weigh?
- What do you wish you weighed?
- Does your weight define you?
- What do you eat?
- How do you eat?
- Where do you buy your food?
- What do you eat that is organic?
- What foods do you eat that you feel you shouldn’t?
- How do you enjoy life?
- How do you move?
- What is one thing you wish you could change?
- What are you focused on?
- Where are you out of balance?
- What do you do for YOU?
- What do you do for others?
- How do you treat others?
- How do others treat you?
- Do you value yourself?
- Do others value you (think hard on this one)?
- What’s your love language?
- Who do you love?
- Do you have a routine?
- What is your routine?
- Are you consistent in your habits?
As you work through the above questions, you may find some answers that surprise or even alarm you. That’s okay! This exercise is about your personal growth-about becoming the best version of yourself. The rockstar that I know you can be.
This year I challenge you to focus on you.
Chances are that if you’re following me, you feel like you need to get fit. I get it. We all have areas of improvement. We live in a race car world with an exorbitant amount of options.
Don’t believe me? What television show are you doing to binge on tonight?
See? Options. Too many of them. Most of them aren’t healthy options. Don’t believe me? Think about how long it took you to complete those questions. Did you have to think hard or did the answers come easily?
Better yet, how many of those questions were you unable to answer because you aren’t there yet?
I would much rather someone be committed to their health all year round than the occasional, random gym appearance. It’s about quality…and focus, if you want to get right down to it.
2017 is the year needs to be the year we stop making empty promises to ourselves. So, in the spirit of getting fit, I’m going to share some of my not-so-secret tips for optimal health in the coming year.
Mindful eating is being more aware of what you are eating, chewing your food more, and taking the time to fully enjoy your meal.
Have you ever thought about chewing your food more? Most clients look at me a little funny when I ask this question. I’m not crazy (at least not completely).
In addition to the weight loss benefits of chewing your food, studies show that we absorb more nutrients when our food is adequately broken down in our mouth, before digestion.
The more you chew, the more nutrients you will absorb. Considering we eat to nourish our bodies, this is an important point to make. If you properly chew your food, it will be digested and metabolized more effectively.”
Many times our hectic lives lead us to rush through a meal without ever taking the time to truly appreciate our food. But practicing mindful eating an help you lose weight, improve your digestion, and help you to enjoy your food more than ever before.
Studies show that insufficient sleep can affect your waistline (and your health), which makes sense when you think about it!
When you’re tired, you’re more susceptible to cravings for unhealthy foods. You are also more likely to reach for sugary drinks or snacks to help with your energy slump.
Not getting enough sleep also boosts your body’s production of the stress hormone cortisol. When cortisol levels are raised it causes your body to store fat, particularly around your midsection.
Not surprisingly, sleep deprivation makes you less likely to be active. When you are already tired, the last thing you want to do is head to the gym.
Plan For Success
You’ve heard the saying “when you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” I find this to be so true when it comes to getting (or staying) healthy.
This is one of the most common challenges that come up when I’m working with my clients is that they have fallen into the trap of flying by the seat of their pants, and they end up feeling stressed and guilty.
I work to help them become better (healthier) planners. And honestly, it’s really not that hard.
When you look at your week ahead of time (Saturday or Sunday is great for this), you get the chance to be proactive.
You actually have time to ask yourself a very important question: what do you need to have ready for the week in order to be more prepared?
Putting it All Together
All of this is well and good…but how do you put it into practice? The same way you eat an elephant: one bit at a time. To make this all work, I suggest that you invest in a daily planner or a bullet journal (this one is a great starter option). These tools make life simpler, but you have to find one that works for your brain.
I do not recommend a fitness journal. Why? Because then you only see fitness goals and items-it’s helpful to see your entire day (heck, your entire month) at a glance when you’re working on improving your time management.
Set a Bedtime
Remember that sleep is super important. It helps your body heal, recover, and be at its best during your waking hours. Some people need a minimum of 8 hours of sleep each night…but most of us need more than that.
Use your planner and write down your bedtime…then stick to it. Don’t be like me and start a 2-hour project 30 minutes before you should be going to sleep.
Start by working on a healthy schedule. Block out times for meals, and periods of rest if you are working (or if you’re not). Remember that mindful eating won’t happen overnight. It’s a process. Begin your journey by turning off distractions like your phone, television, and computer before meals, and go from there.
Plug your meals into your planner as if it’s an important appointment, so you don’t forget.
I’m going to be honest. If I left things to chance, I would probably never exercise or cook very many meals at home. If I don’t include it as a part of my daily schedule, it just won’t happen.
Review Your Personal Health Survey
Did you finish the survey above? How do you feel about your answers? What would you like to change? Make a short video of yourself today and share your feelings, then save it.
Then put it away. Revisit your quiz and video in 3 months. Have you made changes?
Health isn’t going to change overnight. You have to work for it.
What is your ONE healthy commitment for this year?