With the new year comes resolutions, with diet and exercise at the top of the list. Take it from me, instead of creating a list of things you are going to eat and do that are guaranteed to create the perfect body of the stars, why not try something new? Why not try to focus on the things you won’t do this year to sabotage a natural evolution to a healthier, happier you?
1. It is an old saying, yet very important. Eat to live and don’t live to eat. Make sure what you want to eat, is something that you truly want to eat. If you have had a stressful day, then recognize it, deal with it, and put it away. Stress eating can be a primary factor in sabotaging an otherwise healthy overall diet. If you must eat when stressed, choose foods that will help alleviate your stress such as a nice hot cup of chamomile tea instead of that high fat specialty drink. Carrots instead of candy will help you to de-stress
and also remove the opportunity for guilt.
What I won’t do when it comes to stress? I won’t allow stress to derail my attempts to be a better, stronger, healthier person.
2. When it comes to a meal, many people think that they can simply take a smaller plate and then they will be satisfied, only to take seconds or thirds, thinking they are not overeating. Choose your food with the knowledge that this food will help fuel your body for your healthy life. Choose what you need, and what you will enjoy. Listen to your body, not your eyes.
What I won’t do when it comes to meals? I won’t take seconds or thirds. I will be satisfied with my food choices…with the first plate.
3. Let’s face it, sometimes it is just too hard to say no to all those tempting and delicious food traps. My advice? If you want that fried chicken wing, then take one. Just one. Recognize the necessity to enjoy what you eat and feel satisfied with just one portion. Fill your plate with healthy vegetables like broccoli, zucchini, carrots or squash. Enjoy the variety of flavors that accompany that piece of chicken. Your body will begin to associate healthier foods, and desire them more.
What I won’t do when it comes to food temptations? I won’t resent the opportunity to have just one. I will savor it and enjoy it and recognize that along with that food, I am providing my body other foods that will help to energize and invigorate.
4. Exercise is often a challenge. Work, the kids, community responsibilities, all seem to get in the way. It is o.k. Studies show just 30 minutes of exercise a few times a week is a great start to a healthier heart. Any exercise that is regularly done is better than nothing at all. Doing the laundry? Try deep knee bends when taking the clothes from washer to dryer. Use the stairs instead of an elevator whenever possible, and try power walking when you go to the mall or market.
What I won’t do with respect to exercise? I won’t feel guilty if responsibilities prohibit me from exercising. I will recognize the value of exercise and give my body that benefit the next day.
5. Change takes time. Recognizing the patience required to make a lifestyle change that includes improved diet and regular exercise is, perhaps, one of the most challenging changes one can make. Allow for stumbles, allow for days when following your diet program just will not occur, or when exercise is not in the schedule. Special occasions are meant to be cherished, cake and all. Allow yourself the joy of the season with the knowledge that you are able to maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine.
What I won’t do with respect to my goal? I won’t allow a day off to enjoy a special occasion to derail my long term goal of a healthier, more physically fit person. I will recognize that all things, including my diet, deserve a ‘˜day off’ and I will enjoy that day off, knowing that my body is getting healthier with each passing day.