Prior to my HA diagnosis, being healthy to me definitely meant being as active as possible and eating as clean as possible with absolutely no slip-ups and no rest days…but that is completely, 100% wrong which caused me to be pretty unhealthy. Not what I was striving for!
Being healthy to me is about being in balance. Something we all strive for daily.
The three components of this healthy balance are fitness, fuel, and loving yourself.
Strive to move more each day.
The most important thing here is to know that moving in any way, shape, or form is great and something you should be very proud of for trying to do each day! This could be incorporating 30 minutes of exercise, taking the stairs, standing more, parking furthest from the door, dancing, vacuuming, and even while you are at work.
Side note: In my work newsletter, there was a link to an article about the increase popularity of “Walk Meetings” where instead of meeting over lunch or sitting in someone’s office, you get moving! It’s been proven to be more productive as humans typically work better side by side talking instead of face to face and with the increase distractions of technology, you both can unplug and really focus on the topic. I wish I had more meetings at work, this is definitely something I’d love to do more of! (Merchant, 2013)
I have been trying to get back into the swing of things by walking and doing some Blogilates. Cabin fever is kicking in so anything to help beat those winter blues works for me!
Strive to be proactive and smart with your fuel.
I am a strong believer that the quality of the food we eat matters. I have a slight anxiety over the mistrust of our food manufacturers and the more I read about what society (including me!) accepts as food makes me cringe. David and I definitely don’t eat super clean, but I do think it’s so important to be knowledgeable enough to make your own choices for what you do eat. We strive to eat real food, attempt to save money where we can so we can afford a few local options, and are trying to decode ingredient labels the best we can. Healthier eating (and living in general) is a proactive process. It takes time, researching, and learning. Something we strive to do better each month. You also have to find what works best for you and your family like dealing with pickier eaters or a smaller budget but it definitely can be accomplished by a slower transition with smaller changes here and there.
Although I feel counting calories can easily get taken to the extreme, it’s a huge learning tool and fuel gauge to let you know where you are at (running on empty/full/etc). I don’t think it’s something you should do for the long term, but I do think as you do it, you’ll find you eat basically the same things throughout the week and it becomes a lot easier to track mentally on your own and adjust if you need to but only if it’s being used as a gauge of fuel, not as a gauge of the scale…
**If you are trying to lose weight, counting calories can be very beneficial but make sure when you hit your maintenance that you up your calories to equal what you are burning each day.
Another good way of staying healthier is to follow the 80/20 rule. Eating real food 80 percent of the time with 20 percent being completely up to your desire!
Strive to love yourself.
This is a must in order for the other 2 to work! If you don’t love yourself, you probably aren’t going to care if you are being healthy or you will never be satisfied with your eating or fitness. Loving yourself, your personality, your body, your life…will help all other areas of your life fall into place. You must love yourself before others can really truly love you and by loving yourself you are embracing all of your great qualities and even the qualities you can improve on. Loving yourself gives you the chance to accept who you are and accentuate all of the amazing things you have to offer this world!
At the header of each category I have the word “strive”. I think this word is so crucial in the topic of healthy living. None of us are perfect, we have our days, we make our mistakes, we give everything we’ve got, we set ourselves up for failures, we celebrate our successes, and each day presents a new challenge. Strive is just a word that holds a similar meaning as the word ‘goal’ but unlike a goal, it’s not expected to be reached and moved on from. It’s meant to constantly be something you work on, improve on, change, and discover what works best for you.