When Healthy Becomes A Handful

Veggies and water and exercise, oh my!

Chances are you already know the basics of how to live a healthy lifestyle. A proper diet, exercise, fresh air, and sufficient rest are all key. But, what happens when all the “how to” becomes so overwhelming that it starts to feel impossible?

Nowadays, there are countless diets, exercise programs, supplements, and healthy life hacks at your finger tips. Seriously, I just googled “diet” and received 448,000,000 results in 0.42 seconds. And that’s not counting all of the videos on YouTube, the social media pages, the books, the magazines, etc. What are we expected to do with all of that information?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to read all of those opinions, many of which conflict, and hash out the next program I want to try. Plus, I’m tired of the health routines that require me to skip out on my favorite foods, or add in hours and hours of exercise to my already tight schedule.

But, I do want to become the healthiest version of myself, for my own happiness and that of my family. My mantra is “Your Life. Your Dreams. Your Terms. No Regrets.” If I’m going to live my life according to that, I need some serious energy to keep me going, and the process for obtaining that energy needs to be simple.

Here are a few of my tips for simple changes that will make a big difference in your health routine:

Set the Tone for the Day – The first moments after you open your eyes in the morning set the tone for the entire day.

If you hit the snooze button 10 times, then crawl to the bathroom and lean against the shower wall like the walking dead, your day is likely going to crawl along. If you start with a super sugary treat, you’re probably going to be looking to fill that sweet tooth multiple times during the day.

Use this principle to your advantage. If you start the first moments of the day jazzing yourself up with your favorite song, you’re likely to keep bouncing to that beat all day and will end up being more active. If you start your meal with fresh fruit and a lean protein with a side of lemon water, you’re more likely to crave these options as the day goes on.

Know What Motivates You – We are all unique. What motivates some, will not work for others. What motivates you to make healthy choices? How can you incorporate more of that into your daily routine?

Maybe listening to your favorite song reminds you how much you love dancing in a club and you know you want to look good in that little black dress. If so, listen to it every morning!

Maybe having a picture of yourself when you were at your healthiest point will keep you focused on getting back to that weight again. Place a blown up version on your fridge!

Make Your Own Plan – Stop trying to follow yet another diet or exercise program that someone else had success with. Make your own plan. Learn what healthy routines you enjoy and incorporate them into your life slowly – I’m talking baby steps here.

Need to eat more veggies? Pick your favorite and add one per day until that becomes routine, then add another.

Need more exercise? Pick an activity that you really enjoy doing, start with very small durations, and slowly increase the amount you do each day.

Cheat – I’m all about experiencing life to the fullest and that means making time for cheesecake and chips. Remember… everything in moderation. Keep this in check by preplanning a cheat meal or snack on a regular basis.

A planned cheat brings a lot more satisfaction and a lot less guilt than treating yourself with Burger King at the spur of the moment when you’re too tired to cook. Plus, it gives you something to look forward to at the end of a long week.

Now, this next tip is key. You hear me? KEY! If you take anything from my words… let it be this:

Define Your Own Success – If you define your success by the amount of pounds you lose, what dress you can fit into, the specific number of your cholesterol level, or anything else outside of you, you are setting yourself up for a lot of emotional and trying times.

Define your success based on whether or not you do what you planned to do. Define your success on the amount of effort you put into your health. Define your success on how you feel when you proactively take charge of your life. And celebrate those wins!! This is when you are truly successful.

It took me 37 years to finally admit that my thighs will probably always rub together. But as long as I’m making an effort to challenge myself, to grow, and to live a healthier life on a daily basis, I’m a success in my book.

Now, none of these tips will take away the fact that a healthy lifestyle requires a conscious intention, a good bit of effort, and a lot of faith in yourself. But you can do this!

I have complete faith in you and you should too. Look at everything you’ve accomplished in your life already. What’s developing a few more healthy habits going to cost you? You never know, once you get into the flow and this becomes second nature, it may just end up being FUN!

Remember, at the end of the day it’s Your Life. Your Dreams. Your Terms. No Regrets.

Crystal KulpcavageCrystal Kulpcavage helps professional women lead long, exciting, meaningful lives doing what they love. Crystal is a certified life and business coach, a motivational speaker, and an energy healer. Check out her website at www.seekingasenseofpurpose.com and be sure to look for her at Guts and Glory 2015.

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