Yesterday I gave an update about where I am currently with my health. Here are some things I’ve found to be very helpful for me.
First of all, read Atomic Habits by James Clear. This book has helped me SO much in regards to the importance of establishing health habits in all areas of our lives. It’s super interesting and so practical.
Next, find something that holds you accountable and forces you to be mindful about your journey. Mine is that TikTok account. Maybe yours is a journal. Or a friend with whom you feel comfortable being vulnerable. Whatever it is, BE CONSISTENT. Even if you’re embarrassed, frustrated, hopeless, sad…get it out. Every day. Multiple times a day if you need to! I think the greatest threat to our progress in this area is no accountability, so this is SO important.
The second thing is to eat smaller portions of healthier foods. This seems pretty obvious and it is. Quarantine has forced us to learn how to be better in the kitchen and I’m so grateful for that! We have about 5-7 go-to dinners that are healthy and easy to make and I’d suggest you find some for yourself, too. Just Google “easy healthy meals” and you’ll get a BILLION results. Just pick a few and see what works, what you like. And then adjust as you go.
Another thing I found to be a real eye-opener was when I started tracking what I eat and drink. It can be painful and embarrassing at first, but it REALLY helps you to make sense of why you’ve been getting bigger. It can be scary, too, because it’s like, “Wait, if I’ve been eating between 3000-5000 calories a day, how the crap am I going to live on 1500-2000??” I’ve been there. Trust me, it’s better to see the damage and to be honest so you know what you’re working with and where you need to go. So, every day I track what I eat and drink in my Lose It! app, even if I go WAY over my allotted amount for the day. I mean, whether I like it or not, I DID eat what I ate, so I might as well track it! This has helped me tremendously, but you might find that another method is more helpful. I have several friends who use WW and love it. Find the way that works for you.
Plan your physical activity. Listen, if you don’t plan it, you will likely not do it. It’s science. I go on a short walk every morning. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve woken up and didn’t want to. But I do it anyway because it’s just what I do every morning. And honestly, the reason I’ve been struggling with consistency with my workouts is because I haven’t been planning the dumb things! Then I just get tired and unmotivated and say “I’ll do it tomorrow.” Schedule it and do it. Also, it doesn’t have to be high-intensity! For all of April and May all I did was go on walks. No joke. I remember trying to do 8-minute abs and thinking to myself, “Well, I guess I’m never getting health again. Also, RIP me.” Start small and go slowly if that’s where you’re at. This isn’t a sprint. Develop the ability to stick with the little things over a long period of time. It’s going to help SO much.
Lastly, be patient with yourself. Starting can be exciting and you might be filled with motivation, but it can also super suck. I remember feeling so sad and hopeless and embarrassed that I had let myself get back to where I was. I’m really competitive and I was ashamed of how out of shape I had become and how hard it was to do simple exercises. I had to push through that and I know you can, too.
I like to think of it like this: How would I respond if my friend came to me and was like, “I’m so embarrassed. I’ve made terrible choices and now I can’t even do a sit-up! I have no idea how or if I’m going to be able to get healthy again. I suck.” I would be patient and understanding and encouraging. I would empathize. But I’m rarely that way with myself! It seems like we’re always hardest on ourselves. And there are definitely times we need to be pushed and pulled through difficult spots, but we can do that without being negative. Without being mean.
So, like…June. June kinda sucked for me. I’d do well during the week and then “blow it” on the weekend. The whole month was like that and I saw very little progress on the scale. Every Monday I’d be upset with myself for screwing-up again. And yes, I need to hold myself accountable for those decisions, but I was beating myself up to the point of wanting to just give up. But here’s the thing…June was full of HUGE changes in my life. And nationwide unrest. All while still essentially in quarantine. So, I had to look at the whole picture and when I did that I was able to see that 1.5 pound loss as a win.
So…there ya go. Eat better, move a little bit and be patient with yourself. You got this.
What kinds of things have YOU found helpful in YOUR health journey?!