Setting new goals or trying to make changes can be downright overwhelming. Many of you are busting your buns to “just make it happen and keep it together.” Bills, food, rent, school, work — in other words, basic survival. I’m communicating about eating healthy and exercising as a necessity, but you’re telling me that, for a lot of you, it’s become a luxury.

I wish I was brilliant enough to come up with a solution to a very complex issue. To make it easier for those of you in this reality, let’s look at exercise and eating healthy as a luxury — something that costs you both time and money. What can you do to tackle this situation? Well, let me ask you something. Do you believe in miracles? I hear stories all around me about real miracles. People who can’t see but perform amazing feats that even people with sight can’t do. Individuals who are deathly ill but believe that they will recover, and they do. The stories go on and on.

Try to view your life as a place where miracles can occur. I say this because a lot of you may have stopped believing that it’s possible to make changes. You think that you’ve tried every diet and not seen any results. You started exercising more but quit when you didn’t see any difference.

When someone goes to climb Mt. Everest, they don’t look up all the way to the top. They start with a single step. One step at a time gets them to the top. There are even sections where the climbers only take a step every 30 seconds. It’s not about the speed either — it’s just about forging ahead. Believing.

Go look in the mirror and tell yourself that you believe that the miracle of change can happen for you too. Can’t lose the weight? No time? Defeated? Not a lot of excess cash to throw around? What can you do to make this change in you and your life?

1. Believe — Gotta change the way you’re thinking. Rustle up that power from within to say that miracle is going to happen to you.

2. Food: Cut down on your portions. If you can only afford a certain kind of food, pick the lesser of the evils.
  • Avoid fried foods.
  • Chill on the bread.
  • Forget sodas and juices (even though, sickly, they are cheaper than water).
  • Try to eat something green.
  • Watch out for too much sugar.
  • Don’t starve yourself (make sure you are getting enough calories).
  • Beware of too many snacks (a chip here and there will get you in time).
  • Try to put as much “real” food in your mouth as possible.
Avoid too many things from a can, bag, jar, or microwave. Pretend you are a caveman and try to eat the types of foods that would have been available then.

3. Exercise: Anything is better than nothing.
  • Walk where you can.
  • Sweat at least 4 times a week.
  • When you are watching TV, do sit-ups, push-ups (even if you do them on your knees), and squats with your body weight during commercials.
  • Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator (think of Mt. Everest).
  • Be conscious of your body. Feel your stomach and butt muscles. Connect with yourself. Wake up those babies and get to know them. Focus on the mind-body connection.
  • If you have a pair of dumbbells around, use them. Do some basic exercises — biceps, shoulders, triceps, and chest. Nothing elaborate. Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps, 3 times a week. That would take you about 10 minutes, so don’t make it a big deal.
  • Just get it done. Even if you only have 10 or 20 minutes, move.
4. Sleep: Make sure you are getting as much sleep as you can.
  • Turn off your TV and computer and get to bed.
  • Try to get to bed as early as you can since the hours before midnight are like gold for recovery.
5. Stress: This is the killer right here.
  • Try to practice staying calm as a discipline. Ask yourself if a situation is life or death and what level of a reaction it deserves. Remember that the hormones you release when you amp out are very damaging to your system. Hours after you are “over it,” your reaction is still taking a toll on your body.
  • If you have something to say to someone, say it! You don’t have to be a lunatic — just speak up. Communicate your feelings, and you can really lower your stress level.
  • Note: Exercise and good food help with processing and releasing stress.
6. Have Some Fun: Whatever you are doing or wherever you are, try to have some fun and enjoy something within the situation.
  • Smile, it feels good.
  • Laugh, it feels better (I have to work on this one).
I’m sorry I don’t have all the answers, but with your help and constructive comments, we can continue to try and nail down the solutions. We all can experience a miracle. We just have to have that faith. And remember one last thing — you are special.

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