Wouldn't it be nice if we could wake up one day, decide to start a weight loss program and then two weeks later, be lighter, healthier and happier?
Of course it would be nice, but it's not realistic. Life doesn't work that way. We have trouble committing to our plan, we get too busy to exercise and we get overwhelmed with all of life’s other obstacles that we end up defeated and depleted.
But if you're ready to commit to making a change, I’ve come up with eight simple steps that are gradual lifestyle changes that'll have you on your way to your best self in no time.
1. Get your mind right.
We all talk about what we need to do when it comes to fitness and nutrition, but that talk usually comes with very little action. Your health and wellness should be your #1 priority. It's so common for us to let other things take over and relegate ourselves to the bottom of the priority list, but if we're not healthy and doing things for YOU, you're less likely to be healthy and available for the people in your life down the road.
2. Change your perspective.
How often do we talk ourselves out of working out and eating healthy? Stop thinking about how hard it's going to be or how much time it'll take and instead start thinking about how it's going to make you feel when you're done, when you've achieved something.
3. Small changes are better than big changes.
Stop trying to change your entire lifestyle at once. The yo-yo, “all-or-nothing” lifestyle won't give you the results you want. You'll find yourself either binging on junk food or eating super clean, working out like crazy or not at all. Instead, take it one day at a time. Ten minutes of working out is better than no minutes, eating a salad instead of a sandwich for lunch today will start to create different habits.
This needs to be a lifestyle, not a fad.
4. Dress the part.
If you create the environment and possibility, whatever you want to happen will. Try wearing your workout clothes during the day or laying them our before you go to sleep every night. It's a small step, but it's still a step you can cut out to make it easier to choose healthy lifestyle habits.
5. Eat at home.
Eating at home will not only help your calorie, salt and sugar intake, but will also help your wallet!
6. Make your health social.
You can have just as much fun with friends in your own home as you can "out on the town." Having friends over to make a meal or using food to create a family event will build new, healthy habits for everyone.
7. Stop looking at the big picture.
You didn’t go from crawling on the floor to running overnight. Fitness and nutrition are the same way: you have to take baby steps, day by day. Stop looking at how much you have to lose or where you want to be in thirty days, and instead be present in the moment. Celebrate your daily successes, no matter how big or small. Be proud of who you are and of what you're doing to reach your health and wellness goals.
Most importantly, you must realize that if you're not happy with yourself and your body, you're the only one who can do something to change it. You won't be satisfied with any achieved success in your health journey unless you truly love yourself and start putting yourself on the top of your own to-do list.