Growing up, I ate the typical Standard American Diet (SAD). I considered gummi bears a serving of fruit and donuts the breakfast of champions. I was lazy, a self-proclaimed junk food lover, and a fast-food fanatic for as long as I can remember. But in my early twenties, something inside of me started to change.
There was not that one magical moment when everything turned around. It happened gradually and at a comfortable pace. I began eating healthier, working out and embracing personal growth (no more ducking in the self-help section of the book store!).
A few years on this journey I lost approximately fifty pounds and dropped six sizes. But looking back now, I realize that it was never about losing weight or fitting into a certain size. In hindsight I see it was really about gaining the tools and knowledge of living a life centered around wellness, because that’s where true health and happiness lie.
1. Get moving. Sign up for a 5K even if running scares you.
I couldn’t run a mile for the first 21 years of my life. In my mind: runners = aliens. But as my love for fitness grew, I decided I was going to learn how to run a mile without stopping. One mile turned into two, and two miles turned into signing up for a 5K race. I figured the worst thing that could happen was finishing last, and even that would still mean I moved 3.1 miles.
Well, I ran my first 5K race, and I won my age division. Ha! (Did that mean I was an alien?!) That race proved to me that anything was achievable once you let go of false negative beliefs. Do some research online, there are a lot of 5K race training programs for beginners out there.
2. Get to know your fruits and veggies.
I remember when the produce section intimidated the heck out of me. All of the green things are different versions of lettuce, right? Fast forward to many years later, and my fridge resembles a kale farm. Start to educate yourself about vegetables and fruits that you don't know. Learn about a new item in the produce section once a week while grocery shopping.
3. Knowledge really is power.
There are so many amazing, helpful and inspirational books out there that can help motivate you to living your best life possible. No matter how on track you are, continue reading books written by experts on the topics of health, wellness, spirituality and motivation. Different people have different approaches and it’s best to keep uncovering new material as some concepts and ideas may really resonate with you and bring a whole new perspective that can positively change your life. Dedicate some time to reading one new book per month and even consider starting a book club with friends and family. If you can’t get together in person, start a virtual book club and correspond via email.
4. Drop the idea of achieving skinny and strive to have a strong and healthy body.
At some points in your life there may be times when you are ashamed, embarrassed or resentful of your body. That kind of thinking has to end in order to achieve true wellness. Appreciate, love and honor your body no matter how it looks to you or feels at the moment. Think back to all of the instances your body healed itself and reflect on all of the incredible things that your body has done for you!
5. Drink fresh pressed juice.
Lucky for everyone, fresh pressed juices are starting to become available all over the country. Once you start adding fresh pressed juice to your life, you will never know how you lived without it. It is hard to pinpoint exactly why, but whenever I go a day without having a juice, something feels off. If stores in your area are not carrying fresh pressed juice at this time, keep looking out for them, it's very possible that they will be available in the future!
Research local juice delivery programs as they are springing up everywhere. Some of the best juice companies ship nationally as well. If you plan on juicing a lot you may want to consider investing in a juicer and making the juice in your own home.