I recently saw a promotion for a new book that made the unlikely promise, "Get Halle Berry’s body without ever going to the gym…"
Ummm, WHAT? Although many businesses and publishers would have you believe that claims like this are true — after all, consumers spent more than $60 BILLION on diet-related products last year in the U.S. alone — there's really no silver bullet to healthy living or the "ideal body."
Optimum health comes from a variety of factors. It’s important to consider the entire landscape of your health and well-being; environmentally, spiritually, nutritionally, physically, emotionally and mentally.
And let’s face it – some of us are just NEVER going to have Halle Berry’s body, no matter what we eat, how much we work out or how high our metabolism is! And although Halle is lovely, I think it would be a very boring world to live in if all of us were walking around looking like Halle Berry… Yuck.
What if we embrace the diversity, the curves, the bumps and the battle scars of life that come with LIVING!
Most of us know, at least on a basic level, what we need to do to feel healthier, lose weight, increase our energy levels and ultimately live a more productive and invigorated life:
- Eat well.
- Get moving.
- Smile more, stress less.
- Take quality time for ourselves.
- Find more ways to have fun.
- Connect with nature.
- Find our spiritual path.
Yet most of us also realize that there can often be a great divide between the knowing and the doing.
So, what to do?
Like everyone, I've experienced a wide range of ups and downs in my life, and I know this ebb and flow between ease and struggle will continue in one form or another as I continue my journey.
What's fascinating is that through all of these experiences, I've found a few things that continue to work for me. Have a look, try one or more out and let me know what works for you — I would love to hear about your progress or if you would like support or if you have any tips and ideas to add to this list!
1. Practice yoga.
No surprise here, but my daily practice of yoga is a grounding force in my life that keeps me centred and calm in an otherwise often turbulent storm. Find a studio and give it a try — if you don’t fall in love immediately, try a new teacher or class.
Find an intro course in whatever style or technique of meditation you choose, then practice every day. I wake up early in order to give myself the gift of a clearer mind. I'm then able to begin each day with purpose, clarity and a level of calm that you won’t have without this centering practice.
3. Eat well.
Eat local, organic, raw, whole foods as much as possible. Feed your body with the fuel it needs for optimal health and development. Before you eat anything, ask yourself, "Is this something my body will use to build health or dis-ease? Am I craving this or do I truly feel hungry and need nourishment? Will I feel better or worse after eating this?"
Set aside a bit of time each week to plan your meals, your physical activity and your self-care for the week ahead. Just as many of us create a strategic plan for our work life, the same thing needs to be applied to our entire life.
Keep track of what triggers your ups and downs — keep a food journal and include anything that comes up for you physically, emotionally and mentally throughout the day. This will help you to discover possible food sensitivities, emotional triggers to eating habits and what foods help you feel truly energized.
6. Find your passion and pursue it.
Explore and discover what makes you feel purposeful and alive, then find ways to do more of it! Even if it’s just 10 minutes a day or an hour a week to begin with, if you find the time for your passions, the universe will conspire to help you find more and more time.
7. Seek out positive, like-minded people.
Like attracts like; if you're feeling crappy and focusing on the crappiness, then crappiness is what you are going to see and crappy is how you will continue to feel. I've been called a Pollyanna — and somehow this is supposed to be a bad thing?!
Ask yourself where you'll be in 75 years. Most likely dead, yes? Me too… so, between now and the inevitable then, I would much rather spend my time thinking positively and surrounding myself with positive thinkers than focusing on what seems to be not working and holding onto crap from the past that no longer exists.
Enjoy the journey with a light, playful and non-judgmental frame of mind… I look forward to seeing what else you have to add to this list!
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com