Take Baby Steps To Make Big Changes
So, it’s that time of year again. Spring is finally here. With the warmer weather comes no more winter coats, the shedding of layers of clothing, and eventually shorts and bathing suits. How does the thought of not being able to hide what you have, or cover up what you don’t like, feel to you? Do you dread it? Does it give you anxiety? Are you ready to expose parts of you that have been hiding all winter? If the change to warmer weather is stressful to you because you are not ready to put on fewer clothes, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
OK. You know you need to make a change; a change for the better. Perhaps you would like to make a change for your whole family. Great! But where do you begin? There is so much information out there, so many terms, and so many different kinds of exercises and workouts. Which is right for you and your family? It can get very confusing for the average person. Do you go on the grapefruit diet? Do you go gluten-free? Do you go Paleo? Do you go organic? Do you count macros? Do you do carb cycling? Do you do cardio? Do you strength train? Do you do high intensity interval training (HIIT)? Do you join a gym? Do you work out at home? HELP!!!
All of the information out there and the different schools of thought can be so overwhelming, it may cause you to throw in the towel before you even get started. DON’T DO IT! Instead, the challenge is to take baby steps to a healthier you and a healthier family. You don’t have to get fancy, and you certainly don’t have to change everything about the way you are living in one day. That is a recipe for failure. Instead, take a look at your lifestyle.
How many times a week are you grabbing fast food for you and your family? How many times do you, your husband, your kids get any physical exercise? Once you take a closer look at what you are eating and doing, it will be easier to make some steps towards changes. If what you have been doing for 5, 10, or 20 plus years hasn’t changed anything about your body or your health, TRY ANOTHER WAY.
The definition of insanity is, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” YOU have it within you to make the changes. Here are some practical things you can begin to change without getting overwhelmed. Do one or two of these at a time, until they become a habit for you. Once you feel you have a handle on the one or two things, add one more thing, and so on. Little by little, you will be making BIG changes.
For example, eat some low fat protein with every meal. Protein helps keep your belly full, and may help you to lose some weight as well. Examples of good protein foods are white meat poultry, low-fat milk (almond milk is a great source of protein), cheese and yogurt (Greek), seafood (not shellfish), eggs, beans, and legumes. Cook with “good” fats such as real butter, olive oil, and coconut oil instead of margarine or other kinds of cooking oils.
Cut your eating off at 7:00pm or 8:00 pm. When you eat late at night, you don’t burn off as many calories as you would during the day. After dinner, or after one evening snack, go and brush your teeth. It will help you to not put anything more in your mouth. Drink more water. You can drink in between meals to keep your stomach feeling full. You can also drink a whole glass of water before a meal, to help you to not overeat. Eat 5 or 6 small meals a day. Cut your portions down to make small meals more often. Your stomach can’t handle huge, hefty meals, even if your eyes and mind think it can. It is better to eat small meals throughout the day, so you feel satisfied for longer periods of time.
GET MOVING. Exercising doesn’t have to be a chore. It can actually be fun. Have the whole family take the dog for an evening walk, or just go together if you don’t have a dog. Play a game of whiffle ball together. Hit a volleyball back and forth. Find a tennis court and goof around trying to get the ball to your son, daughter, wife, husband, etc. Take the family to a park and ride your bicycles. Go dancing. If you choose, get up earlier in the morning, and take the time to do some type of workout. YouTube has a ton of things you can watch and do at the same time. Have the kids play outside after school, instead of sitting inside playing video games. It’s up to you what you want to do. JUST DO IT. If you start out by doing only 20 minutes of an exercise, that’s ok. It will get easier, and after a week or so, bump it up to 30 minutes. After you get stronger, bump it up again to 40 minutes. You get the gist.
After taking a look at some of the ideas I have posed, decide what one or two things you would like to start out doing. You can even come up with your own ideas. The key is to make changes; small changes, with your eating habits and your physical activities. If you are not a very disciplined person, there are many apps out there to track all kinds of things like calories, carbs, protein, etc. You can get a calendar where you can check off days in which you have done physical activity and for how long. Seeing exactly what you are doing will either help you do better, or it will show you that you are taking those baby steps to make big changes.
–Melissa Myers, guest author
Melissa Myers is a mom of 5 kids who is highly motivated by staying active, healthy, and young. She is a health and wellness advocate and owns her own business. Her goal is to help people have the healthiest, happiest lifestyle they can by listening, finding solutions to problems, and leading people to their fullest potential. Websites: Isotonix.com/mjmyers, Tlsslim.com/mjmyers Twitter: @acttosucceed