Getting and Staying Healthy – a Few Simple Steps
The right gasoline will make your car run better. The proper oil or gas will keep your home toasty warm. It is the same with your body. If you follow some simple tips, you will feel better, have more energy and reduce your risk for some conditions. Here are a few easy steps to getting and staying healthy.
1. Start with a plan
Planning is really a process – a simple, thoughtful series of steps that are focused on an objective with small goals along the way. Write down your plan for food and activity, but keep it simple and achievable!
2. Know your weaknesses
Know your weaknesses, accept them and work with them. For example:
- If you know that you can’t exercise when you get home from work, then get up one half hour earlier in the morning.
- If you absolutely must sleep as long as possible in the morning, then find a buddy and walk at night.
- If you MUST have ice cream Saturday night at the game, then have one scoop, not two.
- If pancakes after church on Sunday are part of your routine, then order a short stack – and eat only half!
Don’t give up on your favorite foods - just have them in moderation.
3. Keep Track
Recording your weekly menus, weight losses – and gains (yes, the “one step forward, two steps back” phenomenon) -- and activities, will give you a sense of pride and accomplishment.
DON’T chase a number!!! The number on the scale will change by itself. Your challenge is to work through the problem/solution every opportunity that presents itself. Changes in intake and activities are more important. Checking the scale too often can sabotage your program.
4. Keep it fresh
Just like you would get bored eating the same thing day in and day out, you will get discouraged if you engage in the same activity every day. Change things around. Try new menu choices. Explore different spices and preparation techniques. For exercise, instead of walking the treadmill, invite a friend to walk through the farmer’s market, then stop by a nice café for a light lunch and then head home. You won’t even realize you were dieting and exercising!
5. Celebrate success
Every time you say “no” to a dessert, or make a healthy choice at the buffet, or hold off on that extra beer – you have used your mind to work through the problem and made a compromise solution in line with your goals. So, congratulate yourself and look forward to the next step in the journey.
6. Do it for You!
Above all else, do all of this for yourself…not the reunion, not the vacation, not the doctor’s appointment. Your body will thank you, but your mind will be forever grateful to you!