21 Oct What’s your healthy living style?
We all have certain philosophies, rules, and values that guide the actions we take every day with regards to the foods we eat and the beverages we drink, how much we move, and what kinds of self-care we provide ourselves during the day. I call this your healthy living “style”. Trust me, even if you think you have no fashion style, you have a healthy living style.
Stop to check in with yourself for a minute to ask yourself: “what’s my healthy living style?”
Your style might be that you put your family’s health first, but your own needs somehow end up at the bottom of the to-do list.
Your style might be that you were lucky enough to grow up in an active family and you remain active as a result.
Your style might be that you’re in a constant battle with yourself. You tell yourself that you should be making better choices and taking better care of yourself, but you just don’t feel like you have the confidence, the time, the means, the willpower or the education to do it.
Here’s the awesome news about your healthy living style. Just like fashion can change with time, so can your healthy living style. You don’t have to live your life according to the same rules as your parents or siblings, your significant other, your friends, your kids, your work colleagues, or your neighbors. You get to choose the kind of healthy life you want to live at any point in time!
When I was in my twenties, my healthy living style was that I was consumed with calorie counting and trying to eat perfectly all of the time. I developed a lot of food noise and exercised for weight control instead of enjoyment or mental health. It wasn’t until I decided to seek counseling and do a lot of soul searching and more nutrition education that I started to change all of that — but change I did! Today, my healthy living style is about simplicity. In a nutshell, here are the elements of my style:
- I ascribe to the 80/20 philosophy to eat well. I eat clean whole foods 80% of the time and enjoy the other 20% without worrying. Research has shown this method to be protective for my health and my waistline, and it means I don’t have to give up the treats I love. And I don’t count calories or go on diets!
- I eat as many colors as I can in order to get as many nutrients as I can each day. Eating the rainbow is non-negotiable for me and I love my colorful diet.
- I primarily exercise for strength, stress management (I sometimes refer to my workout as my “mental health pill” because it’s so helpful for my anxiety levels), my cardiovascular health, my self-esteem, and for fun. I just know that I feel better when I’m regularly exercising and I sleep better too. It’s an important self-care element of my life that makes me a better mom, wife, daughter, friend, coach, and educator. I don’t do it every day, but I try to stay regularly active.
- I never do exercises that I don’t like. Running, biking, swimming, and calisthenic-type workouts aren’t for me. They feel like a chore, they hurt my knees and ankles, and they bore me. I believe that it’s worth trying a lot of different types of workouts until you find ones that you love. Then mix it up! I happen to love working out at home and enjoy a lot of the BeachBody workouts. On any given day, you’ll most likely find me lifting weights, doing a yoga or PiYo workout, going for a nice walk, or kicking my butt into gear with some TurboFire or Cize workouts.
- I minimize caffeine in my diet and stick with tea instead of coffee. I just find that this is easier on my stomach (but I often miss a nice latte or cappuccino!) and my sleep quality is better.
- I enjoy visualization apps to help me meditate, relax, and center myself at night. They help me to separate from my day and go into sleep feeling restored.
So that’s my general healthy living style — it’s simple, but it works for me and it didn’t all happen overnight. You have to find what works for you! Check in with yourself and ask yourself how you feel most days. Do you hit a slump at certain times of the day or is your energy generally low? Is your sleep often disrupted? Are you feeling unhappy with your weight or body shape? Do you feel “stuck” in your life and aren’t sure why? Do you feel like you’re wasting time with your workouts or not enjoying them? Do you secretly want to be a fit person and a role model for your family, but you just aren’t sure where to begin? If so, then maybe it’s time to embrace a new style! This could be your time to try on something new.
And the best part about a healthier living style? It only takes one small change to get started. Adding just one statement accessory or one new pair of shoes can change an entire outfit, as can just one healthy behavior. Start today. Start with just one thing — and then build from there.
I’d love to hear more about your healthy living style, what you want your style to be, or the steps you’re committing to making to yourself to get that style you’ve always wanted. Share it on my blog and Facebook page — we can do it together!
Here’s to making healthy living simple!