If there’s one thing I’ve learned on my fitness journey it’s that there’s more to it than meets the eye. Often times, the biggest triumphs of all can’t be measured in numbers.
Most people will say they want to “live a healthy lifestyle,” when what they really mean to say is that they want to lose weight through diet and exercise. But does this weight management approach to wellness work in the long-term? Is their lifestyle actually changing? I’d argue that it’s not. Not really.
The way to achieve optimal health and wellness is to bring awareness to how the combination of mental, physical and social health affects your overall wellbeing. (These can be broken down into several other categories, but for now we’ll focus on these three.)
It’s easy to dismiss how our mental state impacts our physical and vice versa—don’t get caught in a vicious cycle of one negative component influencing the others! Here are some ways to promote healthy habits in each category:
- Mental: Short breaks from work have been proven to increase productivity and work satisfaction.
- Physical: Small changes matter—going for a daily walk and eliminating unhealthy foods from your diet are great steps toward positive physical change!
- Social: Human beings are naturally social creatures. Take a step outside your comfort zone and start a conversation with your neighbor or join a local fitness group. Community support goes a long way in staying focused on achieving your goals.
A great way to get started is to take a personal health assessment. By answering a few questions, you can get a look at what areas in your life you should pay more attention to. This insight will lead to a development of life-long healthy habits, for a healthier AND happier you.
This is something I’ve wanted to write about for a while…and I’m finally getting around to doing it! (Achieving goals like a boss!)
I’m a dreamer with big plans and hopes for the future. I want to be fit, I want to go back to school and maybe, one day, I want to have a family. I’ve always thought that there’s a time and place for these things to happen; each separated into their own little timeframe of when they should be accomplished. And somehow, magically, I expected that each of these would just happen. Poof! You’re fit! You’re educated! You’re a mom!
But, wouldn’t ya know it? That’s not exactly how it works. You can’t just sit around on your butt and expect Life to just happen! You have to make it happen! Who knew??!!
When I began to actually look at what I wanted to accomplish and how impossible it all seemed, I thought –I need a mantra. I need something that defines what I want my life to look like. And so, “Expedite Life” was born!
This is what Expedite Life means to me: It means living life in the NOW; not the someday. It means getting up every day and saying to myself – Today I will make shit happen! I will own my destiny. I will NOT give up. No excuses.
I have no idea what my life will actually look like in 3 months, 5 years or 20 years and that’s ok. What’s important is putting in the work and making it happen. There’s only so much hoping, wishing and waiting you can do – why wait for something when you can have little pieces of it every day?
P.S. – If you’re looking for a GREAT self-help book to light a fire in your pants and get you started on your own journey, I highly recommend You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, by Jen Sincero.
Once upon a time, I felt trapped inside my own body. I thought of myself as this beautiful, skinny and successful person who just needed to break free of my “fat body.” Then, if that happened, I would be happy.
In March I decided to commit myself to daily nutrition check-ins and a workout program – 30 minutes a day – that was realistic for my schedule.
And in just one short month, I’ve realized that my entire mindset about who I am was completely wrong. I AM a beautiful and successful person. I don’t need some number on a scale to tell me that. I want a healthy body, not a “skinny” one.
Each day I discover something new and wonderful. Maybe it’s a deeper belief in myself and maybe it’s a reminder to accept my body’s limitations – it’s a marathon, not a sprint!
If you have struggled or are struggling, please know that you’re not alone. Others have the same fears, the same hopes for the future. I encourage you all to set aside a little time for self-reflection. It’s the first step toward changing your life – creating a fulfilled and purpose-driven life.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked this question: How do you do it? How do you get up every morning and workout? And stay on your meal plans? And not lose focus?
Let me start off with this – I’m not 110% committed. There, I admit it! I occasionally wake up late and need another hour of sleep; I don’t workout every day; I have cheat days!
I’M NOT PERFECT. No one is. But I STAY FOCUSED on my goals!
- You have to commit yourself! I work for EVERY pound lost, EVERY drop of sweat. If you’re not putting in the work, why would you expect to see results?
It’s important to establish goals in the beginning, that way you have something to look forward to! Don’t dwell on the bumps along the road – life happens. The journey of adapting a healthier lifestyle is what you should be focused on.
- Plan ahead. I cannot stress this one enough. Plan your meals a week in advance – I typically meal plan and grocery shop on Sundays – and plan your workouts! It might seem silly at first, but after one week of executing your plan, you’ll ask yourself how you ever managed to go without it!
Even if you’re a busy mom or a working professional (or both), spend an hour or two, one day a week and plan it out.
- Set your goals. You have to define what your goals are – what your personal hopes and dreams are…not your neighbors. This is no time to keep up with the Joneses.
Who/what are you fighting for? Why do I want/need this change? These are KEY GOALS to keep in mind as you struggle, as you fight to change.
- Face your fears! Your about to turn your life upside down, at a 45 degree angle. Yes, it’s scary. It’s hard. And, at times, it seems impossible. That’s the beauty of change. If it doesn’t scare you, then you’re not trying hard enough.
I have faced every single fear there is about transitioning over to healthier habits. I struggle with emotional and binge eating. I struggle to PUSH PLAY.
I want you to remember what I remind myself of everyday:
~ You are capable of doing this. YOU ARE BRAVE ENOUGH, STRONG ENOUGH.
~ YOU ARE everything you need to be to BECOME WHO YOU WANT TO BE.
Now, get out there and shred it!
Overall rating: B
The meal plan is straightforward and easy to follow. (<< Yes, “straightforward” is one word. Look it up.)
I usually felt hungry mid-afternoon, despite following the day’s meal plan.
I lost 4 lbs. and 3 in.
I wasn’t expecting much from the 3 Day Refresh. I’ve sort of hit a plateau since my initial weight loss after going GF. I knew not to expect a dramatic weight loss from just 3 days on a restricted diet, but I also hoped to at least see something.
I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to meal plan and how full I felt after lunch – which is a Vanilla Refresh shake, a fruit serving and a veggie serving.
I was also pretty stoked when I saw a little bit of weight loss! Who doesn’t love that?!
I don’t know if I will be doing this again any time soon. I do like how most people seem to use it as a way to jumpstart their weight loss and as a way to keep your system “clean.” I think that’s the most beneficial use for this product.
Ok, so I know I’ve posted about my vision board, but I wanted to share a few other tech items and non-tech items that I’m using to help me achieve my fitness goals.
All of these things together help me make sense of the jumbled mess in my head – “what am I eating today?”; “what do I want to accomplish in 21 days; in 2 months?”; “what are my resting stats and how am I performing during exercise?”; “how’s my sleep?”; “how do I ‘feel’ about these lifestyle changes?”; “what can I do better to feel better?”
- Vision board – This one is pretty self explanatory, you create a board where you post inspirational quotes, images and your goals. The board helps you visualize your goals, how you can accomplish them and serves as a great reminder of why you started in the first place! Here’s mine, where’s yours?
- FitBit Charge HR – This was a “splurge purchase” that I decided to do. It has literally changed my life! I love it! It helps me not only track my daily steps and heart rate, but I wear it at night to track my sleep habits! <<This has been one of the most useful benefits because I can “see” why I feel so tired! 😉
- FitBook Lite – This book was a gift from my coach; a welcome to the team gift! Yay! I just browsed through it today – it’s a 6-week planner/journal that helps keep you organized and focused on your goals too! You also get access to a free e-book which goes into more detail about how to use the journal, as well as some pretty tasty recipes! After the 6 weeks are over, I know I’m going to want another!
- Meal planning – Ok, so this is probably the most helpful and critical tool I use! Without this I know I would fall back into old habits and wouldn’t have a clear picture on my nutrition…I’m still bad at eating enough fruits and veggies, but I know planning ahead helps!
Here’s me at work! YAY! I use my shaker bottle to track my daily water.
Each year, my company hosts a “Get Fit” event and for 3 years, I have participated in the event. >>Not really “fit” yet, if you know what I mean! 😉
Tomorrow is our mid-way point and weigh in. I am not looking forward to it! I have learned that you don’t always see the scale go down – sometimes your measurements change first! Which is more important?
Well, at least for me, I think it’s the inches coupled with HOW I FEEL. Am I less tired and more energetic? Do my pants fit a little bit better? Can I wear those old jeans again?
^^^Those things are what mean the most to me. I don’t need a scale to tell me how I should feel. I only need me.
I just love (hee hee – get it?) my Camelbak® water bottle!
That’s all…just wanted to share my love! 🙂
I’ve been giving some thought lately to how active I am on social media and how active I should be.
Overall, I think I’m less active online that I should be – especially if I ever expect to get a job managing social media accounts. There’s a fine line between posting enough and too much and sometimes I’m not sure where that line really is.
One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to get a new job, so why not start today by improving my social media presence?