Get the Ball Rolling
Regardless of what stage of the “maintaining a healthy lifestyle” game a person is in, life inevitably varies. The game of life challenges our goals and ambitions.
The idea of leading a healthy lifestyle comes easily. The execution does not. The hurdles along the way range from small bumps to seemingly endless mountain treks. Excuses are used as justification as to why things haven’t gotten rolling yet.
Life happens. People get busy. Stress is inevitable. Loved ones and friends are requiring attention. Doing something new is intimidating. Wine, for whatever reason, seems to possess magical powers that convince us that a glass holds the key to relaxation. The reality is that our excuses become a reason to not do the things in life that make us feel accomplished. We subliminally set the trap and before we know it, we are caught up wondering “How am I going to get back to where I was?”, “I just want to feel good again”. As we remain stagnant here our thoughts progress to “This is going to be so hard, I’m not sure where to start or if I’m even up for this.”
Everyone gets stuck from time to time. It could be a battle with depression, a binge, or an illness. Boredom with a current routine is the worst hang-up. It will leave any dedicated athlete looking like they substituted a Valium for their morning coffee. Life trauma, like a death, a divorce, a financial crisis can also contribute to the lack of motivation. It really doesn’t matter. Maybe nothing is “wrong.” Maybe, in lieu of life, attention has been diverted away from what matters the most-living our best life.
Getting Back on Track
The relentless self-shaming needs to stop. It is what it is. Move forward. This is not age-related; stop blaming the hormones. Regardless of age, injury, or mental status, there is a way. Yes, it will be work. Yes, it might be hard. But it is doable.
Extremes don’t yield long lasting results either. There is no need to run out to buy an expensive gym membership, or impulsively purchase the latest weight loss gadget seen on an infomercial at 3am for 45 payments of $29.99. No one needs to sign up for workouts that would make a Navy Seal cringe. This is not a call for a hunger strike where air and sunshine are all that is needed to sustain life for the next 3 days along with an occasional protein shake. We all know that doesn’t work- at least in the long run.
What does work?
The first step is to make a commitment to just show up for you. Show up every day just like showing up to a job, or picking the kids up from school, making dinner for a spouse, getting to class on time. Honest self-realizations can be helpful, but do not need to be dwelled upon. The blame game isn’t necessary- change is a forward motion. Manifest a mantra that from this point on, “I will devote a portion of my day to doing something healthy that will make me feel good about myself.”
This could take on many forms; everyone has a different perspective on what type of “healthy” life they want to lead. For some, it’s a matter of waking up and simply feeling good. For others, it’s about maintaining a certain physique or gaining a certain amount of strength. Maybe there is a need or desire to change a diet. Maybe achieving better balance is the goal. Regardless of the motive, everyone deserves to wake up every morning feeling good in the skin they’re in.
Ok- I’m here. Now What?
Starting points are different for each individual. Acknowledge that the journey is unique. There are endless resources when it comes to learning how to lead a healthy lifestyle. Start small to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Choose one of the suggestions listed below as a starting point.
- Divert temptation away from fast food restaurants and back to the grocery store.
- Buy a healthy cookbook that contains appealing food choices. Pick one new meal a week to try.
- Include the family.
- Put down the rag sheet smeared with tabloid fallacies and buy yourself a fitness magazine.
- Invite your friends to a cooking class instead of happy hour.
- Take a yoga class instead of buying the bottle of wine.
- Treat yourself to some personal training sessions.
- Get on the Internet and begin typing questions into whatever browser you chose. Try to stick to reputable sites.
- Start by setting aside the time; five minutes 3 days a week, fifteen minutes 3 days a week, then an hour 3 times a week. Work up to your goal slowly so that it becomes a habit. Allow it into your life as something you need to do, not something you have to do.
- Go to the gym and steal ideas!!! Look to see what others are doing around you. Do take caution and be sure to look into how to execute lifting exercises with proper form and technique. The Internet contains endless videos for all types of exercise.
It is work. It isn’t always easy, but the more it’s done, the easier it becomes; just like a job. If the will to work is there, the expertise can be achieved. Each individual has the potential to become the expert of his or her life. Defeat and disappointment are a part of life, so get over it, it happens. If those experiences never existed, how could feelings of joy and accomplishment be appreciated? Enjoy life to the fullest. Be happy. One of my favorite quotes came from the music artist by the name of Lazyboy “If I can’t love myself, I can’t love you.”
No one needs permission to care about choosing to live a healthy life. The kids will not die, spouses will not starve, the house will get cleaned, and real friends will be supportive. Even if the starting point is five minutes a day for a week, these habits begin to fit into life quite nicely. It doesn’t matter if you’re just trying to get back on track or start from scratch, the key is to actively participate in making your life the way you want it. Go with confidence. You got this.