February 16 – 22 is Australia’s Healthy Weight Week an “initiative of the Dietician Association of Australia, raising awareness of the importance of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle’. Check out the link as they have a wealth of information on attaining a Healthy Weight.
The key word here is Healthy. I can remember growing up with magazines promoting thin, tanned models providing unrealistic benchmarks to which we were encouraged to aspire. One would have thought by now that opinions have changed, and they have to a certain extent, however there is still the preoccupation with Size. I recently read an article about plus size models on the cover of Sports Illustrated Magazine. That’s great but I think we are all too hung up on size rather than focussing on health.
Now there are people who make excuses for why they are over weight; “it’s in my genes”, “I’m big framed”, “there is a medical reason” (for some there are but not for everyone), “I’ll start tomorrow”. These people need to take ownership and realise that being over weight is not an aesthetic thing it’s a health thing and it starts with You. You control what you eat and how much exercise you do.
We are inundated with quick fixes, 12 week challenges, diet shakes, diet pills, new diets, old diets, you name it, it’s been promoted – all promising great results. They may help from a psychological point of view to get you started however being healthy is a lifestyle. You need to change your thinking and behaviour to be the healthy person you can be. My good friend and life coach Nikki Wakerley has a motto “Healthiness is Happiness”. Her philosophy is that if you are healthy then this will add to happiness in your life because you feel alive and ready to take on the world.
You don’t have to be an Olympic athelete you just need to stay healthy. I’m a grandmother and I want to be fit and healthy so I can keep up with my grandchildren and enjoy them.
- Make the Commitment – write down your commitment to living a healthier life and put it somewhere you can see it everyday. Perhaps you take a before picture to place beside your commitment or a picture of what you perceived to be a healthy lifestyle.
- Set a Goal – think about your life and set your goal. It might be to lose weight or it might be to increase the healthier food choices into your life.
- Set a Timeframe – it’s no good saying you are going to do something – you have to do it! Get a calendar and put in the start date and the date by which you want to achieve your goal. 6 weeks is a good timeframe to start seeing results.
- Be Prepared – if you want to eat healthier you need to prepare. This means clearing out your cupboards of unhealthy food and stocking up on healthy foods – more fresh foods and less processed foods. Make dinners in advance or make your work lunches in advance so you won’t be tempted or have an excuse for takeaway.
- Eat Breakfast – I am so guilty of not doing this! However, when I do have a healthy breakfast I do feel the difference and it really sets me up for the day.
- Ask for Help – don’t be afraid to ask for help if you don’t think you can do it on your own. There are professionals out there who can assist or even just asking your partner or friend to share the experience with you. You can keep each other motivated.
- Include Exercise – for total health you need to include some daily exercise. Read my blog Just 10 minutes – it will make you feel better.
- Check your Progress regularly – select a day in the week when you can check your progress. If losing weight, it might be weighing yourself or taking measurements. This should only be done weekly as there are too many variables to weigh in daily.
- Drink lots of Water – Water is so important for our bodies, it keeps us hydrated and flushes out the toxins. Here is a great article explaining why. http:///drinking-enough-water
- Have a Cheat day – life is for living so a healthy lifestyle can include a ‘cheat day’. This doesn’t mean going overboard but you can relax and enjoy a wine or ‘naughty’ food. You can use it as a treat and reward for your persistence. It is all about moderation.
- Don’t worry if you falter – if you have a bad day don’t stress about it but equally don’t use it as an excuse to give up. Get back on track and keep moving towards your goal. None of us are perfect so don’t beat yourself up about it.
- Nurture Yourself – pamper yourself weekly. Take a relaxing yoga class, go for a walk, have a facial or just take time out for YOU.
- Reward Yourself – Congratulations! You’ve reached your goal so reward yourself. Remember, though this is not a once off, it is a new lifestyle so embrace the new You.
Let’s Keep Sizzling!