For many people who struggle with maintaining a healthy body weight, every single day includes ongoing internal conversation, â€œWhat clothes can I wear that fit? I shouldnâ€™t have had that Snickers bar. Look how skinny Mary is, she did that cabbage soup diet, maybe Iâ€™ll do that. Iâ€™m never wearing these pants again, they make me feel so fat. Should I eat this? Should I eat that? I know I gained weight this week. Forget it, Iâ€™m tired of being hungry. I have lost my will power.â€
Over 30 years ago, I lost 50 pounds so I remember those conversations. I spent more time talking myself in to believing what a loser I was simply based on food choices, scale results and weight loss ads. I would think to myself, â€œIf all those people in the ‘skinny fast’ ads look so happy and so skinny, why canâ€™t I do it?â€
And then Iâ€™d beat myself up for being so undisciplined. So what have I learned that has kept the weight off and my life focused on good health? My 4 areas of focus – Color, Movement, Mindful and Sustainability. If you want to get healthy,Â attain a healthy body and life, these 4 simple rules are all you need to realize a healthy body.
Color- When you make food choices, the more color you have in your diet (diet in a healthy way), the better you will naturally eat. Remember, diets arenâ€™t natural for most people. When you think about fruits and vegetables, there are a rainbow of color options available. Try new things, educate yourself about different fruits and vegetables and work to include more of them in your daily nutrition choices. I often encourage my clients gradually replaceÂ processed, high sugar, high carb snacks with fruits and veggies, gradually being the operative word. Remember, lifestyle changes donâ€™t happen overnight, itâ€™s a process.
Movement – How many of you hate to exercise, raise your hand? Yeah, most people do. The reason isÂ Â fun and joy rarely were part of peoples exercise experience, especially if weight has always been an issue. Â They always felt uncoordinated, never got picked for team sports (that was me) and always exercised simply to lose weight. In other words, exercise became punishment for an imperfect body. Now tell me, whereâ€™s the impetus to exercise? Therefore, rather than thinking about conventional exercise for weight loss as we know it, think of simply movement. Ask yourself, â€œHow can I move more every day? How can I find ways to move more and sit less? What small steps can I take today that will add up and benefit how I feel tomorrow?â€
Mindful– I remind my clients, the minute you become aware of your current lifestyle habits, the easier it will be to make gradual changes. TooÂ many people try to overhaul their entire lifestyle in 6 weeks, and it typically happens January 1st. I think we all know that strategy rarely works. Therefore, you need to stand back, take a look at what needs changing, then select one thing and work on it. However long it takes to find an alternative that is healthy, so be it. Once you’ve mastered that change,Â you can move on to the next one. The more time you give yourself to make healthy lifestyle changes, the more time you will have to live the life you deserve and therefore create your new “normal.”
Support – I have found that one of the biggest obstacles for many peoples healthy living success is making changes that are sustainable. Sustainability is one of the biggest pieces missing from many of hte commercial diets out there. I remind my clients that if they’re going to make changes, make changes that are sustainable. Diets fail because there is no staying power, period. By creating your own healthy living program, you will be creating a program that is sustainable and that results in success.