See, even though I am a health professional who works specifically with those trying to lose weight, I have my own weight and body image struggles. It's kind of like the therapist who has their own mental health issues. Part of me doesn't want to share this because I want my clients to know and trust that I can indeed help them, but part of me wants to share this because it makes me a little more relate-able. Yes, I too have to come up with my own ways to combat temptation. I have my own swaps for unhealthy foods. I too look in the mirror and have to look past the lumps and bumps and recognize that I am still a fantastic person, even if the packaging has shifted. So, I wanted to share this, along with exactly what I'm doing right now to improve my health. Because, as I've said before, health improvement is a lifelong journey.
1- I am focusing even more on vegetables. Vegetables are the nutrient megastars. Besides vitamin, minerals, fiber, water, and being low in calories, vegetables have lots of antioxidants and phytonutrients. These things help lower inflammation in the body. Inflammation can be caused by so many things, and can be a good thing when it's for a short period of time to get over being sick or hurt. However, do to our Western diet and lifestyle, factors such as pollution, radiation, over-processed foods, medications, extreme physical activity, and so much more can lead to constant low-grade inflammation. Over time this can cause serious complication and even disease. Antioxidants can help our body to keep inflammation at bay. Other things that help include healthy fats from fish, stress reduction, sleep and meditation.
2- I am not drinking any alcohol for the month of January. This is a little harder for me as I love a glass of Chardonnay with dinner, but alcohol can be very hard on the body. Sure, it can have positive health benefits, but that's only if you stick with the daily recommended no more than 1 serving for women and 2 for men. There are days I may go for a 2nd or 3rd glass of vino. Over time, I noticed this impacting how I felt overall, my sleep pattern, and most importantly, my waistline. Alcohol does have calories, but it also induces hunger. Once dinner was over and I had moved on to my 2nd or 3rd glass over the course of the evening, I'd find myself searching the cupboards for snacks. So, besides the calories I was drinking, I was also eating a few hundred more calories than I normally would. Yikes! Going a month without any alcohol not only has a positive impact on the liver, it can reset your alcohol tolerance, meaning that one glass of wine will be more than sufficient.
3- More physical activity. I'm not going to lie, here. I hate to exercise. I keep trying, and it's so important to do, but I honestly hate it. However, my definition of exercise does not extend to brisk walking and hiking. Also, some dancing and some body weight strength training doesn't count, either. So, I make sure to walk at least two 1 mile loops a day, and add in various moves such as pushups, squats, crunches, and dumb bell moves. This has already helped improve my strength and drop a couple lbs.
That's all it takes, folks. Just a few small changes can start to make an impact on your overall health. Once they become a part of your daily routine, reassess yourself to see what you can do next to continue improvement. Reach out to me if you need help. That's what I'm here for!