At 26 years old, I weighed 186lbs. I currently weigh 135lbs. Over the course of 5 years from age 26 to 31, I lost over 50lbs and I have kept it off for the last 7 years. Over the years, a lot of my clients have asked me for my “secret” or praised my discipline and focus, but the truth is, I am just a regular person, trying to make healthy choices, one at a time.
Setting big goals is great and necessary to progress. However, I find, it is the small, daily choices and actions that help us move towards being the healthy person we all want to be. Small changes over time, lead to the big changes we are ultimately after.
My success is due to my consistency in making those healthy choices. I take every day and every choice one at a time. I try to make the best choice each time, sometimes I fail, but I only allow myself to think of the choice in front of me, not what I did earlier or what I might do in the future. This is the “secret” to successfully becoming the best version of yourself.
Over the years, there are healthy habits I have tried to make part of my daily routine. It makes them feel more regular, something not special or hard to do each day or that I have to remember to do. I just set an expectation and choose a place or specific time to plug it into my day. I attach the new habits I am trying to form to already established routines, like brushing my teeth or letting the dog out, so that it becomes easy to move from one thing to the other.
If you are trying to “get healthy” try adding one new habit from the list below. Take your time, moving one day at a time. It does not matter how long it takes you to get towards your goal, just as long as your are moving in the right direction, getting better with each day.
Here are 8 things I do everyday to maintain my health:
- Drink 16oz of water as soon as I wake up. Drinking water first thing in the morning, after your body has been “fasting” for the past 8-10 hours is one of the best things you can do for your organs. It can also make you “crave” water throughout the day which acts as a little reminder to keep yourself hydrated.
- Move. I move every single day. It does not mean I workout everyday, but I move. This could be as small as a 15 minute stretch session or a 4 hour bike ride or anything in between. The important thing to me is to use my body each day. To move it in ways it was designed to move. Walk, jog, jump, lift, play – do whatever feels good to you.
- Give myself time. I HATE to rush and I don’t like being late. In order to avoid this, I wake up earlier than I need to which means I go to bed earlier than I need. I want enough time in the morning to talk with my husband, pet my dog, make my breakfast and prepare my lunch, and even take in some news or answer emails. I want to enter my day prepared and organized, not scattered and overwhelmed. If waking up an extra 20-30 minutes earlier is what I need to do, that is fine by me.
- Eat my vegetables. I try to eat some sort of vegetable at every meal and snack. I put spinach in my eggs in the morning, usually have some sort of salad at lunch, and prep roasted vegetables for dinner. If you are trying to eat healthier, stop thinking about what you need to take out of your diet and start adding vegetables in. It will automatically make you eat less junk, crave better food, and smooth out your blood sugar spikes.
- Reflect. I don’t always have time to meditate or even sit still, but there is always time to reflect. Sometimes I only have time on my drive into work. I turn the radio off, think about my day and what challenges I may encounter, and start to think of solutions to any problems that may occur. Again, I like to enter the day calm and prepared. 10 minutes of “prep” can go a long way in helping me make clearer decisions and prioritizing my responsibilities.
- Read. I like to read, so this is easy for me, but I didn’t always like to read. If you are not a reader, it is an acquired taste, like coffee. It may be something you don’t enjoy at first, but after a while, you look forward to it. Reading helps us get out of our “bubble” and exposes us to alternate places, schools of thought, and people. It is an easy and convenient way to expand your mind.
- Take a probiotic. I take a few supplements like Vitamin D and C and others, but the most important for a healthy gut is going to be a good probiotic. A healthy gut leads to a healthy immune system, higher energy levels, better food processing, and more. It is a very easy thing to add in to your daily routine. Consult with your doctor, nutritionist, or dietician to find one that works best for you.
- Sleep. No shocker here. I have talked about it on my podcast, I have written about it, I take slack for the fact that I have been known to go to bed at 830pm. I need sleep to function and perform at my best. I work with clients on a one-on-one basis who deserve my full attention and my full brain power and there is no way I can give it to them if I am sleep-deprived. On top of that, getting an adequate amount of sleep helps lower stress, blood pressure, and improves your focus. Get the sleep you need, so you can be your best the next day.
When making changes to your regular routine, add a little at a time. It is too much to demand of yourself changes in multiple areas. Pick one habit you want to add in to your daily routine and give your self 1-3 months to get it established before moving on to the next habit. Remember, it does not matter how fast you move towards your goal, only that your are moving in the right direction.