“We have to change the way we view food, exercise and our bodies to be in the right mindset and positively transform our overall health for the long term”
By Mariella Irivarren, B.A.
The holidays have come and gone and with that, most some of us are feeling relaxed and rested. The season comes with family time, travel, good food, food, and more food. Even the best of us crack a little over the holidays, I mean, how could you not?!? – And so the journey towards bouncing back to our December 1st selves begins.
Over the holidays we often let ourselves fall into a downward spiral and tend to make excuses for our poor food (and beverage) choices with the idea that once the New Year starts, it will all go back to normal – But does it? Most people who make New Year resolutions around their health lose motivation shortly after and revert back to their old habits. Why is that?
When we constantly feel that we are being deprived of what we enjoy, exercising seems like a chore, we aren’t seeing results quickly enough and don’t have the right mindset or motivation to keep going, our head (and stomach) tell us to throw in the towel.
I am a firm believer that when it comes to our health, temporary fixes don’t work. We have to change the way we view food, exercise and our bodies to be in the right mindset and positively transform our overall health for the long term.
Here’s how you can become the “new you”:
- Set small goals: When your goal is too vague or generic you are setting yourself up for failure. Goals need to be specific, measurable and achievable. How about: “lose 1 lb. per week” or “eat at least two servings of vegetables per day”. Setting realistic goals for your body and your lifestyle is important since not everyone operates the same way.
- Get physical: The gym is not for everyone. Some people dread it while others thrive. Find a physical activity that you enjoy and suits your schedule; that way, the chances of you sticking to it are much higher. Do you love to dance or practice martial arts? How about hiking or swimming? Either way, doing something you love will leave you feeling good about yourself!
- Don’t do it alone: Have friends with similar goals? Lean on them for support and motivate each other. You can also join a meet up for like-minded individuals or a social media group to help you stay focused and motivated. Find a support system that can help you in your journey and offer support without judging.
- Take baby steps: Drink soda every day? Do it once a week instead. – Don’t eat veggies at all? Add a small portion daily. – Binge drink? Save alcohol for special occasions only. It’s really hard to control cravings, but moderation over deprivation is best when you are trying to make a long term change.
- Put it on paper: Writing down goals and tracking your progress will serve as a constant reminder and help keep you motivated. You could even get crafty and create a “mood board” that you can hang at home where your goals are visible, graphic and fun.
- Love yourself: Do it for yourself and nobody else. To feel and look your best, whatever that means to YOU. This journey is about self-improvement, nourishing your body and being your best self, so it’s important to remember to love yourself first.
Having the right mindset and committing to making your health a priority is one of the best things you can do for yourself. So, here’s to a new year and a new you – Let’s make 2018 your best year yet!