In a world where women are pressured to be thin and fad diets run rampant, it is best to scrap the unrealistic goals, and start a consistent and persistent effort to achieve a happier and healthier you.
Here are 10 things that I learned in my health & wellness class a few years ago that I would like to share with you:
1. Aim to get half hour to an hour exercise per day. You don't need to do extremely high intensity cardio or train to be the next Olympic athlete in order to be active at a healthy level. Walk your dog, go swimming, take a long walk in the park, go for a jog, play with the kids-pick a physical activity that YOU ENJOY and stick with it.
2. Set realistic weight loss goals. Quit trying to look for fast weight loss. It won't happen, and if it does, you will gain it all back and then some. The healthiest approach to weight loss is 2 lbs/week.
3. Breathe. Yes, between work, family, friends, and other activities, you may find yourself very busy. Keep in mind that taking a few minutes per day to "breathe" and clear your head will help you deal better with stress. Take a nice bath, read a book that you like, meditate.
4. Listen to your body. If you are feeling hungry or thirsty, you probably are. Drink water and keep hydrated. A lot of what you think is hunger is actually thirst. If you are still hungry after drinking water/tea, have a snack.
5. Eat a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods from the different food groups. There are 5 food groups: grains/breads, fruits, vegetables, milk/dairy, and meat/alternatives. Your body needs different nutrients from different food groups, since any one food group does not have all the nutrients needed to maintain your health.
6. Have a good time at social activities. Build and maintain good relationships with friends and family. Healthy relationships=healthy you!
7. Do something that benefits others. Volunteering for a worthy cause and helping others will contribute to your feeling of happiness and personal satisfaction that money can't buy.
8. Don't skip meals, especially breakfast. If you skip meals to try to conserve your calorie consumption, you will overeat at the next meal. Eat at regular times during the day, and have small snacks in between your meals to keep your blood sugar stable.
9. Accept the fact that you are a unique individual with special talents. Work on developing your skills/talents and/or take up a hobby. We all have something that we love to do and are passionate about. Find your passion, and go for it!
10. Make gradual lifestyle changes if your current lifestyle is not healthy. Reward yourself after a successful week/month. For example, if your goal was to jog 4 times a week, then buy yourself a new pair of runners if you keep your routine up for a month. When you have a goal, and a reward waiting for you when you reach that goal, your mind becomes focused on the goal because you know deep down that you will be rewarded for your efforts.
I wish you all the best in all your endeavors! I hope you achieve all your goals, whether they have to do with relationships, health, or career.
In the mean time, share some things that make YOU feel good!