Recently, I was rereading my 2019 goals for this year and paused to reflect on my health goal this year — “Fuel my body with good food and strengthen myself, physically and mentally.” I don’t know about you, but I hate to admit that I think I’ve fallen a bit off the wagon on this goal recently (ahem, bunny sugar cookies, I’m looking at you!). There is something about this time of year that always causes me to lose sight of goals, especially ones health related. While I’m sure it is contributed to the fact that I’m busier in the spring than the cold days of winter, or because it is so much nicer out so there are 47 thousand things I’d need to/ would rather do than working out, I realize I need to make some changes to get back on track. Regardless of how busy I am, I should still try to make my health a priority!
Since I imagine many of you may be in the same boat as me, I thought I would share some of my tips for staying healthy, both mentally and physically. I believe that being healthy is more of a lifestyle than a diet, which of course means there should be some pieces that would be considered routine as a part of your day to day life. Some of the tips that I share below may not be new to you, but I know that any reminder could be one to change it all.
I do want to preface this by saying that I am in no way an expert regarding fitness, clean eating or maintain a healthy lifestyle. Instead, these are just a few things that I have tried in my experience of maintaining and changing. Hopefully, some of these tips and tricks will encourage you towards a healthy lifestyle!
- Drink water! Admittedly, this is something that I have been working for several months (if not years!) to improve. However, in the past month or two, I have really managed to increase the amount of water I’m drinking. I honestly feel so much better and have a lot more energy since I’ve started working on this. I’ve been carrying around a bottle of water with me and challenge myself to drink one during the work day and then a second one before dinner, which will get me close to my goal. My favorite reusable bottles are Camelbak and S’well.
- Plan your meals. I know it sounds exhausting, but once you put a little effort into it, it does make dinner so much simpler. Especially if I’ve planned for healthy meals, I’m less likely to make something unhealthy. I spend a little time each Sunday planning out what meals to make for Jody and I and then order my groceries from Walmart Grocery Pickup. If you haven’t tried Walmart Pickup, I highly suggest it! A little extra planning over the weekend saves me an hour each Monday when I would typically go to the store. Now I have more time for a quick workout or getting other things done around the house. My favorite site to look for healthy recipes is Skinnytaste.
- Don’t tempt yourself. I have zero self-control when it comes to chips and snacks, especially when it’s so hard to eat just one. I decided to stop buying snacks that I know aren’t healthy, and instead by healthy alternatives. My go-to after-school snack is apples and peanut butter, but I also like Tone It Up’s Protein bites, Hummus and Sweet Potato Crackers from Trader Joe’s.
- Be active. This probably seems obvious, but I mean much more than just workout. Of course, weight training is important, but so is living an active lifestyle. Pick a parking spot further away from your door at work. Always take the stairs. Make afternoon walks part of your daily routine. Go on a bike ride. Spend 10 minutes a night pick things up around the house. There are so many different ways to work extra steps into your life!
- Write it down. If you are a planner like me, I noticed writing down my workouts in my planner helped keep me accountable for making it happen. Whether it is a visit to the gym, a quick video workout at home, or playing a sport, write it down in advance to remind yourself to do it. The hardest part of working out is getting started.
- Invest in a Fitbit. Or Apple watch. Or any other type of step counter. I know I’ve talked about my Fitbit on here before, but it wasn’t until I had one that I realized how valuable it is and how I wasn’t as active as I thought I was. I’m a bit competitive when it comes to achieving my step count for the day, which is good because it motivates me to keep moving. It can be a harsh reality because sometimes, I learned, I don’t move for hours when I’m at work. Thankfully, I have reminders set on my Fitbit to get up and move each hour!
- Change your mindset. I struggled with my weight and adopting a healthy lifestyle pretty early on in my early days of adulting. I always thought of it like “I can’t eat this because it is unhealthy” or “I hate working out”, both of which had negative connotations to me. However, when I went from the thought process of “I have to give up all the good things” to “I want to be healthy”, I noticed that squeezing in a quick workout and choosing the salad over the pizza became easier. When I started to feel how living a healthier lifestyle was impacting me — having more energy, feeling less bloated, and even looking leaner — the motivation only increased.
- Find your WHY. Why do you want to be healthier? Is it because summer is coming and you know that means swimsuit season? Is it because you have an amazing vacation planned and you want to be comfortable in the skin you’re in? Do you know you need to lose weight to for health reasons? Think about why it is you want to make a change — having a why will help motivate you when it gets hard. My why when I was about to get married was to feel confident on my wedding day and in my bathing suits in Jamaica. I stayed motivated by watching vlogs about our resort while working out!
The biggest thing that I’ve learned over the past few years of really trying to understand and maintain a healthy lifestyle is it is all about balance. Listen to your body — if you’re exhausted, both mentally and physically, rest and try again the next day. Treat yourself to a glass of wine or a cupcake every so often. This isn’t a diet. There are no rules. Living a healthy lifestyle is just that — a lifestyle. You get to make the rules, friend!
How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle? Where could you use more encouragement? I do best when I have someone to keep me accountable to work towards my goals. I also like to switch up my routine every so often so it still feels fresh and encouraging. Let me know some ways you incorporate your health goals into your busy lives in the comments below!