This is your time to shine.
It’s easy to stay with what we know. People will have opinions when they see us doing something different. I think about this when I watch shows like “What Not To Wear” or “Love it or List it”. How come it takes a camera crew and at least two on-air experts to get you to buy a new sweater or re-imagine your space? Lately, too, in the past few weeks, I’ve been reading things that are quite curious to me. So here’s what’s on my mind as 2019 heads our way.
We know the health issues related to being overweight. We also know that overconsuming calories doesn’t mean overconsuming nutrition. You can be unhealthy and missing nutrients you need on either end of the calorie spectrum.
Everyone is good at something and lacking skill at something. Health and wellbeing is no different, it just doesn’t feel like it sometimes because we all eat and we all “live” in our own bodies, so we don’t know any different until we do something different for an extended period of time.
Talk is cheap. Let’s get to action. Here are some common topics for New Year’s Resolutions that people say they want, followed by what you can easily and actually do to start to achieve your deepest health and well-being goals while still feeling like you. Of course it’s always a good idea to have a chat with your doctor/trained health professional before making changes to your diet and exercise regime. This isn’t a throw away thought. Get a baseline so in a few months when you are wondering what the point is and/or need to see progress, you have a starting point for yourself. We see ourselves every day. It’s easy to forget or not realize how well you are actually doing. Metrics, my friends. The right ones.
I want to be more active. Fantastic. You need a plan. If you literally have never done anything since say, high school, buckle up. You’re in for a treat because you will likely feel SO much better.
Open your calendar – electronic or written – and schedule it in. If you don’t put it in your priorities, it will not get done. Kind of like anything else you deem important. Forget “best time of day”. Forget “I don’t like to be sweaty”. Find what you DO like and what WILL work. Chances are you won’t get sweaty from walking a bit more inside your climate controlled office or store.
Maybe it means you will park 5+ spots farther from the door every time you go somewhere, even work. Maybe it means for every hour you sit in meetings, you walk around the office for 1 minute or two. Perhaps it’s as simple as taking one flight of stairs to catch the elevator for the 39 other you have to go.
The point is, figure out small ways to work in more steps. It adds up and you won’t even feel like it was hard to do. Oh – and if you are already a gym goer, and you spend time circling the parking lot for the closest spot, you may want to reconsider your actions. Hello, extra steps walking into the gym….
I want to eat better. Excellent. You need a plan. Make it fun this time. Write down your favorite foods, favorite restaurants, favorite friends to eat meals with. Now you can figure out what to do about it.
If there is literally no way you want to alter a favorite dish, fine. That’s right. You can simply take one less scoop of it. Portions are everything for the foods we know are more decadent than delivering daily nutrition.
Most restaurants have menus online. Look at it before you go. If you don’t eat out that often, you can be a little looser on what you order. If you eat out a lot, that’s time to really consider your choices. Ask if you can swap a side dish. You may be able to get amazing seasonal fruits and/or veggies, or a comforting bowl of broth-based soup. It’s not missing out. It’s enjoying a favorite place with new ideas.
If you have a favorite friend you love to meet for brunch, that’s great! Maybe they are interested in trying new foods, too. How you talk about this and what you want is important. “Should eat better” versus “let’s try something new” are two different things that can be very different in terms of success. I personally love trying new foods. My guess is you do, too. What if you find something that is better for you that tastes better, too? Score.
I need to learn how to cook. You aren’t alone on this one. Start small. Learn basic things like knife skills, how to select, store, and make (in the simplest way) your favorite foods. You can do this at the mall, at a community college, on a foodie destination trip, and/or online. Or you can call a friend or relative to ask for help if they are good at any of this stuff. Cooking shows on TV may be too advanced. Most of us need recipes and don’t have formal training, so consider cooking shows part of the process but not the only thing to do. It’s also important to note that you can eat better without making every meal, snack, or bite the award winning picture on Instagram. I personally am not interested in arranging every delicious bean in my corn and black bean salsa.
I am also not going to videotape myself cutting up grapes for the green grape salsa (except for when I did it for a TV commercial – that’s different so I could show you how to do it easily). It’s cool if you want to, but don’t feel like making elaborate meals is the only path to success.
Popcorn is a whole grain. Reduced fat cheese and crackers with some fiber per serving paired with fruit is three food groups. A sandwich is a balanced meal, too. Relax. You can eat better without a production every single time.
There’s just no time for any of this. Ha. We almost all feel that way at some point. Ditch this as an excuse. We also all get the same 24 hours in a day. It’s not about no time. It’s about how that time is used. You know how your smart phone tells you your screen time? Think about that. Time flies when we are online looking at how other people are living. “Busy” is a four letter word. If you are telling people you are busy, chances are, you are trying to convince yourself and them.
If you have time to watch 30-60 minutes of your favorite show, or 20 minutes to scoot around on social media, you have time to do any of these other things. It’s not about one or the other. It’s about integrating and using your time wisely. Walking on a treadmill? You can check out your feeds on your phone safely while doing this. Watching tv? what if you also did some stretching or activity, even if “only” during commercials? I don’t speed through commercials. I get up and do stuff while they are on, whether it’s loading the dishwasher, doing some sort of activity, or taking the folded laundry to the closet. It is an easy way to not miss my show but also not just sit on the couch for endless amounts of time.
Make this your year to live your truth. Not someone else’s. No one has the inside scoop on you like you do. Go for it.