Sugar is everywhere. If you think not eating cookies and cake, or not adding sugar to your coffee is cutting out sugar, think again. There is some form of sugar in almost everything. It’s very difficult to find something on the shelf at the grocery store that doesn’t have added sugar, or corn syrup, or high fructose corn syrup, or some other sweetener. It’s crazy. Even a simple can of PLAIN beans has an ingredient list of : Beans, Water, SUGAR. I was shocked. Now why, I ask you, do they have to do that? Add to that the white flour that the body converts into sugar, and no wonder we are struggling with obesity in our country! Try reading the labels for one week. You will be amazed.
Sugar makes you very hungry. ALL the time. This is my week off in between our 4 week long rounds of Game On. Because it was my birthday, I’m eating more sugar, and a lot MORE in general than I have the last 4 weeks, and I am starving all the time. When I eat several(5) healthy, smaller meals I eat less and am not hungry. Go figure. Not hungry enough that I often don’t even want to eat that last meal! And I definitely feel better when I’m eating on plan. No heartburn. No upset stomach. No sluggish afternoon slump.
Exercise. Don’t get stuck in a rut. It’s easy to go to the gym and hop on the elliptical everyday. You don’t have to think about it. But it’s good to mix things up. Try the treadmill or bike instead one day. Take a new class. Try the same class you usually do, but with a different instructor. My friend and I took the same class we’ve been going to with a new instructor last week, and it was a completely different class. We loved it. The teachers both rock and are very challenging, but still totally different. Try mixing things up to keep your brain interested, and also keep your muscles from getting bored with the same old same old. You’ll get better results physically AND mentally!
Support, Support, Support. You know the saying in real estate that location is everything? Well, for a healthy lifestyle change, Support is Everything. Ideally, find friends/family who want to make the same lifestyle changes that you do. Make a pact to support each other. Call and chat when you want to eat one of your kid’s cookies at snack time. Text and say “help!” when you’re tempted to bring home a yummy, delicious loaf of hot french bread right from the oven at the bakery. Stay in touch every day, and be honest about your struggles. Struggling doesn’t mean you’re not doing well, it means you’re human. And often, your struggles will be something the other person is struggling with too. “Oh, I’m so glad you said that…. I thought I was the only one.” It’s so much easier to go through things when you’re not alone. Good support also gives you a much bigger resource as far as recipes, exercises, label reading, and tips on what works and what doesn’t.
Perspective. If you’re going to have a healthy lifestyle, go for it. Don’t call it a diet, because then you will be thinking about what you can’t have the whole time. Instead, think of things in a positive light. Oh, my body is going be so much happier with this apple instead of potato chips (even if my brain isn’t agreeing yet). Or, I’m going to love seeing the scale this week because of THIS healthy food I’m eating right now. Like a wise friend of mine said to me, “You don’t have to say no to that food forever… Just no for right this moment. ” Somehow that makes it so much easier!
Take a Break! Wait, what? Yes. I said take a break. Plan to have a day off each week. Go all out, 100% the rest of the week, making the best healthy choices you can. But give yourself a break. No one can keep doing something 100% of the time without getting burned out. Plan a break. That way when you decide to say “not right now” to a yummy food, you know that if you really want it, you can have it on your ‘day off’. The idea is a healthy lifestyle, not healthNUT lifestyle. Everyone deserves a little indulgence once in awhile. If you have a set day planned for that, it helps keep you on track the rest of the week. Still having trouble with the idea of a day off? Look at it this way: That’s a 6:1 ratio. 6 healthy days to 1 break day. Not so bad, is it?
What have you learned on your journey for a better, healthier, lifestyle?
I’d love to hear and be able to encourage you… Leave a comment.
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