5 Health Changes You Can Do Today

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Is the idea of losing weight too big in your mind? I’ve been there.  Trying to change a lifetime of bad habits isn’t going to happen overnight, so don’t put so much pressure on yourself.  If you missed my series on how to lose weight, you can catch up on it here:

How to Lose Weight Series: 

Week OneWeek One Check In

Week Two , Week Two Check In

Week Three

Week Four

Week Five

If you’re not quite ready to take on a huge undertaking like losing a lot of weight, why not try doing something small? Instead of overwhelming yourself with a huge goal, try doing one or two things each day or each week to get you started on your path to better health.

5 Health Changes You Can Do Today

1) Stop drinking your calories. 

Are you aware of how many liquid calories you consume in one day? Before I decided to lose the weight I had no idea. Tallying up those liquid calories was shocking to me. It’s so easy to grab a soda several times a day and before you know it, you’ve consumed hundreds of calories.

If you drink your calories on a frequent basis, try swapping the calorie-laden fluids with something else. Start transitioning to diet soda. Try sparkling water with lemon (my favorite). What about Crystal Lite? It tastes pretty good and is only 5 calories or so. Unsweetened iced tea is also good. Find what works for you.

2) Go for a walk. Just move your body in any way. Walk, yoga, do some squats in your cubicle at work.

Don’t put such high expectations on yourself. If you haven’t exercised in years, you’re not going to be able to run a marathon in a month. When I started swimming I was slow and always out of breathe. I had to rest after each length of the pool and there were times when I wasn’t sure I’d make it to the other side. It took time and perseverance but it got easier.

3) Drink more water.

I’ve been making a conscious choice to drink more water than I have been drinking because I know I do not drink enough. Water also helps curb the hunger.

4) Have a snack of fruits or veggies. You can make them fun!

Maybe try growing your own fruits and veggies. I have to say that having my own veggie garden last summer was a huge motivator for eating more veggies. I had so much stuff that I couldn’t even eat it all!

5) Smile.

I firmly believe that a lot of sadness, grumpiness and unhappiness can be reversed with positive thinking. Kind of a “fake it til you make it” thing. Don’t get sucked into that black hole of depression–try smiling until it gets better.

QUESTION: What do you think? What is one small change you can do to get yourself on the path to healthy change?

What Are You Fighting For?

A catch phrase I see a lot in the blogging community is “healthy living.” Healthy is a buzzword. It’s not specific. The next time you feel like you’re fighting to be “healthy” and struggling to be successful, think about what healthy means to you. Maybe the struggle is because you’re too vague.

Let’s change the way we talk and think. Instead of using buzzwords like “healthy living”, let’s be SPECIFIC. We need to have an attainable goal that can be quantified. What does that mean? It means it can be measured. Quantifiable is specific.

I am definitely guilty of using the word healthy. Healthy choices. Healthy eating. Healthy living. All generic terms that really mean nothing. Why am I being generic? Mainly because I’m in maintenance mode. Ask me 5 years ago what HEALTHY means to me and I would have said:

  1. Being 100 pounds lighter.
  2. Not being diabetic.
  3. Lowering my cholesterol and my blood pressure.
  4. Being mentally happy and not depressed.

Those are very specific, attainable goals. I had a firm image in my mind of what healthy meant to me. Ask me the same question today? 100 pounds later? I’m more wishy-washy in my answer, more generic…”Oh, I guess healthy is what I’m currently doing.” But what IS healthy? What am I doing?

Let’s all change our thinking and our words: not “get healthy” but specific, attainable, quantifiable goals. This is the only time I will give my readers a directive.

Your homework if you choose to participate is to make a list defining what HEALTHY means to you.  I encourage you all to write it down and keep it somewhere you can see it if you’re feeling like you aren’t winning the fight. Maybe on the bathroom mirror, or the front of the fridge, maybe in your wallet. I would also love it if you guys shared it with me here but you don’t have to.

What are some ideas of defining “healthy”? How about: lose 10 pounds, lower cholesterol, walk 2 miles a day, limit alcohol intake to 2x a week, limit restaurant eating to once a week, etc etc. I could go on an on.

My Quantifiable Goals that Define Healthy:

  • Maintain my 110 pound weight loss.
  • Maintain my current fitness level and abilities.
  • Be able to lift weights twice the amount I can do now by June 2011.
  • Eat MORE real food and LESS processed food.

These goals and definitions are achievable. In fact, I could even put dates on some of those. For example: be 90% processed food free by May 2011. That’s a specific goal I can measure.

We gotta make a change
It’s time for us as a people to start makin’ some changes.
Let’s change the way we eat, let’s change the way we live and let’s change the way we treat each other.
You see the old way wasn’t working so it’s on us to do what we gotta do, to survive.

-Tupac

Who’s in?

QUESTION: What does healthy mean to you? What did you write down as a measurable, attainable definition and goal?