Monday, October 24, 2011

7 Baby Steps To A Healthier Lifestyle

Hey Confessions Of A Fit Girl people! I'm back! 2 post minimum a month done! LOL! I'm just kidding! I love writing this blog, but to be honest, sometimes I just have no idea what would be a good subject to write about. I've been in that frame of mind since my last post, but today I came across an article that I thought would be great to share. I know most of the time I write my posts as if I'm talking to someone who is already a fitness fan or nutrition nut, but I realize that not everyone who comes across my blog has adopted a healthier lifestyle. Eating healthy and exercising truly is a LIFESTYLE change and it's a lot harder than it looks (trust me, I went for years and years knowing the right things to do before having the drive to actually do them). So I wanted to dedicate this post to the ones who are just starting out. Many have the desire to lead healthier lifestyles and just don't know where to start. But you have to start somewhere. What is more important than your health? It's all you got! It's a matter of making it a priority. Below are a few small changes that you can make to get you on the right track.

7 Baby Steps To A Healthier Lifestyle

Instead of cutting out sweets; treat yourself to one small sweet a day.
I have a major sweet tooth i.e. sugar addiction. One day, I realized this and decided that I need to give up sugar completely. Um, yeah, so that worked for about a day and then I totally binged on a whole sleeve of chocolate chip cookies. There are always temptations around, so I'm learning to have one small piece of yumminess a day and keep it moving. I try to satisfy my urge for sweets with fruit and yogurt. Any other ideas?

Get by with six or seven hours of sleep during the week.My doctor tells me that everyone is different and may not necessarily require 8 hours of sleep every night to function at their best. Personally, I find that between 6 - 7 hours a night gets it done for me during the week. Anything less than that, and I'm struggling. It's hard for me to go to bed at night. Not because I'm not tired but because I always try to squeeze too much into my precious evening time. It's not always easy, but I make every effort to get myself in bed early enough to allow for 6 - 7 hours of sleep. I also make a point to get as much rest in as possible on weekends.

Does everything need to be organic?
I don't know about you, but I cannot afford an all organic diet. Nor do I think it's necessary, really. Who knows, my opinion on that may change one day. For now, I try to buy primarily organic fruits and veggies. Produce has the potential to carry the heaviest exposure to pesticides, so where we can afford it, I opt for organic. What do you think? If you're all organic, all the time, what are your reasons?

Eat a fruit or veggie with every meal.
Most of us know that we should get 5 fruits or veggies in a day. If you include one with each of your three meals, you're almost all the way there. Throw some veggies on your sandwich and opt for carrots instead of chips. Have some fruit with breakfast. Pull out the blender and mix up your own smoothies. Or, if you're "too busy" like me, then you can buy fruit and veggie smoothies from the grocery store like ones by Odwalla and Bolthouse Farms.

See your doctor at least every other year.
Sometimes we have misperceptions about our health simply from not going to the doctor. Some of us are afraid to go. While I understand the feeling, the only way to get rid of this anxiety is to go. I feel most comfortable seeing my gynecologist once a year and my primary care doctor every other year. Depending on your age and health status, you may need to go more or less, but you should stick to a schedule. Keeping these appointments will ward off some of the worries we create in our minds from simply avoiding our standard check ups.

Breathe and Stretch.
The benefits of yoga and meditation are a sense of balance and connection between mind, body and spirit. But these practices take awhile to master. Why we always think we have to be a master before we can try something, I don't know. Why not start by practicing deep breathing and stretching a couple times a day? Perhaps in the morning and at night. Even throughout the day, when I feel anxiety, anger or frustration building up, I practice deep breathing and it calms me down. Stretching first thing in the morning is a great way to gradually wake up your body. Think about your intentions for the day and program your mind to stay positive. Once you start doing this on a regular basis, it will be easier to branch out and incorporate more structured practices.

30 minutes of activity - 3 times a week.
You just have to get moving. It's just that simple. When you have the option to walk, walk. When you have the option to take the steps, do it. These are small choices that we can make that can get us on the right track. You don't have to get your exercise in the gym, necessarily. Maybe you can take a dance class or join a running group. Any type of physical activity that you can add to your life will have a positive impact on your health.

I hope GG's tips help you out! I'm sure they will. Baby steps can give you the confidence to eventually take bigger, bolder steps to get you where you want to be. The most important thing above all else is to GET STARTED!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Hey fitness peeps! First post of October! Whoo-hoo! One of my goals is to keep this blog up and running by making an effort to post here at least twice a month. Sometimes that can be pretty challenging, though. I've got the sister blog to this one, "Mind & Soul", the Succeed At Fitness site & Facebook page, and aside from all of that, I've got to live my life as well. But don't think I'm not complaining. This is the work I've chosen to do and I love it! Motivating and encouraging others to live a healthy life is what I'm all about! There were lots of people who helped motivate me along the way and I know that without them I wouldn't be where I am today so I consider what I'm doing "paying it forward."

Motivation: the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way; the general desire or willingness of someone to do something. It is the driving force by which humans achieve their goals. 

Motivation can come from anywhere! Your motivation behind a particular goal may come from an event that has happened in your life, an upcoming event, other people, or the best motivator: YOU! While motivation from others definitely helps, if you don't push yourself to achieve your own goal, it will never happen. I know you've probably heard it before but you have to be your own cheerleader. I was blessed to have family & friends who really encouraged me along in my weight loss journey, but not everyone is that lucky. It may not be that way for you. That's why the best motivator you can have is yourself! And while I did have family and friends to help encourage me, I was alone when it came to diet and exercise. I didn't have anyone else on my diet with me and I exercised alone. It was my own motivation for myself to become a better me that really pushed me to work towards my goals. You have to visualize yourself as the you you want to be so that you can have the motivation to work towards that.

The internet is a great tool to get support as well. While on my journey, I visited a number of  web pages, discussion boards and blogs that helped me out a lot! Diet tips and tricks, food and exercise recommendations, and most of all, hearing from other ordinary people like me, the struggles they faced while on their journeys, or current struggles they were facing at the time, the ups and downs, and all the success stories of those who remained dedicated until they reached their goals! All this played a big part in encouraging me to keep on keeping on!

As I said before, I'm just paying it forward, other people, some I knew and others I didn't, gave to me and now I want to do the same and give of myself to you. And hopefully you will do the same.

Stay encouraged!