Like many of you I have spent too much of my life thinking about how much I weigh. My weight increased significantly about eight years ago. I used food to celebrate and to escape. Food was my comfort.
In my late 20s, I took up aerobics exercise and jogging, and loved it. Back then, I erroneously thought I could eat anything; as long as I exercised. I didn’t pay attention to what I ate or how much I ate!
Later, I learned that my excessive weight gain had more to do with what I was dealing with emotionally, what was eating at me! When I learned to value myself, and take time for me, it became easier for me to lose the excess weight and maintain a healthier weight and lifestyle.
The defining moment
On a visit to my hometown some years ago, my three sisters and I took a photo. Looking at the photo and comparing myself to them, made me realize how much weight I had gained! The dress I wore was three sizes larger than what I wear today. I did not like the way I looked or how I felt. After looking at the photo, I decided to research and educate myself of how to adopt a healthier lifestyle, from the inside out. I adjusted the way I dealt with life stressors, for me that was learning to trust the Lord for strength and wisdom, and to help me change my eating habits. I now eat to live healthy, not live to eat!
Five life lessons I have learned to be healthy:
1. Take up an exercise you love
I remember my first jog. It was awful. I could barely breathe. I’d jog for a bit and then walk. What surprised me is how quickly I built up endurance and stamina. Today, I jog several times a week and have added weight training to my regiment. You might enjoy Zumba, swimming or biking. Just move and enjoy it!
2. Hang around people who have similar goals
Surrounding myself with people who also wanted a healthier lifestyle kept me motivated to stay on target. Our associations really do impact our behavior. Find a family member or friends who enjoy working out. You may also consider joining an exercise group at one of the local gyms or community centers.
3. Tell yourself you can eat anything
Forget diets! Diets are about deprivation. If I told myself I couldn’t have chocolate, do you know what I’d wanted the most? You guess it, chocolate. I now tell myself I can have whatever I want, just not all the time. This quieted the impulsiveness and over indulgence, now I only eat chocolate when I really want it. Moderation is the key in healthy eating.
4. Set rules you can follow
My guiding rule is to eat healthy most of the time. It’s an easy rule to follow. I center my meals around veggies and lean proteins.
I keep water nearby all day, every day. I set a goal of a minimum of 3 times a week to work out. I plan healthier snacks for evening treats because that’s the time of day I like to snack the most. I relax my rules on the weekends.
5. I have learned to focus on a balanced lifestyle. A balanced life comprises who I am as a total person, being spirit, soul and body.
I take time to feed my spirit with biblical truths, this also help me to keep my emotions (soul) in check. Balance is key to becoming healthy from the inside out. To quote a favorite scripture: “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers”.
To your health and happiness
Dot High Steed
Dot High-Steed is a Health and Life Coach, who has over 25 years of experience in health/wellness, business and education.
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