You can blame genes for only so much of your healthy journey. After all, it’s not about a number, it’s about a lifestyle and a mentality. I realized this the hard way. But, I learned to acknowledge and more importantly take responsibility for my faults. Here are the 5 ways I stopped myself from getting healthy:

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1.)  I RUINED MY BODY BY NOT VALUING WHOLE FOODS: Food in its natural, whole state is a beautiful thing. I neglected to fuel my body with whole foods. Instead, I was reaching for food that was overly processed, chemically enhanced, and refined. By doing this, I was ignoring the nutrients that my body needed and I was filling it with fake substitutes. Eating more whole foods will help you achieve your daily quota for certain minerals, vitamins and macronutrients. Not to mention that whole foods tend to keep you fuller longer and provide more energy. Taking the time to read the ingredients and nutrition labels and know what you are fueling your body with will go a very long way. Eat with intention for fuel and for health.

2.)  I RUINED MY BODY BY THINKING FITNESS WAS FOR WEIGHT LOSS: Anytime I worked out, I would work out to lose weight and then when I reached my goal weight I would stop working out. Fitness has to be a part of your life. Lower blood pressure, lower body weight, increased energy, better sleep, better attitude, better over-all health—if this all came in a pill we would be running right for it, yet so many of us drag our feet to work out. What is important when it comes to fitness it to find what works for you and just move your body. This could be as simple as taking the dog for a walk or taking a Zumba class. Enjoying that activity is key to sustainable balance. It cannot be just for a number on the scale or for an event. Switch your mindset to working out for health. Fitness is a great gift that you can give to yourself that will positively affect every aspect of your life. Exercise increases endorphins and endorphins make you happy.

3.)  I RUINED MY BODY BY NOT GETTING ENOUGH REST: If your body needs rest, do not ignore it or try to drown it out with coffee. Granted, sometimes our jobs (or children, or noisy neighbors) make it impossible to get the eight hour shut eye requirement each night. So, try to take small rest periods during the day. Rest does not need to be in the form of sheets and a pillow. Allow it to come into your life in several forms. If getting a cup of tea and sitting in your favorite chair for a moment allows you to mentally escape and rest your mind and body, then allow yourself the break. Quiet your mind and just listen. Slow down your pace on the treadmill for a few minutes, take a bubble bath, try a Yoga class, drink a glass of wine, get out of your cubical and look out the window.  Just as movement and nutrition are vital to our health, so is rest and recovery. Make it a point throughout your busy day to slow down your mind and body to check in with your spirit.

4.)  I RUINED MY BODY BY NOT BEING KIND TO MYSELF: If I made myself a sandwich, I would eat it standing over the kitchen sink. If I made a friend a sandwich, I would serve him or her on a nice place at the table. Why not do this for yourself? Especially as a mother, you tend to give, give, give or cook a nice meal and then end up eating high chair scraps off the floor.  Make it a point in your life to treat yourself as you treat others. If I became sick, I would quickly tell myself that I just didn’t have the time to get sick! I would carry on feeling miserable and not allow myself to slow down to recover. But, if others got sick, I would be quick to make a pot of chicken soup and aid their recovery. Learn to help yourself in these situations.   If you can treat your mind, body and soul with kindness, your quality of life improves.

5.)  I RUINED MY BODY BY NOT BEING OPEN: Change is scary but if you open yourself up with willingness, the right teachers will make themselves known to you. You just need to open your mind and to bring willingness- the willingness to give yourself a healthier life, the willingness to accept help, to change, and the willingness to challenge yourself. It could be for anything, really, you just need to open up your life to it. Have you labeled yourself as something over the years? Could it be time to remove that label? Willingness to try new things can mean all the difference. You will surprise yourself.

 

Image Credit: http://girlgetstrong.com/2009/08/29/stop-the-negative-self-talk-right-now-sians-weekly-weigh-in/