I was at a complete fork in the road. The path of inaction, which felt very comfortable and glittered of fool's gold. The other path of action, which stared me down with a staircase of effort, work, and a steep mountain rich in the veins of true fortunes to be told.
This is where I stood - scared of both paths before me, where if I chose inaction - I would start down a path that would pile on the risks of heart disease, diabetes, high-blood pressure, and overall stress and unhappiness. I knew deep down that there was the best version of me waiting to be chiseled out from the buried layers I created by suppressing my emotions, not letting my voice be heard, stress eating, binge drinking, and lack of exercise. In that moment, I took the first steps to take my life on the uphill climb - I chose action.
"It was useless feeling useless."
1. Mindset - Declare what you want.
Many of us like to bury our heads in the sand when it comes to our health - I was guilty as charged. FEAR was holding me back. My mind was domesticated. I pumped it full of lies, fries, and insecurities. It was useless feeling useless. I was not ready to be put to pasture.
Getting my health in order was something I knew I must do to live a long life. Did I want to? - initially NOPE. What changed that? Declaring what I wanted and how I wanted to feel. Not only did I declare it in my mind, I wrote it out. A declaration to myself of the things I wanted to live a better life. Writing it out was necessary because I was drawing my voice out onto paper - to read the truth from my own handwriting helped bind and set in motion the mantra I live by today:
BE PROUD. BE COURAGEOUS. BE UNLIMITED.
2. Eating Habits - a 28-Day Reset to a new life
Transforming my eating habits was easier to implement than working out. Why? Because I was already eating everyday while exercise was a new habit to introduce. I set out on changing what I fed my body.
I started on a 28 day "Be Healthy" lifestyle lift. What I learned from this stage was a reduction of craving sugars, greasy and "empty calorie" foods. I started on a 5-Day RESET where I ate 3 shakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner with 2 snacks. This method spread my energy intake throughout the day instead of in heavy portions which causes spikes in your blood sugar. I did not get the afternoon "crash" as a result, I was able to stay awake during teleconferences and meetings!
After the 5 day detox, I entered a transform phase - 2 shakes a day, 2 snacks and 1 low-glycemic meal for two weeks. This phase was temporary to get me to my target weight. From there I switched to a maintain phase - 1 shake day, 2 snacks and 2 low-glycemic meals. I am still using this phase to this day to keep my balance along with my 80/20 philosophy.
Join my 28-Day Challenge HERE. Feel the difference yourself!
3. Exercise - Bust a move, hunny!
SERIOUSLY, its easy to workout and its easy not to. I knew I had to get my butt of the couch. After working long days we all want to just plot down and unwind because we've "earned it". Guess what, its time to shake that entitlement off because you can move more. Initially, I was too embarrassed and insecure to go workout in public. I started to work out at home, I grabbed my yoga mat and threw on exercise videos from YouTube. I knew I had to move more than my daily activity which my body was conditioned to.
I did not start with all out of push, I slowly increased my daily movements which would sustain me longer and not cause burnout as most of do when we declare New Years Resolutions. I decided to just workout 3-4 times a week for 30 - 45 minutes. I felt this was enough for my body and my time constraints in my busy schedule. There were times when I could only put in 15 minutes and THAT'S OKAY. I had the habit of beating myself up about missing a workout where I would PISSED off that I would say to hell with it and stop working out for the next following five days. That was the old me.
Be easy on your self and know that any movement that is more than your normal is a victory. I've honestly counted my wellness walks for lunch as activity because it is and when you count that as a victory you'll be more inclined to continue with keep up your exercise activity going. Remember its all about momentum.
4. Alcohol 28 Day Detox
Not gonna lie whenever the day was done, I would crack open a bottle of wine and enjoy it to myself, 2-3 times a week! UMM... WHAT? is exactly right. I'm here to be honest about my journey. I had a problem and I needed to address it. I cut off my alcohol consumption when I started my food detox as well. Was it difficult? Yes, but I knew had to raise my necessity to know that this would help reduce the unnecessary weight I was carrying around.
A method I used to help with the 28-day sobriety was to put an actual lock on a wine glass and taped the key to the back of my journal. In order to drink again, I needed to finish writing in my journal.
What I discovered from this was:
- Reduced social pressure to drink; Friends knew I wasnt drinking so they didnt ask.
- Saved money
- Following the detox, I consume less and enjoy drinking not to get plastered and wash away my feeling but to enjoy the cocktail for the taste.
5. Journaling - Goal Setting
Having a journal where I jotted down my daily goals helped me "tell the truth" on myself. I was able to track my progress no matter how small it was. My journal helped me plan the next day, something I didnt do which led my health to be set adrift to begin with. The way I see writing in a journal/ daily planner is that I'm providing myself with a road-map of what targets I set out to accomplished that day. It helps provide headlights, sort of speak, on a road where you're in front for the first time. You wouldn't stop on a road trip because you don't see the destination would you? No.
Another benefit, I was able to reflect back on what actually happened! Gone were the days of trying to remember what happened a day ago let alone three days! I could easily flip back through the pages and remember if I worked out, went to yoga, what I cooked, etc. Not to mention, it helped me sleep better at night because I wrote down the things I needed to get done and not have them rattling in my head as I try to fall asleep. Who wudda thunk?
Declutter that mind, hunny.
There is no fast way to taking back your health. Quality takes time, give yourself what you truly deserve. Be easy on yourself because health is a marathon which is opposite of the instant-gratification world we live in today. Know that everyone's path is different and these were the practices I implemented. It may or may not be for everyone, as with anything consult with your doctor as you start your climb to the summit of health. Trust me, the views much better up here.
I'd love to support you on your journey.