A Healthier You

In many of my posts I’ve been pointing out how important it is to be healthy and with a good personal appearance. Some of us don’t realize how sometimes that snack before going to sleep or those lazy Sundays in bed in front of the TV can be very unhealthy. I think we can always have a turn of the situation and start taking little steps to a very healthy life. I’m not at all talking about becoming an sports freak or get a perfect super model body, but about small changes and habits we can create to improve our life quality. We shouldn’t wait until we are sick to start exercising

You’ll need some discipline and even some help. For that you can find someone in your family who wants to do the same, or a good friend that lives close to you and also needs to start a healthy life. That way you can encourage each other, make realistic notes of each other’s progress and even make some rules and punishments for breaking them. After some time, you’ll have incorporate all those healthy habits into your new life and you won’t need someone to remind you to exercise.

The first healthy habit you should create is to eliminate late night eating. I personally love having an ice cream or some cookies before going to sleep, but the truth is that this is not healthy. So if you are like me, you can change the time of your last meal for a few hours before actually going to sleep. You can even make a tradition of taking that snack while watching any TV show or news channel, so in the future, every time that program starts, you’ll be conditioned to have that snack, and by the time you go to sleep your stomach won’t be full.

Probably the hardest of the healthy habits for some of us is to exercise often. A common mistake we all make is to think that exercising is just about going to a gym, but we can exercise also by walking three times a week. You can go to a nearby park with your friend or friends. Choose to go walking to the dry cleaner (if is close to your home) instead of driving. Make it a routine, a commitment, try to meet some people on the way, the walk doesn’t need to be bored or lonely, you can actually enjoy it. If you prefer to join a gym, there are many options that can help you stay fit and healthy that don’t necessarily include running or using the machines. You can join dance classes (belly dance and Latin dance are the most common ones), you can also join a yoga club or start practicing any martial art or self defense technique. That way you’ll be more interested in what you are doing, you’ll meet many new people and since they all require some follow up, you’ll always feel the need to keep going. If you feel like you’ll be quiting soon, make a contract with a friend or a teacher to impose a penalty every time you miss a class or use the car instead of walking to close distances. It can be from $3 to $10, the amount per se is not the most important thing on the penalty but the recognition that you did something wrong.

Another healthy habit we should pick up is to eliminate foods and drinks rich in sugar, bread or fast food. I admit I’m a huge fan of MacDonald’s, KFC or anything that taste like fast food, but that’s one of my biggest regrets and I work very hard to avoid them as much as possible. If you like very sweet drinks or food, I wouldn’t advise you to just stop it at once, but you can reduce by half or to a third of the total amount of sugar you consume a day. It might seem difficult but you can actually do it, one of my favorite techniques to reduce sugar in my diet, is to buy just the amount of necessary sugar for our body for a month or for a week, and if it finishes earlier, you’ll have to wait til next month or week to be able to have sugar again. You’ll need to be very strong in that decision, but you’ll realize how by the third month you’ll be having just the necessary amount of sugar your body needs daily and never more. If you like sodas, coffee or very sweet drinks, buy just tea or natural juices, at the beginning you’ll find it hard to drink just water, juice or tea, but after sometime you’ll prefer that than not to have any liquid at all. As for the fast food, there’s no right way, just be strong and avoid eating it. Have always an apple or any kind of fruit to peace your hunger until you get home and can have something healthier to eat.

The last and probably most important healthy habit is to love yourself. Stop worrying about how much did you eat, or how much do you weight. You are beautiful and special, if others can’t see that, is their fault, they don’t know what they are missing. If you are the kind of girl or woman who usually change cloths five times before going out because nothing fits you, there’s a very easy technique: write a few inspirational quotes or just the phrase “I’m beautiful and I look terrific in this outfit” and paste them or hang them in your mirror, the ones you use to get dress and do your make up. So even unconsciously you’ll be reading it and believing it. At the very beginning it will sound certainly silly but after some time you’ll notice how your whole attitude towards yourself changes and you love yourself more every day and people around you can actually notice it an admire you.
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