I was there, at the beginning, nervous but committed once and for all to tell my body it was time to give it the care it deserves.
Starting a health journey, which you most likely approach without knowing where it will take you brings a not so colorful fan of emotions. Slowly changes happen and with them the fan becomes more eye pleasing. The results start to come.
There is so much substance in every message, news article and expert in the healthy living world that is all but rare to not feel overwhelmed. These messages will either step side by side or step on each other.
I am stepping forward and sharing what is often not shared enough and happens to be my 5 greatest takeaways.
This is what I would tell my younger self, the one who some time ago found in this healthy lifestyle, a warm home.
1. You know where to start
There is no one more knowledgeable about what makes you feel good than yourself. You know if a certain food makes you feel sluggish or if a workout bores you to death. No health expert will tell you to eat that food or perform that workout if it doesn’t make you feel good. You have to start by eliminating what is taking away from your health and you know exactly what that is.
The start is always the hardest step to take but you have an advantage if you are honest with yourself and determine which aspects are not helping you stay energized, vibrant and joyous day after day.
2. You are actually transforming your mind
You may begin this journey with the aim of seeing some physical changes in your body. These changes will happen but where the real change occurs is in your mind. If your mind stopped at the gas station while your body already took off on the highway, those changes that you are so hard working for will come in slower.
When experts across fields say that mental strength is responsible for a prominent percentage of success, it is no different in health and fitness. Your mind will change to appreciate how remarkable strong your body can be, how food can be the most simple yet powerful medicine for the body and soul, and how it really is a fun lifestyle to adopt.
3. You are adding more than losing
It took me less that you can imagine to discover that I was riding on an empty tank for most years. If you think there is only one way to perform a squat, you definitely need more gas. If you haven’t tried a sweet potato, you still have space for more gas.
Not only will new foods make it into your kitchen and you will start learning the names of some of the equipment you have scanned through in the gym. You will add friendships, new hobbies, new positive thoughts and only end up loosing all those feelings that were pulling you back all this time.
4. You might not be eating that different
If your body excels on meat, you can have it. If you feel rejuvenated having roasted veggies, you definitely can have them. The biggest misconception is pairing food with restriction; on the contrary there is nothing out of limits.
The biggest misconception is pairing food with restriction; on the contrary there is nothing out of…
When did limits ever worked? The experts have it right when they say that balance, moderation and variety is key. Would you be happy if you took the same course at college over and over again? Would you be happy if you had to repeat the same project at work over and over again? You most likely would want to change things up eventually.
Your body wants that change too and will most likely prefer to have more of the food that makes it feel good than bad.
5. You are working in a team with your body
A team complements each other by utilizing the strengths of each member. Don’t expect your body to do all the work; you need to help it. Equally don’t let it slack off, be consistent.
It is easy to push yourself hard when things are either working too well or not that well, but your health journey will be stronger with the sum of all its parts. Make sure that you are utilizing the strength that nutrition, rest, mental strength and enjoyment bring to the equation.
If you are willing to start your healthy journey, one day you will write these 5 takeaways. They will be different to mine, no doubt about that. They have to be different because that will mean that you have reached a place where you can stop your car and look at the view over the cliff. You took a break to see how far you have made it and how unique your experience was.
-Where are you now on your health journey?
-Is there something you learned along the way?
-Can you come up with a new squat variation?