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Thursday, May 2, 2013

May Day 2: Educating on a topic

Today’s prompt: Educate us on something you know alot about or are good at. Take any approach you'd like (serious and educational or funny and sarcastic)
 
Honestly, I couldn’t think of a single thing I felt particularly knowledgeable enough about that would be even a little bit interesting. But, I’ll try. I decided to share with you some of the strategies I’ve come to rely on over the last 3 years to try and stay “healthy.” I must preface this by saying I am not an expert on this. I don’t have it all figured out. I struggle with it every day (and in fact, the last 6 months have been especially trying for me, but I’m trying to get back on track). But, because this has been a challenge for me for years, I feel especially compelled to share some of the things that have worked for me (even when I thought they wouldn’t). Sure, they may not be for everyone, but they’ve helped me.
  1. Weight Watchers. This is definitely something not everyone enjoys or finds success with, but it was the one thing that finally turned things around for me. It taught me to see food in different ways—to recognize things that were better for me (lower points), but also to learn to eat in moderation. Portion control is big for me, and WW really helped me learn that. The trouble, I’ve found, is sticking to it (especially after reaching a goal or plateauing), but when you do, it works!
  2. Stop with the excuses. I could come up with 100 excuses to hit snooze and skip the gym in the morning, but it’s the handful of reasons I shouldn’t that keep me going. Ultimately, I feel better all day when I do work out. Sure, everyone needs breaks from time to time, so you have to listen to your body and take those, too. But it was when I stopped letting the gym (or simply being active) be a “nice-to-have” in my life and made it a priority, and that’s when things changed.
  3. Chew gum. This is my personal trick for stopping me from wanting to snack. Whether it’s at home at work (but especially at work), I like to chew gum between meals to keep my mind occupied and to help curb the temptation to steal a piece from the candy jar every time I walk by.
  4. Find a good support system. Whether it’s friends to work out with or family at home who are on board with making healthier choices, it’s so important to have people around you who are empowering you to make good decisions. Part of my struggles in the last few months have been because Sean and I don’t hold each other accountable for making good choices. We’ve recognized that needs to change, and are working hard to get back to a place of making health choices.
  5. Don’t be so hard on yourself. One of the hardest things for me is comparing myself to others—or even to my former self. You are you, and you are beautiful no matter what. Be proud of who you are and everything that has gotten you to where you are today. Learn to love yourself with all your strengths and faults. It might feel like being hard on yourself gives you motivation, but the negativity isn’t worth it. Treat yourself with respect. Recognize that you are unique and no one can compare. And remember that there will be ups and downs, and that’s ok.
  6. Change it up. Try new activities that constantly keep your body moving in new and challenging ways. I almost never do the same thing at the gym 2 days in a row. Even then, though, I can find my body getting into a rhythm and being less challenged by certain activities simply because I do them so often. For me, interval training and finding new and different activities are the things that keep it fresh and invigorating.
These are just a few of the things I have to remind myself of to stay on track to being active and trying to eat healthy. For me, food is my greatest challenge. I can drag my ass to the gym any day, but it’s avoiding indulgent foods and managing my portion sizes that prove to be the toughest. Typing this out was just as much for me as it was for anything else.

Thanks for listening! If you have great tips to share (maybe a great work out or your favorite healthy snack) - please do!  

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