What does it mean to have a healthy lifestyle? You might imagine someone who is super fit and always eating healthy, but I think that it’s so much more than that. Realistically, eating 100% clean and working out 7 days a week isn’t sustainable for most people. You’re busy, I get it. What I think IS important is creating a lifestyle that serves the BEST version of you, the version of you that you want to be.
For one, taking care of our bodies helps to prevent chronic diseases and long-term illnesses. Feeling good about yourself and taking care of your health are also important for your self-esteem and self-image. But how can we actually change our lifestyle and how we behave in a way that sticks?
Its not a fad, a diet, or simply something that happens overnight. It takes intention and work to create a healthy life for yourself where you are happy and fulfilled. It requires effort, but I have found that habits are like a muscle, the more you work them the stronger they get! The more you feel amazing from eating healthy, the more you want to do it. Eventually it’s something your body craves. And maybe you’re thinking, “Okay Racquel but I always fall off the band wagon after a few weeks!”. That’s likely because whatever habit you tried to implement is unsustainable for YOUR lifestyle. They key is to find things you like that you can make into habits. Before you know it, you’ll love them.
Here are 5 areas of your life to audit and see where you can improve, baby steps!
1. Maintain regular exercise
Of course you know that exercise is part of the gig! No, you do not have to force yourself to do intense workouts everyday, but you do need to keep your body active as much as possible. I always say “move your body” every single day. Some days thats a slow neighborhood stroll with my babies while others it’s an intense EMOM. I can truly say I love EMOM workouts because they are quick and intense. But maybe you don’t. Maybe you like boxing or pilates. You get to chose how you move your body, there is no wrong way just move it! Besides, keeping your body active is important for your body and mind! Find movement that your body loves and it will make it easier to accomplish, if it’s a mind game to workout every single time try something else. There are always new, different ways for moving your body and chances are you can do them in your own living room. Try yoga, running outdoors, barre, pilates, or take a class like spin or water aerobics the list is endless; make it fun, not a chore.
2. Be Conscious of Your Diet
We all know we need to eat healthy if we want to be our best energetic and glowing selves. Healthy eating does not have to be boring or daunting, it is just about what foods you are choosing to put into your body. Healthy food can be perceived in many different ways but it should be based on what your body needs for fuel and to thrive. If your goal is to change your body, lose weight or gain muscle, chances are you will need to adjust your protein intake. Protein is actually easy to get into your diet because a lot of foods are stocked full of it. Your easiest sources are obviously meat and eggs but also beans, dairy products and even grains like quinoa are high in protein. Making the conscious choices of what your body is taking in is the best way to “diet”.
With all this being said we should never be depriving ourselves of something we want because it just leads to guilt and shame. Obviously we shouldn’t give in for every snack and craving all day everyday but if one night you are really wanting ice cream, go get the freakin ice cream, enjoy it and do not feel guilty. It’s all about balance and a healthy relationship with food, it’s so much healthier for the mind and body.
Lastly, avoid skipping meals, spacing out your meals well allows your body to digest properly and take advantage of the nutrients it is being fuelled with. Your caloric intake can be dependent on what body composition goals you are working on whether it’s losing weight, building muscle, etc. A very common way to monitor your intake is by tracking Macros. I actually have an entire blog on What Are Macros and How to Count Them. Additionally, 1st Phorm has an awesome app called My Transformation App that makes tracking your macros super easy. With the pro version you also have access to free coaching, macro tracking, workouts and more right at your fingertips.
3. Enjoy Things You Are Passionate About
A healthy lifestyle includes mental health too! Fuel your mind with what it loves to do, if you dread your job every single day, get a new one. You should not be sacrificing your mental health and draining yourself emotionally for a paycheque. There IS something that lights your fire and you just have to find it. Find a way to turn that absolute favorite hobby into a career. When you do something that makes you happy it is a self-fulfillment like no other, and it makes it easy to do over and over again. Your mental health is so important and sometimes you just get to put your needs first, yes I’m talking to you mama! Your kids will appreciate the life you built them and be inspired by your passion and hard work. Be confident and believe you are worth loving your everyday! It is so hard some days but we all deserve to live the lives we love so start today and take advantage of the rest of your life ahead.
4. Choose Positive Energy
In order to have a sound mental and emotional state, you must surround yourself with positive energy and choose happiness. We all know that not all problems can be avoided. But it helps to face our obstacles with an optimistic outlook. Surround yourself with encouraging friends and people that will provide you with constructive criticism every once in a while to help you improve and be your best you. Make it a habit to always look at the brighter side of life. Even if you find yourself in the worst situation, there are always silver linings—something good and positive. Focus on these things instead. Be the person that lifts others, encourages others, and brings out the good in others. Don’t talk badly about other people. At the end of the day put into the universe what you want to get back out!
5. Make Time For You
Everyone knows self-care is important but do you actually make time for it? Yes that face mask you did last week counts but have you checked in with yourself lately? Checking in with yourself, writing down how you are really feeling, and working through the emotions you might be putting on the back burner are so important. Journaling, meditating, or just going for a walk with a good playlist are great ways to feel your emotions. Check-in, evaluate and problem solve – sometimes this can be done in the moment, sometimes it is deep rooted and takes a while to get past it. I’m talking about getting really quiet with yourself. Slowing alllll the way down and checking in with what you need. Sometimes this process can bring up a lot of emotions quickly which is why we tend to avoid it. You know the second you slow down all of a sudden life catches up to you and all of a sudden you’re crying in the bathroom for no reason? This doesn’t mean life is bad, it’s just your brain and body asking to be listened to! Take care of YOU!
You probably noticed that with all 5 of these habits it really is about YOU! What you like, what you want, and what will make you a happier you. Your lifestyle is whatever you create. The choices you make will affect who you are, and who you are and what you value will affect the choices you make. If this blog inspired you to make a change, start small. You aren’t going to start 12 new habits overnight. Figure out what makes your heart sing, lights your soul on fire and gets your heart rate pumping – you’ve got this!