Ever find yourself thinking, “Staying healthy was so much easier when I was younger.”?
Well, today, I’m giving you the 5 essential steps to make your efforts count.
Have you gained weight or been diagnosed with a chronic disease like diabetes, high blood pressure, an auto-immune disorder or cancer?
Have you tried to make changes on your own but you can’t seem to get the traction to stick with it? Have you thought, ”It’s age, my metabolism, hormones, or (lack of) willpower.”?
While that last statement is partially true, it‘s almost like the opposite side of the “rose colored glasses” syndrome.
It’s that pessimistic view like waiting for the other shoe to drop. When that’s where you are, you can’t clearly see to discern what to do next.
And you’re likely not doing what you know (if you’re being really honest) works consistently or monitoring your actions here and now.
Recently, my client, Suzy (not her real name) shared her breakthrough:
“It wasn’t until I figured out that it was about (what) wellness (really meant to me) that I recommitted to change.” She told me.
She is now eating more whole food consistently and has lost 7 lbs after not being able to lose any weight for many months.
With this in mind, here are the 5 steps that can help you begin your journey:
1. Discern your goal:
What is the end-game? It needs to be bigger than fitting into the size 6 jeans sitting in the closet.
It needs to be more meaningful than what you will look like at the reunion.
What is that thing that you enjoy doing that you want to STILL be able to do . . . at age 80?!
Now I know I’m talking to some people that are only half that age. I’m asking anyway!
Expand your horizons and think about it.
Stark reality flash: You don’t get to choose when or how you’ll leave this earth.
Far too many people spend the last 5-15 years of life in pain and disabled. That could mean your kids changing your diapers or feeding you! How embarrassing!
But if you keep fit, eat right and exercise your brain, you’ll likely evade disability.
If you don’t want to think about life at 80 (or even 90!) that’s all the more reason to do it.
2. Discern your bigger why:
This is tied into but may not be directly related to #1 above.
Do you want to be able to go places & do things with the grandkids or great grandkids you don’t have yet?
What is that thing that, if you could do it then, would make the difference to you? Is it really about leaving ‘a legacy’ (money) to the kids & grandkids?
Or is it more about doing something meaningful while you’re still here? Travel? A humanitarian project? Something meaningful you could do WITH the grandkids or other family members? What is it that would speak to you on the deepest level?
You may need help to dig deep to discern these things. The answers to these questions don’t come easy. Continue to ponder these questions and expand your mind. The answers will come as you engage and define the questions better. A coaching conversation can help you discern your deepest desires.
Now that these first 2 questions are at least out there. . . you can look at some of the physical things that can begin to shift things.
The 3 things I’m going to mention are only a very basic starting point.
They each require long-term effort with constant monitoring to discern what’s working and what’s not. Then tweaking and re-tweaking to perfect the changes and keep progress going in the right direction. Again, where coaching can come in in a meaningful way.
3. Begin eating more whole food:
Fruits, veggies, grains, legumes. Whole food is the one thing that seems to be the common factor in areas of the world where people continue to live vibrantly as they age.
Whole food feeds both OUR bodies and our gut microbiome that makes most of the chemicals and hormones we need to thrive. Find some recipes here
4. Begin eating less animal products and processed foods:
How much change you have to make or how little you can get away with depends on many factors:
your age, current health status, genetics and more.
Often, if you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic condition, this change requires that you be extremely strict with it until you give your body a good chance to work at healing the problem.
You may be able to be less strict at some point in the future.
But you may need to look at it like dialing in the numbers of combination lock; (requiring that you be very exacting and strict) at least for now. Constant upgrading & tweaking to dial that last number in takes some work.
5. Move more:
With over 600 muscles in your body, it is designed for movement.
There is evidence to suggest that our hunter-gatherer ancestors spent as much as 16-20 hours per day hunting and gathering. They may have used up to 5,000 calories per day in the process. Compare this to your current lifestyle and you’ll see pretty plainly why we are so overweight.
But like everything else in life: recognize WHERE you are, SET your goal, and MOVE FORWARD each & every day.
Note that due to injuries and other issues you may have to adopt modified fitness goals, but you likely can do more than you think you can. (Be sure to check with your healthcare provider before starting).
So here you have a basic prescription for beginning to put some changes in place.
Keep asking the questions and keep digging to get to the important stuff.
It’s especially difficult to do this digging on your own. Until you discern the correct answers for you, you’re likely to continue to struggle.
Need some assistance? Set up a time to talk.