Sixteen years ago I committed to transforming my body and life and I can honestly say I feel better today than I did when I was 36. In those 16 years I’ve also seen many fads come and go all claiming to be the panacea for weight loss, success, and ultimate happiness. Many of those programs have indeed helped people lose the quick pound.
However, I have noticed a fundamental lack of sustainability in a majority of them. Perhaps you have a dusty library full of every health and fitness book that hit the best seller list over the last five or ten years. You may even have a DVD collection of the latest and greatest workouts.
But, do you still find yourself frustrated with how you look and feel? Have you have fallen into the trap of losing the same 10, 20, 30, 40 pounds over and over again? There is a likelihood you are sleep deprived, stressed out, nutrient deficient, and overloaded with too much sugar and caffeine. You may even feel you are at the end of your rope.
I’m here to tell you to tie a knot in that rope and hold on because it is never too late to get healthy and fit.
My recipe for success for 16 years has been to keep it simple and adhere to the tortoise and the hare theory – “slow and steady always wins the race.” No matter how worn out, or distraught you may be feeling,
I invite you to put your foot down, get off that hamster wheel, and join “Team Hare” right here, right now, today! It is not too late, even as we transition into the next season of our lives.
1). “We are what we eat.”
It’s important to recognize at this stage of the game we can not perhaps eat the way we did in our 20s and 30s – weekly pizzas, burgers and fries, soda, too many cocktails, etc. – I know I can’t! This is a critical time for proper nourishment of our bodies – especially when we throw in those unpredictable hormone changes that can reek havoc with our emotions and accumulation of excess belly/body fat. The vast majority of any physical change we want to see starts with what we put in our mouth. In other words, there’s no need for spending endless hours in the gym killing ourselves, or starving ourselves. A healthy body is developed in the kitchen, lunchroom, break room, restaurants, etc. Find the desire within you to make some hard eating choices. Be pulled by your vision of exactly how you want to look and feel and then make the better choice. Examples of this would be eliminate sugary drinks, foods with added sugars, and the obvious sweets. Save them for special occasions. Also, eliminate or reduce processed/boxed foods and stick with single-ingredient, nutrient dense foods. Add more fresh fruits, vegetables, and quality protein. Every time you eat is an opportunity to nourish your body for a healthier future.
2). “Good things come to those who sweat.”
Get moving. And that does not mean annihilate your body. Fit and healthy is not a destination, it is a way of life. The way I see it folks, we have decades of wear and tear on our bodies so I want to get healthy and stronger while still preserving my joints at this stage of the game. We need to be active and committed to adhering to some workout regime but do I really need to train like a 20-something college athlete? I’m trying to stay out of motorized carts! Find a safe workout that strengthens your muscles and incorporate a cardio vascular activity that strengthens your heart. I also recommend yoga for not only physical strengthening, but bringing in balance and some of that delicious Yin that we can all use in our stressful lives.
3). “You are what you think.”
Let’s strive to be healthy and strong, not skinny. Take the focus off the scale and put the spotlight on your feelings, vision, and commitment to be healthy. How do you feel when you eat a week, day, or even an hour of healthy food? How do you feel when you finish a brisk 30 minute walk up and down the hill you live on? You feel empowered, in control, proud, optimistic, successful. Program those good feelings and be propelled by them the next day. Not everyday is going to be a “10”, shake it off, but most importantly, do not dwell on it or throw it all away by going negative. I’ve also found gratitude and a meditation practice has helped me maintain a sense of calmness and peace. Just try to keep positive. Use your successes, big or small, to build the momentum of moving fiercely forward. What you focus on, you move towards.
Things do not happen in a minute. Be prepared to practice patience and not dwell on limitations. Accept and bless your journey, it got you here today. Now is time to self reflect and create a new chapter. We all have the ability to unlock even more of our untapped potential. Let’s be open to new patterns and practices and not let fear or past history detour us from harnessing a future of self-acceptance, newfound energy, and healthier bodies.