top ten health lessons learned

Hey sugar! How is your day going? Almost.at.the.weekend. I feel as though this week has been kind of dragging on. Anyone else with me? Maybe it’s the slightly depressing sudden chill in the air and cloud cover? All I know is that I’m looking forward to this weekend. Do you have anything planned? I’ve got a housewarming party/girls night planned with my best family friends tomorrow night (love when momma’s + daughters can hang out together!), a long training run on Saturday (19k eeek!) & going to Duncan’s soccer game and visiting with his parents on Sunday!

Anyway, back to the point of this post. Healthy Living Blogs recently unveiled their “Healthy Living Tuesday” for the month of September: Health Lessons Learned Lately. They invite all bloggers part of HLB to participate by posting on the topic and then they’ll do a link up at the end of the month – fun! It’s actually my first time participating in the “Healthy Living Tuesday”, so.. wish me luck?

OKAY. Soo.. full disclosure.. I’m not a professional medical practitioner, registered dietitian, life coach, or really anyone of real health “influence”. I’m just a girl who tries my best to be healthy and happy each and every day. I rank health as my top priority and am interested in learning more about healthy living habits, which is why I LOVE the idea of sharing these health lessons and also learning from others’! Here goes:

1. Make your health a priority. You only have one body. It will carry you through your life, so, it’s kinda important. You have to take full responsibility for it ‘cause no body else will! I feel that when we are healthy and balanced, we can enjoy life to the fullest and experience every day and every moment with more clarity, gratitude and joy. By placing health as a priority, everything else will fall into place (forming good eating habits, exercising, getting enough sleep, etc).

2. Consistency is crucial. Form good habits and KEEP them. Set realistic goals for yourself. Create a plan that works for you, because at the end of the day you’re the only one accountable for following it through! Consistency comes with time (as do all habits), but when you’ve established a healthy eating/sleep/workout plan that jives will with you, it will eventually just feel natural and right and no longer like a chore. For instance, it’s far better to establish an exercise plan that involves going to the gym 3x/week than to tell yourself you’ll go EVERY DAY and then never actually follow through with it (slightly daunting). It’s better to be consistently going to the gym at a sequence that works for you (i.e. 3x/week) than to go sporadically. Consistency breeds good habits and RESULTS!

3. Forgive yourself. You aren’t perfect. No one is. Not even Jude Law (clearly). HA. I had to throw that in there. But seriously, don’t beat yourself up over straying from your plan every so often. So you had a bad day and decided it would be a good idea to come home and down an entire Ben & Jerry’s tub. There’s no sense dwelling on the past & becoming anxious about it. Identify what caused you to make that decision (I’m guessing emotional eating in this case.. just sayin’), learn from it (i.e. I will only eat HALF the tub next time) and move on. Tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity to form the healthy habits that you want.

4. Learn how to say NO. This is a big one for me. I consider myself I bit of a people pleaser in that I’m always pretty worried about what people that I care about think of me; I worry that I’m not a good enough friend, girlfriend, daughter etc. and usually overthink everything that can be overthought. I’ve been trying a lot over the past year or so to develop a skill: SAYING NO. So, for instance, if I am really in the mood to have a night in front of the TV watching a chick flick in my sweats and a friend calls me up asking if I want to go out, I’m trying to learn how to put myself and my needs first (sometimes) and just say no. We’re all busy and live in a world where 24 hours doesn’t seem like enough in a day. We’ve all got different priorities and responsibilities pulling us in different directions. Sometimes, just sometimes, it’s important to put yourself first and think about what you want. After all, we can’t be all things to all people.

5. Carve out “me” time. Another biggie! I grew up an only child, so I’ve always been used to having lots of quiet “me” time. While I absolutely LOVE people and prioritize hanging out and seeing my friends and family, I also try to have at least a few hours a week doing something that I want to do all.by.myself. I realize that lots of people don’t have an introverted bone in their body (I think I have a few heheh), in which case it’s still important to carve out time for yourself to do what you want. Forget the never-ending to-do list (really, it never goes away so you might as well have some fun!) and prioritize something for yourself: a walk, reading a book, taking a bath, catching up on your favourite TV show, doing some soul searching.. whatever! You’ll walk away from your “zen” time feeling refreshed, energized and better able to tackle life!

6. Be positive. Some may say that positivity is an innate personality characteristic and people either have it or don’t, but I don’t believe that to be true. I do think that some people are more naturally positive people, but it is something that can be learned and honed over time. While I’m naturally a very bubbly, upbeat person, I do sometimes have to “check in” with myself and really try to be positive, especially in situations where the number one thing I want to do is whine. I try to tell myself that we can look at a situation from either side (positive or negative) but that the situation itself won’t change, so, we might as well be positive about it! Having a running gratitude journal really helps with this and puts life into perspective a bit (might I say #firstworldproblems?).

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7. Sleep. I don’t think this is something I’ve ever actually had to “learn” since I’ve always been someone who needs lots of sleep. Regardless, sleep is important for us all. When I don’t get my sleep, I turn into a raging granny. I look like crap, feel like crap & act really crappy, too. It’s just not a good situation. Endless studies have also proven that sleep deprivation is associated with a whole host of non-desirable issues, like memory loss, cancer, weight gain, diabetes, heart palpitations, heart disease, depression, etc. So.. I really do try (try being the operative word) to get enough sleep on a consistent basis and I urge you to do the same! Everyone has different sleep requirements, so find out what works best for you and make it a priority.

8. Eat breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day (I bet you’ve heard that one before). But seriously. Eating breakfast helps your body get the best start to the day and fires up your metabolism! PLUS, breakfast foods are the best! I could have breakfast, bunch + binner every.single.day :) Need ideas? Check out my “breakfast idea” section of my recipe + meal idea page

9. Put greens in your smoothies. It’s such an easy, quick + convenient way to get an extra dose of veggies! ..and I promise you won’t even be able to taste the different. That said, it will give a bit of a chunky, green tinge to your drink. DO NOT FEAR, though! I always have frozen, pre-chopped kale on hand to add to smoothies. The package lasts me at least a month & only costs $4.99 and doesn’t involve any prep work or chopping (have you SEEN how massive kale leaves are?!). I usually HATE the taste of kale (yes, I’ve ever tried kale chips and almost barfed when I did), so putting it into smoothies is a great option as I can’t even detect it! Spinach is also another great option!

10. Wear sunscreen. Just do it.

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4 thoughts on “top ten health lessons learned

  1. This is a great list, I’d say I definitely have the most trouble forgiving myself and just saying no. I’m the same way and pretty much overthink everything that can be overthought just like you! So I worry that saying “no I don’t want to go out and drink all night” to my friends will make them judge me and think I’m lame. Sometimes a girl just needs sweatpants and Jude Law! haha

  2. More than once I found myself just smiling at the things you said! I actually snapped a couple times in agreement too…embarrassing I know, but whatever. Great blog! Love the postivity :)

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