As a fitness coach, I see trends people who want to change their life through fitness. Clients get so wrapped up in the “correct” way to exercise and eat and that perfectionism ends up making the new lifestyle cumbersome, stifling and overwhelming. Within weeks their great intentions turn to giving up.
We are guilty culturally of making this harder than it should be for the average person. Sure, if you are a professional athlete, bodybuilder or fitness model some formulas can take you to a level of perfection, but for the average person looking to live a better life, it is not as difficult as advertised by the diet and fitness industry.
Here is a super simple formula to head down the road to fitness success. Don’t over think it, just make small changes daily for a better life.
I don’t care what you do but MOVE. Our bodies are designed to move much more than we do. We sit all day long, and it is taking a toll on our minds and especially our bodies. Walk, swim, lift weights, go to Zumba….honest I don’t care. Your body wants movement, and if you move it, you will be rewarded with endorphins, mobility, and a happier life while you are here to live it.
Skip the processed stuff and just eat the real stuff. It is super simple and people over-think this one the most. Shop the perimeter of the grocery story – try to avoid the center where most of the crap is. Ask yourself an honest question. Do you think all those dyes, food preservatives and chemicals are good for your body? They are designed to make food LOOK better and LAST longer. Real food does not last. Real food decomposes, breaks down, and gets moldy. Chemicals will outlive you if you keep eating them. Let me keep this simple. Eat lots of fresh veggies, fruits, lean proteins, nuts, beans, legumes, etc.
This one is so stinking obvious. Think of your body as a pool. You have to FLUSH your pool daily, or it turns green inside (my kids love that analogy). I tell people to aim for 1/2 their body weight in ounces daily. Ultimately listen to your body and make it a goal to have very pale yellow urine. Most people are walking around dehydrated which leads to headaches, hunger, constipation, and a whole host of other issues. 🙂
Your body needs fuel to become healthy, strong, and fit. If you starve you hold onto fat and you end up less healthy than before. Re-shape your body by eating the right foods and eating enough. Don’t make your goal skinny fat, make your goal vigorous and healthy. Your body knows what to do with REAL FOOD so eat up and enjoy life. Bonus, when you eat REAL FOOD, you can eat twice as much because those calories go a lot farther.
VEGGIES – Not FRUIT!!! I’m not anti-fruit by any means, but most people eat up fruit and skip the veggies thinking it is all the same. I’m here to tell you from a nutrition point of view they are not the same and none of us eat enough veggies. Try for 6-9 servings a day (serving is about 4 ounces). Fruit is great, but you need your veggies more. The beautiful thing about vegetables is that the fiber fills you up and once you are satiated from a nutritional standpoint your hunger will diminish considerably. So many people are walking around completely void of all nutrition, and their body is SCREAMING to be taken care of. That bag of chips does not fill you up because ultimately it’s more processed crap food and it has zero nutritional value. Jump off the hamster wheel.
Our bodies are designed to be in nature, and they crave it. Connect with nature and watch your stress dissolve. Even ten minutes in the great outdoors can change your mood, your energy level, and your stress. We have disconnected with nature more and more thanks to computers and social media, and we need to stop and actively reconnect. There is no app for that. 🙂
Even five minutes of deep breathing in a peaceful atmosphere can completely change your mood. Just try it. Connecting with your breath and learning to control your mind (even temporarily) can have lasting effects. There are many free apps on the internet like Breathe (the app I use daily with guided, five-minute meditations).
Attitude will determine your altitude in life. If you tell yourself you can’t – you’re right. You must have a positive attitude around your health and fitness if you want to succeed in life. It all comes down to what you tell yourself and how you talk to yourself daily.
If you count your blessings each night before bed, those blessings will multiply. Filling your body with gratitude can lead to a more healthy life. We are what we think we are.
This one is probably the most difficult item on my list. We always think life will be happier when we drop 10 pounds, have more money, or hit a certain clothing size. Life is NOW. Life is not when you hit some magical place in the future. The journey is the destination, and as someone who has lived through devastating loss, I can assure you that my only regrets are for not loving what I had when I had it. Love yourself now while you work on improving yourself. This is my biggest tip.
Repeat after me:
Now, go live fit,
Pick up a copy of Michelle’s new book, Healthy Healing, and learn how and why fitness matters during life’s hardest moments.