Hi Friends! I know there are a lot of articles out there about fitness and healthy living. I don’t have any secrets to staying fit and living a healthy lifestyle, but I do hope I can inspire you.
Living a healthy lifestyle has become a top priority for me, but really only in the last few years. If I could give my younger self some healthy advice, it would be:
- Make healthy food choices
- Drink LOTS of water
Healthy Food Choices
I have mentioned in a few other posts that I struggle with digestive issues. Ten years ago I was diagnosed with SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth). Several years ago I implemented healthier food choices in order to maintain better digestive health. This is something I wish I had done 10 years ago when I was first diagnosed.
My diet mainly consists of a Paleo-style diet, although I do cheat every once in a while. When I say Paleo-style I mean I don’t eat grains, dairy, white flour and white sugar—the majority of the time. My favorite recipes are from Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain blog and cookbooks. Her blog is where I first discovered incorporating food to help heal the gut.
The Benefits of Exercise
A year ago I implemented a regular exercise routine in addition to healthy food choices. It’s unbelievable what a difference exercise and diet have made for my body. I don’t take medication as frequently, I have more energy, I sleep better and I feel better overall.
Is it difficult? Yes! My goal is to work out three times a week—sometimes it’s two and sometimes it’s one. Life gets busy, but I love how much better I feel when I do make it to the gym. I also walk our dog Wrango every morning. He is a great motivator because he is ready to go rain or shine!
As part of my healthy lifestyle, I drink a lot of water–hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Even when not exercising, water is such an important part of my daily routine. It makes me feel more hydrated and makes my skin feel better.
Tips for Staying Motivated
I don’t have the secret sauce for motivating someone to have a healthy lifestyle, but I can honestly tell you your body will feel so much better. These are the tips that I have found help motivate me for working out:
- Have a cheerleader. My husband has been my biggest cheerleader. He is always telling me how much he notices the changes in my body from working out. For example, one night I was hanging a picture on the wall and he snapped a picture of my back to show me the muscles I have gained from working out. I couldn’t believe it. Find someone that can help motivate you—a friend, a loved one or someone from the gym. I swear it helps!
- Listen to your body. I love how my body feels. As I mentioned above, I started working out in hopes of improving my digestive issues. The bonus has been how much better my body feels overall. This is definitely motivation for me.
- Set small goals. When I first started working out, I enrolled in a six-week program. I told myself, if I could make it through the six weeks I’d probably stick with it. That is exactly what happened! In six weeks I could see the changes my body was beginning to make, and I was hooked.
- Reward yourself. A healthy lifestyle is not about deprivation, it’s about doing things in moderation. If you need a cheat meal, do it—just don’t go crazy. I have learned to make some great Paleo desserts for my splurges, but moderation is still the key.
- Buy yourself some cute workout clothes. Yes, I know this sounds silly, but I promise it helps. When I pick up a new workout top or leggings, I can’t wait to go to the gym and wear them. Whatever works, right? My favorite workout leggings are from Victoria Secret, and I’m wearing them in the pictures on this page. They are high waisted, the fabric holds up well and they are super comfy. They are a bit pricey, but I always wait until they go on sale and then stock up!
- Go to a gym with specific class times. I have to have structure with my workouts. If I go to a gym with a bunch a weights sitting around, I wander around aimlessly, and then leave. I need class times with specific planned workouts. It helps keep me accountable.
I don’t want to sugar coat it, because seeing results has been a slow process. It won’t happen overnight, but stick with it! I promise you will love the results.