You want to get healthy. You want to feel better. But do you know how to get healthy and make it stick? You’ve probably tried several different things already. You stuck with a plan for a while, then lost your motivation and quit.
Change that sticks, takes time. If you try to change too much all at once, it won’t work. You know this because you’ve tried it a million times over, and over.
Think about all the quick fix diet and exercise programs you’ve tried over the years. They always seem like the perfect answer in the beginning don’t they?
How many years have you spent trying to get healthy the quick way? I know for me it was a good 15 years or more.
All those years of hard work and feeling deprived, followed by periods of binging and inactivity. Whenever a new “program “ came on the market I just knew this was going to be the one that worked.
Did I ever really feel healthy? No.
If I would have spent that time slowly incorporating healthy habits in my life, I would have gotten there much quicker. Slow and steady really does win the race.
Your Beginning to Better Health
Let’s see if we can simplify things a bit. First let’s identify the basic structure of getting healthy:
- Listen to your body.
- Learn what eating healthy means.
- Determine why you want to get healthy.
- Determine if your lifestyle is promoting healthy living.
- Set yourself up for success.
- Make a commitment to better health.
- Learn the basics of getting healthy.
- Create your plan for better health.
It looks so simple. So why do we make it so hard? Most of us generally focus on just weight loss as a health indicator. In reality, it’s simply one of the many benefits of good health.
Listen to your Body
How well do you listen to your body? Do you ever ask yourself any of these questions?
- Why am I overweight?
- Why do my joints hurt?
- Why do I feel so bloated?
- Why do I break out with acne?
- Why do I have heartburn?
- Why am I so tired?
- Why do I get headaches?
All of these things are our bodies way of telling us it needs something, or that something we’re doing is hurting us. Do we listen?
What do you do when you get a headache? Take some form of pain reliever. But is the reason you have a headache because your body is suffering from a Tylenol deficiency?
Why do you have a headache?
When you have heartburn or indigestion, you take an antacid. But is your heartburn and indigestion caused by a deficiency of Rolaids or Tums?
Why do you have heartburn or indigestion?
7 out of 10 adults take at least 1 prescription drug daily in America. This is a very small amount compared to the consumption of over the counter medications we consume.
When we’re young we defend our unhealthy lifestyles by telling ourselves, “we’re going to die eventually anyway. Might as well be happy. ” or “You only live once.”
What we don’t take the time to think about is, what our quality of life is really going to be as we get older because of how we treat our bodies now.
Even as we get older most of us don’t stop and ask ourselves why we feel like crap. We go to the doctor and take another pill. Then in a few months we go get on another pill to deal with the side effects of the first.
How do you want to feel at the age of 50, 60, 70 and beyond? Do you want to be able to get around easily, pain free, with lots of energy and vitality?
Or be riddled with disease and in pain, needing help to perform even your basic bodily and daily functions?
How do you feel right now?
How do you want to feel?
Do you Know What Eating Healthy Means?
75% of Americans feel they eat healthy.
Yet in a national health and nutrition examination survey, researchers discovered that only 12.2 percent of American adults are metabolically healthy.
So where is the disconnect?
Foods you might think are healthy:
|Fruit and vegetable drinks||Fruit snacks|
|Granola and granola bars||Cereal bars and cereal|
|Instant oatmeal||Sweetened soy and nut milks|
|Flavored yogurt||Trail mixes|
|Deli meats||Vegetable chips|
|Frozen microwave meals||Iceberg lettuce salad|
|Most salad dressings||Vegetable, canola, and soybean oils|
|Vegetable dips and spreads||Margarine|
|Diet sodas||Low calorie snack packs|
|Anything fat free or low fat||Anything sugar free|
This is a very short list that could go on for days.
Before you get all uptight and want to argue about something on this list, ask yourself what nutritional value does it have? And if you do some research, you will see that some of these are downright bad for your health.
Why do you want to get healthy?
The answer to this question may seem obvious, but it is actually very important to ask yourself.
Why do I want to get healthy?
You may find you really don’t want to get healthy. You really enjoy eating fast food and drinking your sodas. You really don’t want to get up and move your body more. If your desire really isn’t there, to get healthy, don’t set yourself up for failure trying to force it.
Do you at least want to, want to get healthy? It’s a starting point. If you’re in this spot, this is a great time for you to work on your mindset and figure out what mental blocks you have towards getting healthy.
To be honest, some people have to get to a point where they can’t handle how they feel anymore before making changes.
But this can also be a good thing. The more pain we feel, the more motivation we have to stick with the changes we need to make.
Figure out where you’re at on the spectrum of being ready to make the life changes necessary for better health. Why you want to get healthy will be the basis for your motivation. It will give you focus. What is your why?
List out your pain points. Not just physical pain points, but how your health is affecting you emotionally and mentally.
Rate each pain point in order of importance to you. This will provide you with an order of importance to work on.
How Healthy is your Lifestyle?
This is important to analyze because your current lifestyle has gotten you where you are now. If this is not where you want to remain, now is a good time to figure out what needs to change. What things do you need to get rid of in your life in order to start incorporating a healthy lifestyle?
Write it down.
Some things to consider:
- Where you eat
- What’s in your cupboards
- Where you hang out
- How you talk
- The influence of your friends
Set yourself up for success
You know you better than anyone. What things might make it tough for you to stick with a health plan?
Some things to consider:
- Things you crave
- Your points of overwhelm
- Your triggers
- Lack of encouragement or direction
- No accountability
Commit to Better Health
Make a commitment for change. Write out a simple statement to yourself and to your body to begin your journey to better health.
Tell your body how much you appreciate it, and how hard it works for you. Apologize for how you’ve treated it in the past. Commit to you and your body to start living a healthier life.
Get Healthy Basics
- Eat real food
- Drink sufficient amounts of clean water
- Consume healthy fats
- Move your body
- Take supplements your body needs
- Get a sufficient amount of sleep
- Work on your stress levels
- Work on your mental and emotional mindset
I’m going to show you here how to keep it real simple and basic. This is a really great place to start.
Eat Real Foods
A good rule is if you can’t identify or pronounce an ingredient correctly in the food, don’t eat it. This means all packaged, premade, and convenience foods are not considered healthy. These are not considered whole foods.
Drink Sufficient Amounts of Clean Water
Most Americans do not drink enough water. Some drink little if any. Half your body weight daily is an easy way to remember how much to drink. Get yourself a stainless steel water bottle and fill it up. Then drink it. Then fill it up again. Repeat as necessary.
Most tap water is not considered clean water. If you look up the studies done you’ll find that most cities and towns do the absolute minimum filtering required by law. The town I live in sent out their testing results to all residents recently. Every single item tested for was at the maximum levels.
Consume Healthy Fats
Try some healthy oils in your diet. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much you love them. Coconut, olive, avocado and sesame oils. Grass fed real butter (Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter is my fave), and ghee.
*Most large chain grocery stores stock all of these products on their shelves.
Move Your Body
As sedentary as we have become as a society it really won’t take much time or effort to increase the amount of movement we exert each day.
A rebounder (mini trampoline), is in my opinion the best thing to invest in. This is beneficial regardless of your current fitness level. One of the few and easiest ways to activate your lymphatic system.
Take Supplements Your Body Needs
We’ve been told for quite a few years that our soils are depleted of many of the minerals and nutrients our bodies need. The nutrient density of the foods we consume today is much lower than it used to be.
Americans have been found to be deficient in vitamin c, d, a, e, magnesium, calcium, among others. (Source) It’s very important to supplement with a good quality multivitamin to get the proper levels of these nutrients our bodies need to perform at optimum levels.
Get Sufficient Amounts of Good Sleep
1 out of 3 Americans are not getting enough sleep. Even less are getting a good quality sleep. Lack of sufficient good quality sleep affects your health.
Poor quality of sleep is linked to poor quality of health. According to the CDC, adults who get insufficient low quality sleep each night are more likely to be at risk for 10 chronic health conditions—including heart attacks, stroke, and diabetes. (Source)
If you want to read a great book on all things sleep, check out Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson. This book has all the answers on how to get great sleep every night.
Work On Your Stress Levels
Stress is a huge catalyst to poor health. Stress has an adverse effect on both your physical and mental health. Many times we don’t even realize how stressed we’ve become. It just becomes our norm.
Stress if not dealt with can lead to many health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Stress also has an impact on our mental health. If left unchecked, stress can lead to problems with depression and anxiety.
Work On Your Emotional and Mental Mindsets
The biggest thing holding you back is your mindset. Your mindset about food, health, exercise, the value you place on yourself (or don’t), and time.
The limiting thoughts we have about these things, and the critic we constantly listen to in our minds, keeps us stuck. Start noticing the thoughts you have that are limiting your ability to get healthy.
Your Plan For Better Health
Make sure your plan is simple. Don’t go overboard changing too much too fast. I would work on a maximum of 3 items at any time. Start with the basics first and move foward from there.
If you are still fighting the idea of change, that’s okay. Just pick 1 thing and do it better than anybody. Even taking one step, is one step to a healthier you. Simply just starting, will create momentum for you when you see you can do it. You’ll see your motivation increase as you start feeling better.
Ideas For Your Health Plan:
- Don’t eat foods with ingredients you don’t know or can’t pronounce
- No soda or other sugary drinks
- Limit overall sugar intake
- Healthy fats
- Limit eating out
- Get a list of whole food recipes to try
- Plan your meals
- Move more
- Bounce on a mini trampoline
- Hiit training
- Get an exercise buddy
General Health Related
- Sufficient sleep at the right time
- Sufficient amount of clean water
- Good quality multivitamin
- Read sleep smarter by Shawn Stevenson
- Read studies on pub med
- Read and study the basics on health
- Take each of my suggestions and find out why they’re beneficial to your health.
- Quiet time (You time)
- Epsom salt baths
- Planning your week on Sundays
- Morning and evening routines
- Ask for help
Mental, Emotional, Spiritual Related:
- Start a meditation practice
- Start a gratitude practice
- Read a book on changing your mindset
- Hire a health and/or life coach
- Listen to podcasts that will expand your views
- Practice self awareness
Getting Healthy One Step at a Time
After you pick 1-3 items to start incorporating into your life. Download the free Get Healthy workbook to help you set your goals, make your plan, and be able to stick to it.
The 15 page workbook includes:
- My health questionnaire
- Health habit tracker
- Lifestyle analysis
- Success planner
- Your health commitment
- Health goals planner
- Evaluation sheets
- Menu planner
- Blank Grocery list
*This workbook can be printed and filled out, or you can fill it out on your computer or phone.
Health is a lifelong journey and way of life. If you have a consistently healthy diet, and get adequate amounts of sleep, clean water, and exercise, your body will respond.