February 15, 2013

Getting Healthy: 5 Things to Start a Healthy Lifestyle

1. De-clutter your life; De-clutter your body –

Everyone has a junk drawer in their house. If you don't, then you must be an alien ;) 

If you are trying to start a healthy lifestyle it is important that you de-clutter specific parts of your home in order to succeed. This includes your refrigerator, pantry and spice drawer. Your aim is to get rid of anything that is processed and everything that might derail your good efforts. I also included the spice drawer because you want to make sure that you have the fresh spices. If you have oregano that has been there for years, it probably will not taste as good as a brand new bottle from the store. 

De-cluttering your pantry and spice rack will allow you to assess what you have and what you need in order to continue/start a healthy lifestyle.

2. Cut out the things that add no value –

This not only applies to the food products you have in your house as referenced above, but also the people you have in your life. Let me warn you now, you might lose people in your life when you take on a healthy lifestyle. I know you might be asking why this is and the bottom line is that as you succeed, it makes the people around you feel bad about themselves, or worse, jealous. To me, it just means that they weren't your friends to begin with. 

However, it could also be the way that you are approaching your friends. If you are constantly preaching and judging their food choices, they aren't going to want to be around you. Just because you are choosing a new lifestyle doesn't mean that everyone around you is on the same journey. Losing weight, eating healthy and wanting to feel good about yourself is such a personal thing. You can't make a person want to be these things, but you can inspire them. 

I must admit that I struggle with this in my own home. I try to inspire my husband to want to be healthy, but it is such a thin line between trying to make someone see the light and becoming a nag. The last thing I want to do is make my husband feel self-conscious. However, I haven't found the right approach to make him want to live forever like me...hahaha!

However, my husband isn't someone that I will cut out of my life because he doesn't want to be healthy. He does add value to my life. He is my greatest supporter and greatest cheerleader and I wouldn't be able to be who I am without his support. 

When I say cut out the things that have no value, I am referring to the haters. Life is too short to have someone hate on your success. Surround yourself with people who applaud your wins as well as console you when you are struggling.

3. It’s easy to have a goal but you need a plan as well –

It's easy to say that you want to lose "X" amount of weight by "X" date, but unless you have a plan you probably will not do so well. The best combination is always getting some sort of exercise daily and eating healthy 90% of the time. However, nobody is perfect so having a plan and sticking to the plan can really help. Having a plan with scheduled workouts and off day will help you stay on track especially when you are tired and don't want to workout. If you know that an off day is right around the corner then you have a greater chance of soldiering on until you get to your off day. 

The same thing applies to eating. If you count calories you can plan and budget for nights where you know that it will be out of your control to cook your meals. I do this when I know that I am going to get together with my family and I know that I will not be the one cooking.

4. Get the tools you need to succeed –

In order to succeed with weight loss you need to have some essential tools. The essentials to me include: a digital scale, mixing bowls, measuring cups, measuring spoons and a food scale. You can buy a food scale at Target for around $20 like I didA lot of the other items can be bought at the $0.99 store on the cheap and go a long way. (The measuring spoons I have right now I bought 7 years ago!) I recommend a digital scale to weigh yourself because digital scales have come a long way and they now are able to self calibrate. All these things are definitely a great investment and I've used all of them to help me realize my goals. 

5. Save calories and save money -

Don't eat out often. Not mentioning fast food because it is obvious that fast food is horrible for you. I'm talking about sit down restaurants. When you are starting out on a healthy lifestyle eating out can blow a whole weeks worth of your hard efforts. Many restaurants cook with full-fat items. Full fat mayonnaise, cream, milk, cheese, butter, etc. At a restaurant a meal that you could make at home far cheaper and with far fewer calories can potentially derail all your efforts. This year alone I have drastically cut down on the amount of times that I have eaten out. Whereas last year I was eating out four to five meals out of the week I maybe eat out one meal a week now. 


These are just some of the things I recommend to get you started on your healthy quest. I also recommend researching on your own in regards to nutrition and experimenting with different foods and exercises. Everyone is different and everyone likes different things. What works for me, might be too rigid for you. Experiment and have fun with it. Being healthy doesn't have to be a drag!