Happy Monday everyone! I have to be honest, last week was one of the toughest weeks I have ever had to endure. But despite all of the stress and frustration I have been handed, I am happy to report that I am ready to turn the page and start this week off on a fresh, positive note. With 2018 quickly coming to an end, I wanted to spend some time today reflecting on what worked this year for me in terms of getting healthy (and maybe later this week I’ll post what DIDN’T work, IDK). Below are four ways that I transitioned to a healthier lifestyle this year. Keep in mind, I’m not an expert and I am just sharing what worked for me personally, which might not work for everyone else or be things other people view as necessary to becoming healthier. Anyways, let me know what you did in 2018 that you felt took your health to a whole new level in the comments below!
- Be diligent abut drinking enough water. You probably already knew the human body was comprised of about 60% water, but just in case you didn’t.. now you do. Drinking water is so so so important people! This year I committed to bringing a water bottle to work everyday (I switch between a swell bottle (17oz) and tervis bottle (24oz)) and I am constantly drinking and refilling. My goal is to drink half my body weight in ounces each day, and since I’ve been gravitating towards the larger water bottle I’ve actually been averaging more than that (around 96oz). Sometimes I get fancy and add some fresh lemon or lime, but more often than not I’m just drinking cold, plain water. Since tracking my water intake, I’ve noticed an improvement in my skin, a more balanced energy level throughout the day and less of a desire to mindlessly snack.
- Bring lunch instead of eating out. My coworker/best friend/former roommate, Jody, and I used to be the QUEENS of eating out for lunch. But after one too many Chipotle induced food comas, it was time that we realized maybe it would be better for both our stomachs and wallets if we commit to the bagged lunch. Packing lunch (or going home to make something) forced me plan my meals ahead of time and as a result I began be more mindful of what I was putting in my body and eventually started opting for more healthy, balanced food items. It was super helpful that both Jody and I did this together because we were able to keep each other on track when there was a moment of weakness (but sometimes you just need to get fries from McDonald’s or an iced coffee from Starbucks, we are all human).
- Challenge yourself with new fitness goals. It’s easy to put things off, just like what I did for years when I told myself I would run a half marathon. BUT I finally bit the bullet and signed up for the race in January. Training sucked. The race was hard. But at the end of it all I felt so accomplished and proud of myself and that feeling is what has prompted me to sign up for another race. It’s so easy to get complacent and fall into a boring routine at the gym, which is why continuing to challenge yourself (whether it be training for a race or just committing to a new routine) is crucial to continued success.
- Get educated and read labels. For years I blindly followed other people’s advice without doing any research on my own. Coupled with avoiding labels (because I didn’t understand them), it dawned on me that I was eating certain ways (low carb, low fat, plenty of processed diet food) without having any understanding of why I was eating this way. Finally sitting down to research and read labels empowered me to make better choices because I now understand things like what a carb is and what it does for my body (and turns out carbs AREN’T the devil). I’m not saying that I am a nutritionist by any means, but having an understanding of the basics has enabled me to be a confident shopper at the grocery store and I can now pick up a food, read the label and make the determination if that food is something I want to put in my body.