Ditch Diets: 7 tips to use your own power for a healthier and happier life
Let's face it, diets are fads and often yield short term results! So, why are we so obsessed with them?
Most people will point to external things. Like the gorgeous models on the cover of magazines or the flawless actresses on the movie screens!
But what if we looked inward instead and decided to use our own power for a healthier and happier life?
This is what happened to me. I began reflecting on my choices and consumption habits. What I saw prompted me to make serious changes to my nutrition and lifestyle!
Before I did this, I actually considered myself to be "healthy". I worked out 5 days a week, ate healthy 75% of the time, and was a size 4. So, I should be happy, right?
Wrong! I was relying on numbers to determine my level of health and happiness. And ultimately, I wasn't happy which led to more control but less power! Something had to change. I decided it was me.
During my health journey, I found 7 key things which can help you find and use your own power to begin your own lifestyle journey which enables a happier and healthier you!
1. Get to know your body
I stopped dieting and I made it my mission to learn as much as I could about my body.
Notice I said "my body". Everyone is different. Why do we expect the same diet to work for everyone?
Of course this requires you to analyze what you are doing and change some things.
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert einstein
You don’t have to do it alone. Find support through a health coach, a nutritionist, or even start a food diary.
If you truly want to feel good, you must learn and listen to your body!!
2. Think positive
Stop making excuses and start to create more positive affirmations. We've all heard of the self-fulfilling prophecy. Negative thoughts will only create negative feelings.
If you want to feel happier, you need a positive mindset. Jim Rohn says it best: “For things to change you have to change.”
What do positive affirmations look like? "The gym is fun and important to me. I will make time to plan my meals for the week. I am strong and beautiful. I choose the salad not the hamburger."
First step is creating a positive mindset. The next step is to make those affirmations come to life through discipline and execution.
"Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion." - Jim Rohn
3. Behavior breeds behavior
Surround yourself with likeminded people. If you want to lead a healthier lifestyle then you should surround yourself with people who can motivate you and show you the way.
"You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with." - Jim Rohn
This will also hold you more accountable to your goals. Those who continue to fail, do so because they either have no desire to change or they do not have the right models around them for the change to occur.
Both are within your control. Do not waste time thinking otherwise.
4. Dream big & have a compelling reason “why"
Without a goal you are on the road to nowhere. Your goals should move with you on your journey and be big enough that they push you out of your comfort zone.
Often people make smaller goals thinking it makes it more realistic or manageable. And although that may be true with some things in life, I find that the bigger the challenge, the more you must stretch yourself in order to succeed.
A diet is a small goal. A lifestyle change is a big goal. The first will get you short term results and the latter will last a life-time.
Of course a goal is only as strong as your reason "why"? I know when I'm not clear on the "why," then I am less motivated to act.
Initially I wanted abs so I could look and feel good in a bikini on my honeymoon. This was very shortsighted. Now that I am leading a healthier lifestyle I see the bigger picture. Being healthy makes me happier and as a result I am a positive role model to everyone around me. Plus, I have the energy to balance being a entrepreneur and a mom to an active 23 month old!
How do I stay on track with my goals and motivated with my "why"? I create vision boards. Just like you would for decorating your house or refining your brand, the right visuals will inspire you to see what is possible and excite you to take action!
5. Keep the mind sharp
Schedule and Implement time for self improvement. Being healthy is not just about eating well. It's about growing as a person. Often we get stuck in our comfort zones. But this is not where we will feel growth.
If you want to live a healthy life you must evolve as a person and this means constantly being curious. So even if it's 5 min out of your busy day it is important to make time for things like meditation, ted talks or finding people who can challenge your views on the world.
I personally love listening to Jim Rohn, searching Flipboard for inspiring articles or talking with my husband about lessons learned in the start -up life.
When you are curious you will learn something and often see things from a fresh perspective. This will have an impact on your happiness.
"Don't let your learning lead to knowledge. Let you learning lead to action." - Jim rohn
6. It's all about balance
I often get asked the same questions about my nutrition plan: “Do you get hungry? Do you drink alcohol? Do you eat dessert?”
My response is always the same: "I make choices that I know will result in feeling full, happy and balanced. If you know that your choices will not lead to this, than you have your answers!"
What makes me feel full, happy and balanced?
- Lots of colorful fruits and veggies
- Quenching my thirst with water and tea
- Allowing my taste buds to indulge occasionally
- Eating smaller but more frequently
- Splitting time between me, family, friends, and work
- Slowing down, being more mindful about what I am eating and how fast
- Create a beautiful table, environment is everything
7. Jump in without hesitation
If you're thinking "I’ll start Monday because this weekend I have a birthday party and I want to be able to eat that slice of cake or drink a few glasses of wine," then you've missed my point and you should stop reading this and just go on a diet.
Yes, a lifestyle change is tough and will require you to make changes that you may see as impossible today.
But change nothing and feel the same as today. The choice is up to you. Either jump in or sit on the side watching others find power for happier more fulfilling lives.
But what if I fail?
My husband always says “fail fast, foward.” At first I didn’t quite understand what he meant. Then I realized, the point is to not be afraid of failure as long as you keep moving forward. I still have cravings (ice cream, popcorn and donuts to name a few). And I give in to those cravings if I know it will make me happy. I am not perfect! I will fall down. But I will also stand back up and try again. This is all within my power!
Hope these steps inspire you to find your own power when it comes to your health and happiness! What would you add? How have you used your power to gain a healthier and happier lifestyle? Please leave your comments!