Disclaimer: This is not an infomercial where I will sell you some pink pill to dissolve extra weight, or a Bellybuster that will fit in the palm of your hand and dance for you when you aren’t using it. I’m not even going to say “Just Do It” while flashing a slow video clip of me running to inspirational piano music.
Instead, I’m going to share with you that I, like many, struggle to stay healthy. I am 6’7”, and my doctor tells me my heart has to work pretty hard to get blood all the way down to my toes and then back to my heart again. In fact, I’ve had some scares over the past couple of years. I’ve had to work extra hard at doing what I can to stay healthy. In other words, I’ve discovered I’m not invincible (imagine that?!).
But, I’ve decided it’s important to get healthy.
Getting healthy all starts with having the right attitude, so that you can follow through to eat right, exercise, get your vitamins, drink enough water, etc.—all those things that might seem painful or boring otherwise. I would bet that 95% of health management is in our minds. So how do we get our minds in the right shape so our bodies behave?
Here are 5 tips I’ve learned the hard way:
1)Choose to see health as a better friend than chocolate chips. Getting healthier is, after all, a choice. You can become healthier if you make an attitude change. Fight your mind when it “holds on” to unhealthy behavior. Sure, you deserve a super-size French fry; but you also deserve to live past age 55. Put health, or living to see your grandkids take their first plunge into a glaciated lake (or whatever your value is) at the top of your mind as you are making a change–and remind yourself of this every time you get a 2 a.m. urge to dive head first into a bag of Doritos. Some people actually have a picture of their kids on hand for reference as incentive during times of temptation or lethargy. Find your deepest motivation, and develop a cue that will remind you of it when times get tough.
2)Follow through like a salmon swimming upstream. Did you know that a salmon returns to the same spot to spawn as it was hatched? They sometimes have to travel hundreds of miles and often arrive all beat up at their destination. That’s some dedication. I always say, the hardest part of getting to the gym is getting to the gym. Think of yourself like a salmon swimming to your final spot so you can produce the life you want. Just Do It… wait a minute, I said I wouldn’t say that. Okay… but stick with it!
3)When you mess up, don’t give up. A lot of people will stop their health regime when they “slip,” thinking that it’s shot anyway, so why not eat the whole darned cow. This is the time you need to batten down the hatches on your plan, and get quickly back on track. Think of it like getting off the trail in the woods. You wouldn’t say, “Oh well, I’m already off the trail, I might as well get completely lost and let coyotes eat me.” No, you’d find a way back home to that chocolate cake… er, carrot salad.
4)Educate yourself. Many of us don’t know how to eat right, lose weight, get our heart in shape… but experts do. Pete Thomas of NBC’s The Biggest Loser determined he was going to lose weight even if he didn’t win the show. And he did (while also winning a nice prize). He credits the fact that he believed in his goal, and educated himself.
5)Make it fun. If you hate water, don’t take up swimming. Do something you like, and do it in stages so you don’t burn out. Don’t sign up for a marathon if you have never run. You’ll burn out before you reach the end of the block. Maybe you like flowers… so start by walking in a botanical garden! If you pick something you like—anything to get you moving—you won’t even notice you are exercising!
Okay, I have to go munch on some broccoli, but have fun, folks!
Image: xedos4 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net