The other night one of my closest friends texted me asking me if I had any tips as to how to become motivated to start living a healthier lifestyle. In response, I gave her a very brief summary because she inspired me to write a blog post about it! I really want the content that I create on my blog to interest my readers, so to have someone directly ask me a question makes me so excited to be able to write something on my blog that will address it! When it comes to me personally reading someones blog (which I love to do), I find personal stories very interesting, so for today’s post, I thought Id share my own health story, in hopes that my transition will help anyone interested. About exactly a year ago, I got sick with a nasty flu. Like I`m talking cant-get-off-the-bathroom-floor kind of flu. Around that time, new years resolutions were being set, and my Mum had accumulated quite a few great healthy pantry staples (like chia seeds) to try for herself. Once I got over the flu, I noticed just how crappy I had been feeling lately, I didn’t have a positive body image, and the food I was fueling myself with wasnt making me happy. I decided from there I would start to make healthier choices, using the food that was now available to me, and with help from my Mum. What follows next is how I transitioned to making healthy living the basis of my daily life, and the tips I give all of you who are starting out.
1. Find Support
I can truthfully say that without my Mums support, I would not have been able to find myself where I am today; healthy and happy. Having someone who appreciates the same quality food and living that you do is an essential part of staying on track. When you don’t feel so alone on your health journey, it truly becomes easier. I urge you guys to get a friend, boyfriend, parent or sibling to join you on your quest for a healthy life! Convincing them to start alongside you makes it seem like less of a big jump, and you`ll be more likely to stick with it if you are doing it with someone else. You guys can swap recipes, work out together, and motivate each other when you’re feeling down. Having someone to share just how sore you are from last nights spin class, or how awesome that new kale recipe you tried last night is makes healthy living more vibrant and fun. Once you start working out and exercising you might even come across support from people you meet at the gym, the grocery store, or on Instagram! Below is an birds-eye-view of my Valentine’s Day Breakfast shared with my best supporters – my Mum and my little sister. Can you guess which plate is mine? 😉
2. Use Social Media
When I first started out, I found that Instagram accounts that were dedicated to healthy recipes, tips and workouts were so motivating! Since we are really surrounded by social media, use it to your advantage! Follow inspirational Instagram accounts (mine is @missmirandat if youre wondering), and visit those pages when you feel overwhelmed or unmotivated. Many Instagrams are a wealth of knowledge, and surrounding yourself with positive vibes from likeminded people creates a sense of being a part of the health community, a place for vibrancy, joy and love. My personal favourite Instagrams are @wayofgray, @blogilates, @rabbitfoodformybunnyteeth, @southerncoffeelover, @mb_motivation, @kayla_itsines to name a few! Other health blogs can really be motivating too, especially the ones that post recipes! I love Taralynns blog http://simplytaralynn.com/ as well as Angelas http://ohsheglows.com! Many of those instragram accounts also have blogs that you can look at for more in-depth posts about all things fitness and food!
3. Begin with Positivity
If there is one thing I would change about my own health journey, its that I would have began it with loving myself first, because that is the most important step. When we love ourselves, we allow ourselves to overcome the fears that we have accumulated over time. We no longer worry about being perfect or doing perfect, because we are loved for who we are regardless of these things. Once we recognize this, we can start integrating positive changes into our lives, like eating healthy and exercising, based on the fact that we love ourselves and we want to reward our bodies for all of the hard work it does to support us every day. You should want to live a healthier life to start treating your body with the respect it deserves, not because of the superficial things. My advice to you is to write down 5 things you are grateful for before you go to bed every night, along with one thing you love about yourself. Whether its the fact that you love your blue eyes, or creative mind you have been blessed with, loving yourself first opens up the doorway to abundance in your life. There is truly enough love and light in this world for all of us, believing this helps us to shine our own lights and help others with theirs too. When you love your body and dont want to let it down, you realize that eating healthy and working out is a privilege and something you should be grateful you have the chance to do! You have strong legs – so use them, you have grocery stores near by with fresh produce so start cooking with it! 🙂
4. Start integrating more nutritious meals into your diet
Once you’ve become motivated to live healthier, you’ve found support and lots of inspiration, the next most important step towards better health is your nutrition. You can’t overtrain a bad diet, and plus, you wont be doing your body any favors! If you want to better your chance at living a longer, more vibrant life, incorporating whole, nutrient dense foods into your diet is a necessity! Your health is so valuable, and by making it a priority in your life, you can be better equipped to be there for the people around you. You will have more energy to put towards spending time with your loved ones! My advice is to start small and work your way towards fully accomplishing this. If you still eat the majority of what your parents cook, let them know that you’re really serious about committing to a healthier diet, and offer to help them prep and cook meals! This is quality time you can spend with your family, and if you can show them some of the new healthy recipes you’ve found that you think they’ll like, it becomes a really great shared experience. For both people who cook their own food, and those who eat as a family, I recommend the meal prepping as much as possible! Do a couple large grocery shops a week and try to accumulate as much fresh produce and healthy staples that you can for the beginning of each week! Get a friend or family member on a Sunday and spend it chopping vegetables, planning meals, prepping snacks, etc. If your fridge and pantry are fully stocked with healthy food you’ll be less tempted to reach for unhealthy convenience foods when your hungry, and you’ll always be prepared for a meal or snack! Also, don’t forget to drink lots of water – I can’t stress this enough! Your brain needs water to function properly, and your body needs it to properly flush out toxins, keep your energy levels up, and decrease bloating. Always keep a water bottle on hand (investing in a cute one is always a good idea), and add a squeeze of lemon juice or some berries to spice it up!
5. Find your Move Style!
The final step in beginning your journey to a healthier life, is to begin exercising! This is also essential to your health because it lowers your risk for cardiovascular disease, increases your energy, helps you to sleep better, and increases your muscle mass which speeds up your metabolism. The most important thing anyone can know about this in the beginning, is to try as many different forms of exercise as possible, and then once you find one you enjoyed doing – stick with it! It doesn’t need to be anything fancy or crazy like Cross-Fit or Acro-Yoga, but if you like that, great for you! Exercising is anything that gets your body moving and your heart rate up! Try dancing, spinning, HIIT, or my very favourite – POP Pilates (which I am planning on getting certified to teach in the next year and a half). Any exercise may be difficult at first, but every time you do it again, it becomes easier and more fun! Try it for at least 21 days – I chose this number because it’s the number of days it takes for something to become a habit, and having working out as a habit is a great one!
This step is one that seems simple by definition, but sometimes its hard! I don’t want to pretend that my life is the perfect picture of health to all of you. I want to be candid and I want to be real. Today, I would have rather sat in my pjs and watched Netflix than pump out an hour-long upper body workout, and I have those days often, so does everyone. We`re human, and we`re not perfect and that is perfectly alright! What we must realize though is the strength within us to overcome feeling down and unmotivated, and we need to pull ourselves out of this. Whenever I feel sluggish and uninspired, I remind myself of just how amazing living this lifestyle makes me feel, I remember how good I feel after a workout, and how happy I am after eating a nutritious meal. But I am also trying to strive for balance every day, to allow myself to indulge. It’s about the effort that we put into our health the majority of the time that matters, our bodies take care of the occasional slip up, I mean, they’re here for us – literally!
I truly wish you the best in starting your own health journey, each of us are individuals, so we each develop at different paces and respond to different things. Your individuality is what makes you beautiful, so please don’t compare yourself to others! Just do you, and the rest will follow! I promise this is the most rewarding decision you can make for yourself!
Wishing you above all Health & Happiness
– Miranda xo