Guide to Personal Growth & Wellness (LIFESTYLE CHANGES) Part 2
Personal Growth & Wellness INTRO: Simply put “A healthy Lifestyle improves our overall well-being”! I’ll take that any day but like everything else in life, it’s not that straightforward. For one, “A healthy Lifestyle” is an ongoing state. You don’t just arrive at it. Neither would you rest on your laurel when you get to a certain (good) point. It should be a constant state – A way of life.
You’ll agree that life throws a multitude of problems at us. To have any chance of overcoming these life events, you need to be “on point” and AWARE of YOU and YOUR LIFESTYLE. Ability and readiness to look deeply within, to examine what may be missing, what’s stopping your wellness is a prerequisite to succeed with these guides.
To start this journey towards a Healthier Lifestyle, we’ll be covering 4 main areas in this blog. I’ll address others in future blogs.
The four we’ll talk about here are:
~ Healthy Eating (Your Diet)
~ Physical Activities (Exercise)
“To Grow And Know What You’re Growing Towards Is The Source Of All Strength & Confidence In Life” ~ James Baillie
(other blogs will cover Emotional Health and Weight Awareness, so stay tuned)
Having a balanced, healthy lifestyle opens you up to being alert, energetic with a reduced risk of illness. We all deserve this state of mind and I hope these guides will help you make a good head start.
In my articles, I share ways by which I dealt with my personal adversities and in some instances, how my friends and family resolved theirs. So these are real-life and successful practices. Let me know if there are tips you would like to share with us.
So, let’s start by acknowledging these:
- Achieving “Your Healthy Lifestyle” depends on the choices you make. You are indeed the driver! Equally important is how prepared you are to let go of destructive behaviours & lifestyle. Are you prepared to replace the bad habits with healthy, fun, achievable, noticeable and life changing alternatives?
- The next part is being wholly committed to the process of development and change. It starts now, with you; immediately writing down the specific areas you desire change. Don’t leave it until tomorrow. There’s no better time than present. List all you remember now. Others can be added later. There shouldn’t be a limit!
You then have to choose in what order you’ll deal with the issues. This order has to be strictly followed. DON’T START THEM ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Focus on one specific area at a time, succeed and then move to the next one.
- As you progress, you need to acknowledge each “Positive Change” as you achieve them. Make a point of congratulating yourself for each change you successfully achieve. One is signing on to these blogs and taking the time to read this. Well Done!
- Acknowledge the possibility that, along the way, there will be temptations and reasons to give up on this process. In doing so, you are preparing yourself for any tough times to come. Acknowledging the possibility makes it easier to deal with if this happens.
Let’s go deeper and look at the 4 areas: *Healthy Eating *Physical Activities *Sleep *Stress
A. Healthy Eating (Your Diet & Nutrition): Here your questions to “Self” should include:
1a. What does your present diet consist of?
1b. Do you know the consequences and benefits of each food group in your meals?
1c. Do you acknowledge that for a Healthy Lifestyle, you have to adopt a healthy eating regime of only healthy and fresh food?
1d. Start exploring the amazing arrays of foods and supplements around you. This is a great time to start. Currently, there is a wide range of fruits and vegetables. With new technologies, there are incredible Super-Foods packaged for easy access and use. I’ve listed some in our Cheat ListJ Also; Super and Local markets now carry good varieties of fresh ingredients from around the world.
How about trying different ways of preparing vegetables and fruits? Try experimenting with raw vegetable meals! This is quite simply eating vegetables you like such as carrot, cucumber, cherry tomatoes. Use your favorite dips to make them interesting and yummy. Humus is pretty popular now but there are a few other great dips around.
Try making some dips yourself! This is great as you will know what exactly is in the dip(s).
~ Persevere if things don’t work out immediately. Don’t give up.
~Try other ways! New technologies have made it possible to have amazing, scientifically formulated, natural ingredient SUPER-FOODS. See my list of incredible options at the end of the article.
1e. Learn how many calories are in the food you like. This will help you decide which foods to cut down on and which to cut off completely.
1f.Be aware of the amount of carbohydrate versus protein in each of your meals.
~ Use smaller plates as opposed to large serving plates. You’ll be amazed how much unnecessary portions you can cut off.
1g. Reduce your salt and sugar intake drastically. Where possible, leave them off your meals entirely.
1h. If you are overweight, your daily goal is to burn more calories than you take in! (We’ll look at weight management in another article). One important point here is recognizing that, apart from Liposuction; the only other way to lose excess weight is to reduce the amount of energy (food) intake and increase the amount of energy you use. You MUST have a negative energy balance to lose weight!
~ Consider these alternative options at the end of the article. They’ll help you loss and maintain your weight.
All in all, relaxed and practical you are what is needed! Don’t be uptight about these guides! It’s important that you have fun on this beautiful journey. It will hurt your progress if you see this process as a punishment or a Fad Diet. Always remember, that these lifestyle changes will hold you in good stead for life.
The last point here is to talk about “Sweet Treats”. If you must have them, then only after you have established a good nutritional system of Healthy and fresh foods. All sweets, if introduced to your diet, must be in small proportions!
2. Exercise: With physical activities, you have to make sure to exercise at least once a day. Any type and amount of exercise is better than none. If you can’t easily get to the gym, simple things like Walking, Star Jumps, and/or Squats done quickly are good forms of cardio exercises. Commit to doing some of these exercises each day. If you are housebound and can’t go for walks, try “Chair-Exercises” (there are a lot on the internet).
Look at Gentle-Yoga too. The main thing here is “Be Active”! You can do so by taking the stairs when you can. Walk to the stores if possible and if using public transport, alight at a bus stop before your normal stop and walk the rest of the way home. The great thing is that incorporating these small but effective exercises into everyday life would not feel like added pressure but just another everyday human action. They will loosen your joints, boost your mood, relieve stress and trim you.
3. Sleep: People underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep. You have to get into the habit of getting good sleep every night. Be aware of the damage things like watching late-night movies, television programs, and late-night outings do to your long-term health and well-being.
4. Stress: It is extremely important that stress is reduced as often as you can. Mastering the act of “Deep Breathing” will do wonderful things in your body, including help with insomnia.
“Deep Breathing” is known as a quick remedy for stress, anxiety, and even high blood pressure. It costs nothing and can be done anywhere including in a crowded room! All it entails is taking very deep breaths, filling your lungs to the bottom of your tummy (my children call this area the FREEZER AREA), and then slowly exhale. Doing this several times does wonder to the Chakra (areas in your body that connect with your life energy). Deep Breathing also calms your internal system and energizes your body.
In conclusion, we cannot overstate the following important points in this journey to a Healthier Lifestyle.
- Focus on each positive change you achieved and reward yourself.
- Persevere no matter what.
- Don’t overdo things. Baby steps all the way. This will help you keep your momentum and in turn, makes each change you achieve deeply ingrained as a part of you. That is “THE NEW YOU”!