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Happy Wellness Wednesday!!
If you’re “just tuning in,” Wellness Wednesday will be our meeting place for all things wellness..smarter eating, fitness, mindfulness, inspiration, self-care and love, and positivity. This is our first full edition! I can’t wait to share a better 2018 with you. I firmly believe that by focusing on our own wellness we can be more present and supportive to those we love. It’s a win-win.
I wasn’t always in that mindset though. It took me 33 years to come to a place of really knowing that by living “for me” I was actually living for the ones I loved as well. And the many questions I’ve received about my wellness journey are what brought me to begin writing this blog. So while my focus in each edition won’t always be weight loss, I’d like to start off by addressing what it was that finally helped me break my cycle of gain/loss/gain.
It is very important to note that what worked for me won’t necessarily work for everyone. You’ve got to consult with your health care providers and be sure you’re following a plan that works for you in your situation.
Over ten years ago I was in a very familiar place: the feeling of self-defeat. On an ordinary morning after dropping off Gabby at school I was mentally beating myself up over how I felt, how I looked. In what can only be described as an epiphany I decided that the only way I was ever going to break the cycle of being committed to a better lifestyle and then straying from the course was to finally do it for me alone. Not for the eyes of others, not to fit society’s expectations. Just because I deserved to be a happier version of me (more on that here). A fitness program was on the tv in my bedroom and I decided: if I can commit to being active for an hour a day for six weeks, I could prove to myself I was ready this time. If I couldn’t commit to six weeks, it just wasn’t my time yet. I purchased a few at-home workout DVD’s and some hand weights because I was far too self-conscious to go to the gym. I put a calendar on my refrigerator and starting crossing off the days with each completed workout.
Six weeks later I was 12 pounds down. I was so excited..especially since I hadn’t changed my food intake all that much. So I decided to keep going, only this time I would watch more carefully how I ate. More whole foods, less processed. Eat when I’m hungry, stop when I’m full. One year later I was 40 pounds down. I kept changing my workouts so I wouldn’t get bored, kept trying new recipes so I wouldn’t get bored. Long story short: I was moving more and eating smarter. I won’t lie, it wasn’t easy. There were lots of times as I followed along with the DVD’s that I would stop and say “really?? Ten more reps??” And Gabby would say “keep going mom! Don’t forget to breathe!” She became my personal trainer. But there were also times when she’d give me a hard time about the “yucky healthy stuff” we were eating at home. So I had to learn to get more creative with my recipes so it was more palatable to a then-eight-year-old.
It took time to make it a lifestyle. And I think ultimately that’s what makes it stick for anyone. Creating new habits, making it positive and fun instead of using negative self-talk to drive us. And for me the key is to keep it a flexible lifestyle. Try new activities, new recipes, and YES: indulge so you don’t get frustrated! No you won’t gain five pounds when you have cake at your birthday party or a glass of wine with your girlfriends! Life is meant to be enjoyed, and you are meant to feel beautiful both now and when you go down a dress size. My only wish is that I could go back to the Jennifer that was bullied for her weight in grade school and tell her how beautiful she is at that very moment. Because at any weight, at any age, at any time…you are beautiful. And you deserve to acknowledge that and not feel guilty. I hope that no matter where you are in your journey to wellness you can feel good about yourself for putting forth any effort into making beautiful you a happier you too.
With each blog I’d love to share with you some wellness thoughts, suggestions and recipes to tie us over until our next blog (I’m shooting for every other week if you’ll have me!). So here goes:
1.) Spend a few moments reflecting on what’s really been motivating you to live a better lifestyle/lose weight/get fit. Is it for others..and what they’ll think of you? If so..shift your thinking to how YOU will feel when you’ve accomplished your goals. Get yourself into that mindset now, even before the goal has been realized!
2.) If you’re ready to get active, I found it helped to have equipment at home and “someone else” on a DVD telling me what to do..if I relied on myself I usually quit early! Here’s a link to QVC’s fitness equipment, much of which comes with instructional DVD’s.
3.) As you declare that 2018 is your “Year of Wellness,” also declare your home as a “negativity-free zone!” Here’s a sign I had made that hangs right at the entrance to my house so everyone knows it right as they walk in…make your own or simply decide that behind your front door no bad vibes can get in!
4.) Accept that some folks are going to challenge your motives or tell you you’re chasing a silly dream or being selfish. Believe me I know a lot about online negativity and I’m still waiting for the “thick skin” I’m supposed to grow to come in! But I find when I reach out online for encouragement, there are 100 positive comments for every one negative. I’ll take those numbers! Reach out on your social media pages (here’s mine) and start a support system!!
5.) Get excited about all the new yummy recipes you’ll be trying out! Here are twelve to get you started…some smoothie bowls of which I’m a fan!
6.) But while we are on the subject of smarter recipes…don’t forget to indulge when it’s appropriate! I don’t know anyone who can “go hard” 24/7/365 without burning out. So don’t be ashamed to celebrate..and look forward to it. Confession: I tore into the cake Gabby made for my birthday (see below), after I’d already had dessert at dinner. And I looooved it.
7.) Hydrate, hydrate! There are apps galore to help you track your water intake…but I just wrap a bunch of rubber bands around a water bottle (here are some cute ones if you want a new one!) and then take one off each time I refill. Easy!
8.) Sit down and schedule all those checkups you’ve been putting off…I usually use my January “off days” to get caught up. Case in point: pre-mammogram selfie!
9.) I’m a big fan of using the words of wisdom from others to inspire me on my journey and help me out of a tough day or mindset. Consider this from Eckhart Tolle:
“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose.”
10.) Remember that wellness happens one day at a time, one breath at a time! And every day and breath is a chance to start over. Use gratitude and the love of your friends and family as your compass to success (here are two of my dearest you likely recognize) We get millions of do-overs in a lifetime! Let’s get started (again) together!
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