From Unhealthy to Healthy: How you can make the switch!

From Unhealthy to Healthy: How you can make the switch!

healthyunhealthybody

I’m going to give it to you straight up … it ain’t easy. Hell if it was everyone would be living a healthy and fit life! Am I right? Knowing how to start helps and having simple steps to guide you through the process is even better. I have compiled my own step by step process to help guide you into this beautiful, stress relieving world of health.

  1. The Decision

It honestly has to start with the decision to willingly begin. It can’t be someone else’s decision for you, it must be 100% your own. As we all know if our heart isn’t 100% dedicated to something we are less likely to follow through with it. So, when you have taken that first step … you are ready to begin.

  1. Educate Yourself

This is the hardest and most frustrating part. Because you are a newbie you are a beginner and we all know where beginners start … the beginning, the bottom of the totem pole, the back of the line, etc. There is always a stage where you have to put in a little bit of hard work and that comes with anything in life: there are no shortcuts to any place worth going.

Research any information pertaining to YOUR current health status. For example, if you deal with a disease or have any food allergies you will want to look up the foods you can and can’t eat. Take note. Also, make sure to write down the types of foods that your diet should be rich in and will have a positive impact on your health. As for your fitness plan, research exercises you can and can’t participate in. Any injuries you may have, you will want to find the exercises that will build these parts up stronger but won’t hurt these bones, ligaments, or muscles at the same time.

I strongly suggest avoiding fad diets. A fad diet is a weight loss plan or aid that promises dramatic results. These types of diets may give short-term weight loss but the promise of keeping it off long-term … it just won’t happen. Fad diets can also cause metabolic damage and other health related issues.

To learn how to differentiate between healthy diets and fad diets check out the link below:

http://www.upmc.com/patients-visitors/education/nutrition/pages/fad-diets.aspx

After you have made a list of foods you can and can’t eat and a list of body strengthening exercises that won’t further irritate any injuries you may have, it’s time to make a plan of action!

  1. Plan of Action

Failure to plan is planning to fail.

So, it’s time to put all of that information you spent hours researching together in a document. Pat yourself on the back because the hard part is over … for now (insert evil villain laugh). I highly recommend using a word processing program like word, excel, or publisher to put together something you can refer to. This is where you can have fun! What I would do next is simply put together a sample weekly diet plan and weekly fitness regimen. Start with one at a time so that you don’t overwhelm yourself! A sample diet plan could look like this:

Monday

Breakfast: egg whites with spinach, grape tomatoes, and feta cheese and 1 slice of Ezekial bread with Almond butter.

Snack: handful of almonds and 8oz of water

Lunch: 1 can of tuna mixed with seasonings, spicy brown mustard, and celery served on top of whole wheat toast with a side of mixed field greens and balsamic vin.

Snack: 2 rice cakes with peanut butter

Dinner: grilled chicken breast, mixed veggies, and sweet potato

Try your best to be thorough but the key here is to create something that YOU CAN REFER TO. This shouldn’t be some silly ‘ole regimen you put together and never look at again. This should be your guidance, what you will refer to when you get overwhelmed in the future. Trust me, it helps.

A sample fitness regimen could look like this:

Monday

Morning run / Afternoon weight lifting: Chest & Tri’s

  • Barbell bench press
  • Barbell incline bench press
  • Cable flies
  • Skull crushers with EZ bar
  • Dumbbell kickbacks
  • Cable press downs

If you are new and you aren’t sure where to start with selecting exercises visit bodybuilding.com. They provide thousands of sample exercises and all you have to do is type in what muscle group you are searching for.

www.bodybuilding.com

Those are a couple of examples of how you can lay out your sample diet and fitness regimen. A few things to aim for when it comes to creating a healthy diet plan:

  • Include variety: make sure your plan includes a variety of whole foods ranging from green leafy vegetables, fruits, red and white meats, legumes (beans), nuts and seeds, dairy, whole grains, etc. Including a variety of all of these foods allows your body to take in the nutrients it needs to be strong and healthy! Of course, pay attention to any health or medical conditions you have as they might limit or exclude some foods.
  • Create balance: creating balance just means not having too much of one thing. I am sure you have heard of MyPlate. If not, MyPlate is just a useful website that gives you information about eating healthy. It shows you how to divide your plate according to meats, vegetables, dairy, whole grains, etc. MyPlate says to dedicate half of our plate to green leafy vegetables and then divide the other half of our plate between a carbohydrate and a protein. Simple enough right?
  • Moderation: this simply means to pay attention to how much of one item you’re eating. Have you noticed that you have been consuming a lot of sweet potatoes the past couple of days? Maybe it’s time to switch things up and try eating some brown rice. Too much of a good thing can be bad, so just keep an eye on what you eat and how much of it you eat daily.

Visit the link below for more information about healthy food choices and how to implement balance, moderation, and variety into your diet!

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/

  1. Implement your Plan!

The day has finally arrived. Day One in your calendar; this is the day where your life can change forever. You have made the decision to begin living a healthy life and you have created a plan of action that will guide and aid in this life changing process!

It’s GO TIME!

Always keep in mind what your long-term goals are: lose 20 lbs, clear your acne, relieve the symptoms of psoriasis, and strengthen your heart, whatever it is always remember what you are working so hard for! They will be your motivating factors on this journey. When it comes to health and fitness nothing happens over night, let me say it again,

NOTHING HAPPENS OVER NIGHT.

Got it?

This process takes time. Do not give yourself unrealistic expectations of trying to accomplish this life change in one week or a month. Be patient and trust the process. Rome wasn’t built in a day, was it? No.

If you are someone who is motivated through seeing changes, as I am, I recommend keeping a journal. This is where you can write any and everything! Write down your starting waist, hips, and thigh measurements, your current weight, how clear your skin is, how you feel mentally and physically. Write down whether or not you enjoyed the food you ate or if you hated it. Make notes about your fitness: what did you enjoy and what did you dislike? As time goes by you will begin to notice subtle changes and you will also have a point of reference for determining if and when you need a change.

These steps helped me start living a healthy and fit life. I always recommend reaching out if you have questions or concerns. Contact a friend for advice, information, and motivation. Talk to your doctor if you have health related questions or a personal trainer for physical questions. You won’t know the answer until you ask the question!

Today is the day you could change your life forever.

Go for it!

-mk

Other blog posts I have previously written that can help aid in this process are listed below:

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The Importance of Goal Setting!

goal-setting

We all know that setting goals is important to reach any form of success whether with fitness, your career, or family. The great thing about setting goals is that they can be big and small! That truly makes it fun and interesting. Remember: setting goals is the first step towards success!

Below are a few reasons why you should set goals!

  1. Illustrates a clear picture for your end vision
  2. Creates positive tunnel vision
  3. Motivation to keep moving forward
  4. Helps you be the best person you can be
  5. Makes you an accountable person

Now, let me go into a little bit more detail on each one.

1. Illustrates a clear picture for your end vision

Have you ever had so much on your mind that until you write it down and organize it on paper it’s just a jumbled mess in your head? We have all certainly been there; prioritizing is almost natural (well, maybe not for everyone). But, until we literally create a game plan and figure out what it is we want to take care of first, second, third, and so on and so forth we will remain confused and lost.

Setting goals involves prioritizing and writing down just what it is you want to accomplish. That can range from small goals within your family to larger goals 5 maybe 10 years from now! You can set goals to have family, to get promoted within your company, to reach your desired weight, or to compete in a fitness competition. Your goals can literally be anything. The main goal here is to create a clear game plan OR vision that illustrates or maps out what you want to accomplish.

2.Creates positive tunnel vision

The reason I say “positive tunnel vision” instead of just “tunnel vision” is because there can be negative tunnel vision as well. Some people can be overly consumed with a certain goal and might lose focus on their family or job responsibilities. Just because you have a goal you want to meet and accomplish does not mean you should neglect the people in your life that matter most to you. It also does not mean you should just up and quit your job or be late for work every day. You have bills to pay, don’t make rash decisions! Have a plan.

When you have a goal set and you have a clear vision of what you want and how you plan to accomplish it you can then motivate yourself to remain focused on the end result! You won’t allow outside negative opinions or actions influence your decisions to accomplish your goals.

3. Motivation to keep moving forward

Goal setting can be easy but what can be hard is keeping the motivation to reach those goals high! You will find that when you set goals that are very important to you, the motivation comes naturally. You can also look for motivation from outside factors such as friends, family, role models, etc.

4. Helps you be the best person you can be

Setting goals can keep you dedicated and shows just how hard you will work to reach them. Goals push you harder and harder every day so that one day you will find success. It allows you to experience your weakest and strongest moments and helps you learn what works and what doesn’t work. You soon learn the skills needed to work efficiently to reach your goals!

 5.Makes you an accountable person

Simply put goals hold you accountable. Write them down and hang them on your wall, put your goals everywhere you can think of where you will be reminded of them constantly. This way you will never forget what all of your hard work is for.

Setting goals is required when working towards success in anything. I hope this helps you in your future endeavors readers!

Remember, we rise by lifting others.

Inspire and motivate each other!

-mk