Adopting A Healthy Lifestyle

Adopting A Healthy Lifestyle

Not a diet. Diet implies temporary, and what we need to do is form a set of new, sustainable habits for the rest of our life.

A lot of you probably have a daydream of taking a black, billowy trash bag and planning a SWAT-style assault on your fridge and cupboards and then setting fire to the dumpster you hurl it into. Naturally, you’ll dash over to the grocery store and purchase a ton of strange-looking foods you don’t regularly eat, or never eat! Then you’ll slap on a pair of shiny new shoes and go run a 5K. This works for–some people. Honestly, few people.

The reality for many people; however, is they get off their foray after a few weeks. Why is that?

Think about it. How long did it take you to really get into the groove of your current habits? Months? Years? If you’re trying to simultaneously kiss soda and chip’s ass good-bye, change every bite of food you eat, and start a fitness routine. Guess what? Stress, stress, stress! Your stomach was used to those portion sizes (whether too large or too small) and some of your favorite snacks, your brain is literally addicted to it. A lot of people will reach nuclear meltdown levels trying to transition to a healthy lifestyle this way.

Just like it took you time to form your current habits, it’s going to take some time to form your new habits. I truly do empathize with the feelings of wanting everything to be different right now, but realistically we can only handle a certain amount of stressors and change at one time.

Start With Nutrition Habits// While I really would recommend finding a few cheeky ways to get more active, you’ve probably heard some variant of “can’t outrun your fork,” or “it’s 80% nutrition.” Well, it really is true. Being more active is absolutely crucial to improving overall health in the “endgame,”  but we’re still playing the “tutorial” and the dietary aspects of our lifestyle change are the bulk of the impact. It goes beyond that, though. I’ve written more about it here, but being a beginner can be genuinely hard at times!  It takes a lot of time and effort to get oneself to a point where they can physically and mentally handle what entails “regular, moderate exercise.” One part of making that transition easier will be better nutrition and hydration.

Start With an Easy Target// I always tell people if they drink a lot of soda, juice, or sweetened tea/coffee to start here. Sugar provides us pretty much no nutrition and removing the pulp from fruit makes juice not that great for us, either. Drinking more water is not negotiable and replacing these beverages with water will do a surprising amount of good for how you feel–all by itself. I recognize how hard this one can be to kick, but sweetened beverages really do load many people’s lifestyles with a lot of bad juju.

If you don’t have a beverage problem, maybe you do have a condiment/dressing problem and can reduce the quantities and find alternatives. Maybe you party-hardy a little too much and need to cut down on alcohol. While I said “easy target,” no one said it would be that easy, but you probably have an idea where most of these so called “empty” nutrients are coming from.

Transition Bad Habits a Few at a Time// The opening of this probably already made it clear, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. You probably have an idea of what some of your most problematic habits are, so choose one; maybe two, and see how you adjust over a week or two before considering the next step.

Small Swaps// Start switching out various items in your pantries, fridges, and lunchboxes with simple alternatives. Change white breads, rices, and pastas to brown. Take the bag of chips from your lunch and turn it into a few servings of seasonal fruit and vegetables. Pick out a leaner cut of meat and use a little less dairy, if you eat them. Little changes can have massive results.

Learn Moderation// Remember that whole sustainable part at the very beginning? Our lifestyles do need to reflect our real lives. Well, my real life has a love of chocolates, pastries, and candies. So, it’s not realistic for me to say “no chocolate, pastries, or candies.” Food molarity can be a pretty toxic outlook on eating and life in general. Instead of labeling foods as “bad,” just learn and respect the limits. There are times where you have to say, “enough, is enough,” but living in a constant state of “no” is not realistic or mentally healthy for most people. It’s OK to love indulgent food. Think about how long your life is going to be. So, now think about how dinky an occasional treat will be in retrospect.

Depending on Your Struggles, Consider Therapy// As we know, many aspects of unhealthy eating habits are actually unhealthy mental habits. Depending on the severity and exact nature of those problems, never be embarrassed to seek professional help. I struggled with stress eating and even binge eating for most of my adolescence, and finally getting help for my anxiety disorder played a pretty crucial role in improving both my physical and mental health. If it’s not a possibility at this time, consider journaling.

Walk Before Your Run// Literally and figuratively. I’m going to recommend this previous post, but when you’ve gotten a few habits cracked and feel like you’re ready to start amping up your activity, start with low impact and low equipment exercises. If it has been years, or if you’ve never exercised, it takes some easing into it. I recommend walking to all beginners because we already know how to do it, have what we need to do it, and probably won’t hurt ourselves.

So, there you have it. Tackle small challenges and get your body acclimated to them before you consider some of the overarching and holistic goals you have for your lifestyle. That said, we’re all different. If you still want to try and do that 180-flip, I can’t stop you and some people are successful that way. No two people or personality types have the exact same problems or strategy for overcoming them. However, if you’ve gotten frustrated and thrown in the towel a time or two, consider the scope of change and how to realistically implement it over a period of time.  We didn’t form our old habits overnight.

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Coping with Disappointment

Everyone faces some kind of disappointment in life. Small or big, doesn’t matter. The thing that makes a difference is how a person copes with it. There are people who choose to sit around and whine about it, while there are some who try to cope with it the best they can. I’m not saying there is a right and a wrong way to cope with disappointment, but in my opinion, there is some stuff you can do to make disappointment easier for you.

Disappointment is just the action of your brain readjusting itself to reality after discovering things are not the way you thought they were.

-Brad Warner

Emotion. Let yourself figure out what this means to you. Evaluate the whole situation and don’t be afraid to express your emotion about it, but be careful to be respectful and don’t hurt anyone by doing that. Don’t forget that your feelings matter and nobody can tell you-you are wrong. Be honest with yourself and others.

Don’t take it personally. Evaluate what are the reasons for disappointment/rejection. You know, sometimes it’s not you who is rejected, it’s the ideas.

Look at the bigger picture. Look at the things that are happening around that, meaning look at where you are at this point of life and what is happening to you around this event. Try to think how much will this impact on your tomorrow, next week, next month, next year and on your future.

In 20 years, you will be more disappointed by what you didn’t do than by what you did.

-Mark Twain

Breathe in. Breathe out. Take a deep breath. Go out in nature and spend some time with yourself. Take time to reflect. Step away from the situation because it will help you calm your nerves. Therefore you will be better able to handle the disappointment.

You are not the only one. You probably hear that a lot, but it’s true. Remember that thousands and millions of people get rejected and disappointed every day. Think of the world where every one of them would keep being sad for every small rejection. I am not equating you to others, what I am trying to say is that you are not alone in this.

You must make a decision that you are going to move on. It won’t happen automatically. You will have to rise up and say, ‘I don’t care how hard this is, I don’t care how disappointed I am, I’m not going to let this get the best of me. I’m moving on with my life.’

Keep yourself happy and engaged. Take up the responsibility, even thought that most probably that is not the first thing you want to do. You have to be a creator of change. You are the one responsible for your happiness. The more you think about a negative strand, more you keep feeling bad about yourself.

Take things as a challenge. What most people do is to feel bad about themselves. It’s not your fault because it kind of happens naturally. But just accept it that you can’t always have it your way. Remember: rejection is not an action directed to you, but you can use it well only if you decide to. The choices are always in your hands and you just have to decide which choice you will go to. You can either feel bad or start working on a change. The results will depend on which you focus on.

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.  

-Dalai Lama

Do not give up! Remember, any person has faced with disappointment. Winners don’t quit. They learn from their mistakes and go on to achieve their goals. You should not allow that disappointment lowers your self-confidence.

You can become your own motivator. Never underestimate the power of encouraging yourself.

 

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Taking Care Of Your Skin

Skin is a tricky thing. Everyone’ skin is different and requires different treatments, meaning there is not an absolute universal product that would result in getting a clear skin. If you are born with clear skin, then may I just say: Lucky you!

Other people, well, we have to work to get that somewhat clear skin and trying out various creams, pills, treatments that are being prescribed by dermatologists. And guess what? They all cost a ton of money. They rarely work or they work for the first couple of days/weeks and they suddenly stop. So you know what? I have some tips for you that are not in any shape or form advertisement for a specific product.

 

WHAT HELPED ME CLEAR MY SKIN?

You are what you eat. This is actually true because your skin is built from what is on the inside. So nourish your body with the high amount of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and you will be doing yourself much good.

Quality product. Even though skin is built from the inside out, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t watch what you put on the top. Like I already said, every skin is different, so you have to find your favourite make-up brand that works for you, so it might take some trial and error.

Clean your face. While we are on the topic of makeup, this is quite an important step. I don’t think you have to have an explanation for that, as it is really straight forward. Just don’t go to sleep with makeup on.

Get essential sleep. I am not saying I am the best person to give you this advice, but it is recommended that you sleep at least 8 hours a night. It might sound hard, but… Sorry, I can’t say it is not hard because I really struggle with that a lot. So try your best to sleep as much as possible, but not too much as well. You know what they say. Beauty sleep is the best.

Bed sheets and hair. I think that if you have bangs, your forehead is going to get oily faster. It happened to me a lot when I had them, but once I have cut them, it got a little bit better in my opinion. Also, don’t forget to change your bed sheets and pillow sheets often, as they have a big impact on how your skin will look like, because of all the bacteria that holds on to them.

Drink water. Or H2O if you prefer this term. Staying hydrated is essential for your body so that it can function normally. Remember, thirst is the first sign of dehydration, so keep a water bottle with you at all times and make sure to refill it regularly.

Exercise. Yeah. Some people might not like this idea, but a girl’ gotta do what a girl’ gotta do. Find the exercise you enjoy doing or bring a friend with you and that way you will enjoy it. And don’t forget, that exercise is great for your overall health and has a lot of positive effects, but more on the exercise itself some other time.

Alkaline your body. Okay, I am going to bother you with just a little bit of chemistry. Don’t worry, it’s nothing complex, only basics, that you probably already know. Our body has different pH levels and high levels can lead to acne, digestive issues, discomfort… The average person tends to lean towards the acidic side (some drugstores provide pH strips to measure yourself). Balancing pH levels first thing in the morning can lead to clearer skin and reduced inflammation. How do you do this? Drink water with lemon or add some apple vinegar to a glass of water.

The most important thing about clear skin is, of course, hormones and genes. So it is not always your fault for an unclear skin. Just don’t compare yourself with models who have their ‘imperfections’ photoshopped.

Stay healthy, guys!

 

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