Did you know that Americans spend OVER $60 billion dollars each year to try and lose weight?
$60,000,000,000 dollars EACH YEAR!!! That’s crazy! From gym memberships to diet supplements to specialized meal plans to expensive weight-loss programs, there is not a lack of products or information out there to help you shed those unwanted pounds.
Lucky for me, I am an information hoarder and love to read and learn about all things health and happiness. I’ve tried being vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free… I’ve drank special protein shakes, swallowed various natural supplements, drank only green juice for 30 days and even had my colon cleansed at one point.
I guess the point I am trying to make is that I’m willing to try it all, given it is natural and the principles make sense to me.
However, at some point in time, I would stray away from XYZ program or product when it wasn’t giving me the results I wanted or if it wasn’t making me feel good. Maybe you can relate.
It’s SUPER frustrating, right? It can almost feel like you are trying to find a needle in a haystack in regards to a specific program that works for YOU!
Well, I’m sorry to rain on your parade… but that program DOESN’T exist. Say WHAT?!
The reason is simple.
The reason is because that specific program that will actually work for YOU exists only in YOU and needs to be created with your thoughts, feelings and energy!
The thing is, you are one-of-a-kind, my friend. NO ONE else in this world is exactly like you (even those of you with an identical twin out there)! You have unique needs, thoughts, motivations, strengths, limitations and bodily functions.
Therefore, if you want a fitness and health program that works amazingly well for you and will get you the results you desire, then it is up to you to create it. This doesn’t mean that you have to rely only on what you know currently, what it does mean, though, is that you have to put some effort into researching and learning about different techniques, eating styles and exercises.
Then, as with most things in life, it’s mostly trial and error. Try something and see how it works for you. Even if an expert says that eating 6 egg whites with oatmeal is “the BEST” way to start your day, if YOU don’t feel great doing it… then DON’T do it!
However, there are some universal truths to help guide you as you embark on this journey. Consider them your personal guidelines and indicators as to what works best for your health and well being.
Here are 10 signs that you are in good health:
1. You wake up each morning feeling energized and rested.
2. You sleep well throughout the night (no tossing and turning or waking up frequently).
3. You maintain energy throughout the day.
4. You go “number 2” every day and pass urine 4-7 times per day.
5. Your body feels mobile (flexible and strong) and you can move your body with ease.
6. Your mind is clear and you are able to focus on tasks.
7. You eat more whole foods (fruits, veggies, nuts, lean meats) than processed food (“junk”). A good rule of thumb is 80:20 – whole foods to special indulgences.
8. You eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full.
9. You can manage your daily life (without feeling too stressed, overwhelmed, or anxious).
10. You feel happy the majority of the time and have positive thoughts.
With these guidelines, it is now time for you to set out on your health adventure to discover what works best for your body. Scour the internet and take advantage of the excellent resources that are available to you for free. Look for an inspirational person whose message resonates with you and test out his/her advice. Pay attention to how you feel after you eat and exercise.
If you don’t feel absolutely GREAT after eating something, then STOP eating it – it is not meant for YOUR body (even if it is considered “healthy”). If a certain exercise makes you feel super out of shape and is demotivating, try out another one until you gain the strength to master it!
It’s basic human psychology. When something feels good, you like it and want more of it. Find the nutritious foods and exercises that work well for you and DO THEM. As you make progress and see the results you desire, continue to challenge yourself in varying ways (either with more difficult exercises or new “clean eating” recipes).
So, how do you create your personalized health plan? Here are three steps to consider:
1. Mindset: Pay attention to your thoughts when you think about your health, fitness and happiness. What are you saying to yourself? Next, really think about WHY you want to be healthy and what “being healthy” means to you. Really knowing what you want will help you push through when that pizza or chocolate cake is being offered to you at a party!
2. Nutrition: If you have any digestive issues (bloating, gas, constipation/diarrhea) then it is wise to start with a 3 day detox such as this one. Slowly introduce new foods back into your diet one by one and see how you feel after each type of food. If your tummy is grumbling and you feel lousy, then make sure you add that item to the list of foods to avoid.
3. Exercise: Find activities that are FUN and that you can look forward to. If you feel deep down that a trainer or coach would help you reach your goals, then invest in one – but it’s not absolutely necessary for achievement. Perhaps a long walk in the morning to get your day started? Use your body weight to challenge your muscles – no fancy gym equipment needed! Here are some ideas to get you started:
d. Push-ups (start with wall pushups and progress to your knees, then to regular)
g. Tricep dips (use a chair, bench, or the floor)
Do what you can, with what you have, wherever you are. There will always be some excuse you can make as to why you aren’t working towards your ideal health – whether that be that you have no time, lack of money, or you don’t know where to start. Your health is your business and you are the only person that truly knows what you do day in and day out to either enhance or diminish your well being. Therefore, create a “diet” (aka “lifestyle”) that you can maintain and remain consistent with for years to come!
Take care of your body – it’s the only place you have to live! – Jim Rohn