In the whole journey to health and to lose weight I think we have it all wrong! Our focus must be health first and if we do it right we will lose weight without the struggle, feeling deprived and uncomfortableness of past diets! Here is what I mean. There is no magic bullet for health or weight loss. It is just that simple. I think we live on a spectrum of health and it depends on where we use the Pillars of Health for our benefit. I heard once at any given time in our society that 10% of the population has vibrant good health and about the same has sickness and under a doctors care. In the middle is somewhere in between. Not good health or bad health.
There does seem to be a common belief that we have no control over how we feel, and many say that their illnesses are normal because they run in the family. This is simply not true. You and I actually have more control over how we feel than we believe. There are some very common things that we can do to move ourselves toward that top 10% who have vibrant good health and you may be surprised that it is not as challenging as you may think.
Here is an idea/plan for health first then lose weight and it looks like this:
- Proper Diet – There are many, many diets on the market today! The spectrum spans from vegan to paleo, raw food to blood type diets and so much in between. I feel the reason there are so many different types of ideas for eating for a healthy lifestyle is because there are so many different types of people on this earth who eat. At the end of the day it is your responsibility to experiment with any of the ideas that you may feel would be best for you. I can tell you over the years that I have tried many different diets from a vegetarian diet, blood type diet and finally landed on a Paleo-ish diet. The reason I say Paleo-ish is because a few years ago I realized that gluten, wheat and grains were not serving me in the best way and I totally eliminated them from my diet. I have since learned that many people don’t do well on these foods, so that is something for you to think about. You see having the awareness to see and feel what works it the most beneficial thing you can do as you go through change. When you are experimenting with a type of diet or way of eating see how you feel. For example: when I attempted a vegetarian diet, I was hungry and tired all the time. Yet I continued eating this way for months and months because I had heard it was “supposed to be healthy”. Well for me it is not. So when I began eating a paleoish diet I found for the first time in my adult life I was not hungry all the time. I was thinking clearer and my energy improved in a way that afternoon naps were no longer a necessity for my life. It was remarkable. Yet if I hadn’t done the years of experimenting I wouldn’t know if it were the right way for me to eat. The other thing that has happened for me that for the first time I think in my life food is an amazing experience, the flavors are outstanding and it is fun to enjoy good quality food, eating at my own dining room table. Even the odd evening when I don’t really feel like cooking, there is something that can be whipped up that fits my needs and tastes excellent.
- The most vital thing that we do is make our diet today be 1 ingredient foods (veggies, fruits. dairy (again if you can eat dairy and be sure that is it organic), meats, beef, pork (pastured is best without question) same for poultry, wild fish, nuts/seeds.
- We cook our foods at home (this has been a challenge for me and the benefit is I am becoming a much better cook because of this commitment to cooking at home, we buy organic produce that we go to the farm and pick up each couple of weeks ( amazing tastes and flavors by the way). I heard this saying, “eat fresh to live fresh” and a philosophy we live by. So definitely I strongly recommend learning how to cook in your own kitchen and a way to do this is find a cookbook that serves your needs and pick 3 recipes, continue to make them until perfected then find 3 more and so on. You will become an expert in the kitchen doing this.
- Now some may say that this is a lot of work. Yes it is. However with planning and creating a system of cooking it is totally doable for your better health.
- Yet, remember that there are many different ways to eat and you must find the way that feeds your body, your mind and your soul!
- Proper Movement – get moving because it matters for your health first then lose weight. There are two different things to think about here.
- One is movement and that could be walking each day. This is movement and definitely vital for good health.
- The other aspect of movement is moving yourself for fitness. Being strong for a lifetime.
- Strong bodies, strong minds are a lifetime plan!
- So fitness could look like bodyweight exercise, lifting weights, moving kettlebells, or you may enjoy pilates.
- Yoga could be a great addition to your fitness week.
- The point of movement, exercise and fitness is consistency!
- Do some everyday and realize the benefits are accumulated over your lifetime. Figure out a way to make it fun, challenging, empowering and most of all an activity you will do most days of the week. I really enjoy kettlebell training, HIIT training, lifting weights, going for walks, hikes in nature, and find ways to include it in my lifestyle.
- The benefits are that I am strong physically, and I like that.
- Proper Sleep – sleep is really the forgotten health ingredient and is a huge health issue today for reducing stress and anxiety. In fact I heard a while back that if we just focused on better sleep most of the health issues people suffer from today would just go away! That is how important sleep is for better health. Remember better sleep, better health, less stress, lose weight. Tips for Proper Sleep:
- Get to sleep by 10:30 pm. Wind down prior to this time. Going to bed at 10:00 and falling asleep at 11:00 doesn’t count. Physical Repair is between 10:00 pm and 2am. After 2am the immune/repair energies are more focused on mental repair, which lasts until we awaken.
- Minimize the exposure to bright lights,(fluorescent lights, at least 2 hours before going to bed.)
- Sleep in a completely dark room.
- Avoid the consumption of stimulants (caffeine, sugar and nicotine) after lunch.
- Be very mindful of desserts at dinner containing alcohol, sugar and or caffeine again these might stimulate and cause trouble sleeping.
- Eat balanced meals, particularly at dinner.
- Drink plenty of water, dehydration causes the body to feel stressed and the stress hormones are awakening hormones.
- Exercise. This will help you sleep better at night. Do be aware of the time of day you train, intense training after dinner can increase cortisol levels making it hard to get to sleep.
- Consider moving electrical appliances in your bedroom to the other side of the room from the bed.
- Have a Support System in place – Change can be a huge challenge and if you don’t have the support system in place to succeed it just won’t happen. And I know this is true because I could not have made all the changes I have made without my partner and the support system that we have in place! So find someone to support you on your journey to health. Connect with me and let me know how you are doing with this one and let me know how I can support you on this journey.
When we really think about it, our journey and the wisdom in that journey is the gift of learning how to live with health first and really begin to realize that we are not destined to live with the poor health,or the illnesses of our family or friends. If we begin to look at improving health then lose weight the joureny will be triumphant!
One of the most effective ways to achieve this is to know your WHY! It really does start here and it really is that SIMPLE! And sometimes if it sounds simple we make it hard and unachievable!
Why do you want to gain your health and or may lose weight? What drives you to succeed at this goal? How will it feel for you to achieve better health and how will it feel to lose weight? Write this down and really feel it! See it in your mind how it will feel once you achieve your desired health. Once you do that then gain the knowledge you need to have success with your health and to lose weight, and find the support from people who are around you or find NEW people to support you. This is how important support is for success.
I began this journey many years ago and can share from my experience that finding my health then moving on to lose weight began with being with my mother in the hospital where she had fallen and broke her hip. I knew that evening that if I didn’t make the changes necessary to move toward health, I would be her in the years to come. That vision of change has fueled me all these years and continues to fuel my health first then lose weight goals! So is your WHY to find health first then lose weight? Share your comments.
PPS – Becoming aware of better health is the first step and I have found over the years that each and every Health Summit I attended moved my health forward in some way. Some Summits were more impactful for me, yet all made some positive change and I am totally grateful for that health benefit.
What are you doing to become aware of the possibilities of health first for yourself and your family?