When it comes to health and wellness, I have never been a fan of the quick fix or short term solutions. I value that hard work means great payoffs. I follow the science and evidence-backed answers. I try to embrace lifestyle choices that are in my best interest long term.
I reject the multi-billion dollar diet industry's extreme marketing practices, which continue to monetize a healthy lifestyle. I'm skeptical of an industry that claims to work, yet obesity rates continue to rise. The simple truth is, obesity and weight gain are incredibly complex issues; continued research is unearthing more data and dispelling myths every day.
For much of my life, weight gain has never been an issue. I was one of those annoying people that could eat whatever I wanted, do as little or as much activity as I wanted without my weight ever fluctuating.
As I age, though, that has changed, and I find myself gaining unwanted weight.
Still, I am focusing on the bigger picture: I am healthy, active, and eat healthy foods most of the time. My body is a fantastic thing, and while it may look different than those on social media, it's mine, and it's wonderful.
I love to be active and find ways to get moving every day. As I age, I know that I need fewer calories, and I have made some hard but necessary choices for my diet, and these choices are for the long haul.
These choices are challenging because they are combatting ingrained habits. I know the shifts I am making are far healthier for me and will improve my health overall, not just in terms of getting my weight to where I feel my best.
I have looked at my lifestyle critically, and honestly, to determine where I can make better choices to improve my overall health:
My focus continues to be on my overall health, rather than trying to attain the unattainable (photoshop and filters are not real life). Life is too short, and there are too many adventures to be had; don't get down about your weight or shape.
- Choose healthy foods, an active lifestyle, and work on mental wellness through meditation, mindful breathing, or other activity that grounds you and nourishes your soul.
Cut Back on Alcohol
I do love a glass of prosecco, red wine with meals, and a soul-warming Irish whiskey with a good book is sublime.
However, these treats are empty calories, stimulate my appetite, and break down my resolve to not indulge.
- Alcohol does not have any nutritional value, so I now limit my indulgences to one or two treats per week.
Sugar, Sweet Sugar
This is a heartbreaker for me and my sweet tooth. I do love anything sweet, so saying see ya later to my cookies and chocolate is by far the toughest. I do allow for the occasional sweet treat.
- Moderation here is vital, so I focus on only having a taste, the smallest portion possible.
- As it's a once in a while treat, I go for high quality.
Am I Even Hungry?
I am an emotional eater. So, that's a massive challenge for me.
I have developed strategies to combat my emotional eating. When the food urge strikes, I have a serious conversation with myself.
- Am I really even hungry? Or is this emotion?
- I do something, anything else, like laundry or organize a closet.
- Like any habit, this one is in the process of being locked in, and I do struggle with it from time to time.
- When I do give in to the urge, I make healthier choices.
Portions Out of Control!
Most restaurants serve us far larger amounts that are necessary for a healthy balanced diet.
- Ask for a to-go container to be served with your main, and divide your meal in half to take home.
- Or choose to share a meal with someone; cheaper, healthier, and supportive.
- If it's a buffet, I take one turn and one turn only.
- The same goes for family-style; the platter goes past me just once.
Think critically and honestly about your own lifestyle, and find ways to be healthier today!