I’ve been sober for 16 years now. At first, I hid my addiction by telling people I quit drinking because I was “into health.” It might not have been my primary reason back then, but now drinking did make me healthier.
I’ve gone through many iterations of what “getting healthy” means to me and have tried all kinds of things in the process. Different diets – vegetarian, Paleo, low carb, no sugar, the list goes on. Every type of exercise from kick-boxing to cardio. And all kinds of things in between – meditation, juicing and more.
It was all in search of what would make me feel my best. But the one thing that kept me from truly feeling like I was “there” was the idea that I was never going to be healthy enough. There was always some new trend or thing to try which never made me feel like I was healthy enough.
I realized that while I was doing things to be “healthy,” there were other motivating factors – like being a particular shape or size that were pushing me. For me to truly be healthy, I’d need to drop all of that and be able to truly do things from a place of self love.
Coming to terms with WHY I want to be healthy, and what that actually looks like to me, has been a game-changer for the way my body feels, looks and performs on a daily basis.
This is where I start with my coaching clients. When someone comes to me with a goal to “get healthy” we take the time to break it down and get clear on what that means to them.
For example, they might like the way a fitness model looks, but not be prepared to live the daily routine that would get them there. That’s totally ok. The definition of what “healthy” looks and feels like is so individual. It will be different for everyone, and different throughout our stages of life as well.
We need to take a broader perspective on health and wellness to include what works for your lifestyle.
One thing’s for sure, when we consistently feed our bodies junk food or don’t move enough, we’re not showing our bodies love. Even before we take different actions, learning to operate from a place that will show your body love is the first step to take towards lasting health.
So, there you have it. That’s the secret. “Getting healthy” starts with defining what “healthy” means to you in your body and current lifestyle. It continues with a desire to show yourself more love and respect through the choices you make.
Take some time to connect with your body and think about what actions you can take from a place of love. Here are some suggestions on where to start:
Drink more water.
We can all drink more water instead of juice, soda pop, energy drinks, alcohol, and caffeinated beverages. Start by tracking what you drink. Then, swap out one or two beverages for water. Keep increasing until you’re consuming at least 2 Litres of water each day.
Eat real food.
Real food is food that our bodies understand and know what to do with. This is one of the easiest ways to be loving to yourself. Give your body plenty of nutrient-rich, plant-based foods and it will feel loved and love you right back.
Set a consistent sleep schedule.
We underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep for physical, mental and emotional health. Your entire being benefits when you sleep well on a regular basis. Research shows the sweet spot is between 7-9 hours per night, so aim to start there.
Move your body daily.
You’ve probably heard that “sitting is the new smoking” but have you done anything about it? Our bodies were designed to move– so moving is imperative to feeling our best. Keep track of how much you sit and how much you move. Aim to create more balance here as a way to improve your physical health.
Did you know that meditation is a common behaviour of the world’s happiest and most successful people? It’s one of the best ways to calm your nervous system and give your mind and body a break from our noisy world. Start with 5 minutes per day and work up from there. You might even find that you crave this quiet time once you start to make a habit of it.
If you are someone who wants to “be healthy,” I invite you to ask yourself what healthy means to you? What would “healthy” look like in your life? Use the tips above to create a plan that works with your lifestyle and will help bring you to your goal.