Healthy Lifestyle: It is what you add not subtract

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Do you ever set a goal to get healthier and after a couple of days you are over it and just give up? Quitting on all your favorite foods and drinks leaves you thinking that the healthy lifestyle is not for you. You order a huge pizza and call it a day.

Trying to live a healthier life can be overwhelming and sometimes people think of it as a quick diet they’ll try. Not realizing being healthy is a lifestyle change. Not a quick fix.

When you make it a goal to live healthier think of where you want to be long term. Where do you want to be in six months? Getting to your goals slowly is better than getting nowhere six months or a year later. May sound silly but slow and steady does win the race.

A healthy lifestyle is about what you add not subtract

You have to slowly add the good in and not focus on everything you have to do without.

If I focus on everything I have to take away to live a healthier life I will fail every time. And you also do not have to add in the good things all in one day.

It would be so easy to think that you need to take away the sodas you drink to start your new healthy lifestyle. But if that leaves you feeling like you want to quit what’s the point?

Wouldn’t you rather focus on adding in more water daily? You still drink your glass of sweet tea but you make a goal of drinking a bottle of water in the morning, throughout the day and for supper.

As the weeks have gone by you add more and more water intake. So now instead of being frustrated about giving up your sodas or sweet tea you have added water. If you would have given up after a couple days of no sodas then you may have ignored drinking more and more water because that ‘healthy life was not meant for you’.

Focus on what you can add and not what you ‘have’ to subtract from your life. And celebrate even the ‘small’ victories because those small victories are what will get you to the healthier lifestyle you want.

Add a glass of water

We need water for our bodies to function properly. Focus on where you can add more water. Set small goals.

It is said that our body weight divided by 2 is the number of ounces we need to drink daily. So if you weigh 120 you divide that by 2 and 60oz is how much water you should drink in a day.

I drink water before I have my coffee in the morning. If you are a coffee lover there is no bigger motivation to get your water in. But I started out drinking 8oz of water and now a couple years later I drink 32oz of water in the morning before my coffee.

My point by saying that is if I would have made myself start at 32oz from day one I would have given up and probably not drink water before my coffee in the morning at all.

Add a healthy meal

I hear of people saying they’re on a diet and they have eaten chicken and broccoli for four days straight and then the weekend comes and they indulge in everything around them. Yeah, that would send me right over the edge as well.

If you can slowly add healthier meals once or twice a week you’re more likely to stick with it. And bless it, I do not mean chicken and broccoli (unless that is what you want). I am talking real ingredients, real cooking. Healthy foods are not boring. It is about taking what you like to eat and using the real ingredients.

Start either with breakfast or dinner. And once it becomes part of your routine you can add another meal time.

Starting with a night or two of focusing on good meals is better than trying so hard to perfectly eat a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And after a couple days of that chaos, you give up and decide you’re okay with take-out and boxed macaroni every night of the week.

That night or two a week you focus on eating better will become a routine and you will find it easier and easier to do. Those two nights can turn into five nights a week. Even if you get take-out Chinese on Saturday night you are still doing way better than giving up completely.

Find your balance

Add a walk

When you get it in your head to finally start working out it’s easy to think you need to hit the gym for a two-hour workout five days a week. Then you realize you don’t have the time for the gym life and give up completely.

Start with a 15-minute walk or thirty minutes of yoga you find on YouTube. It may sound like it is not much now but you will be getting your body moving. By slowly incorporating a small workout you are able to actually stick with it instead of giving up after one day.

You are more likely to fall in love with the process and truly want to add more time or different workouts to your routine. You give yourself time to learn what works for your body.

And even if you only ever walk those 15 minutes or whatever small workout you choose you are doing better than giving up on a two-hour workout. Because then you would not be working out at all.


Healthy Lifestyle: It's about what you add to your life not subtract


A healthy lifestyle that actually sticks does not happen overnight. Don’t focus on what you have to subtract to get to where you want to be. Add a glass of water, add a healthy meal or add a small walk. Add what you need to get yourself to where you want to be.

When you look at the bigger picture it is okay to get there slowly. No quick fix will get you to where you want to be.

Make this lifestyle a process you love. As moms, we have to take care of ourselves so we can take care of everyone else.



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Author: Elizabeth Hill

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