It takes more than willpower to sustain a healthy lifestyle. You don't have to be restrictive, continue yo-yo dieting, and/or white-knuckle it! True lifelong changes take time, commitment, dedication, community, support, guidance, and most importantly the desire to do inner work to achieve health and wellness.
Diet fads will continue to come and go. What works for one person will not necessarily work for another. While eating whole foods and getting physical activity is important, we must also look at our mental and emotional wellbeing. Along with creating a healthy gut microbiome. Read more about the importance of the gut microbiome and probiotics, HERE. Healthy gut, healthy mind.
Once you discuss the level of physical activity and nutrition with your professional healthcare team, then what? How do you fight the cravings and stick with new habits and routines for a lifetime? Especially when we live in a society that promotes unhealthy chemically processed eating at every occasion.
5 Steps to Sustaining a Healthy Lifestyle
- Evaluate and re-write your beliefs that no longer serve you. This is a big one. Take the time to answer some tough questions to get to the root of things. Find a trusted friend, therapist, or coach to help gently guide you. Someone that will hold the space for you to be heard and validated. You no longer have to carry with you any old beliefs that were unintentionally picked up from your childhood that no longer serve you.
- Replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations. This step is always a work in progress. It helps when you've worked on discovering your new beliefs and values.
- Ignore the marketing on processed packages. If you have to have a processed food, try to choose packages that have only about 5 organic ingredients. Don't forget to work on your gut microbiome.
- Forgive family and friends that tease you about your new and improved lifestyle changes. Some people get stuck in their ways and aren't ready for you to change. Share with your trusted friend, therapist, or coach how your feeling about this. You may need to evaluate relationships that no longer serve you.
- De-stress and self-care. When we have a growth mindset, anything is possible. If we can find a routine of meditation, breathe work, journaling, and time for healthier choices (such as grocery shopping, cooking, physical activity, connecting with our spirituality, and nurturing healthy relationships) we set ourselves up for success. Consider limiting electronics which are just time sucking stressors.
Diets and tempting food are always going to be around. Habits and routines can be adjusted to sustain a healthy lifestyle. If you really want to feel healthier, have more energy, and/or lose weight you have to do the inner work. It's the very first step needed to continue with a lifelong commitment of eating whole foods, getting physical activity, and working on a healthy gut microbiome.
Changing habits and routines can be a difficult task because of our beliefs and thoughts. Changing our beliefs and thoughts takes work and commitment. You can gather all the knowledge and facts on nutrition and exercise, but if your beliefs and thoughts aren't in shape then you will continue on the same path.
Avoiding pain, guilt, and/or shame will not move us forward. We must feel it, express it, understand it, emotionally dismantle, release it, and surrender. Don't get stuck in it, but do the work to move through it. This inner work helps us to better understand our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
I would love to hear your success and/or struggles with sustaining a healthy lifestyle. Leave me a comment below or contact me, HERE. I would be honored to assist you with your journey to sustained healthier habits.
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