It’s not what outside that counts, it’s what’s inside that’s important. How many times have you heard that line? When it comes to health, though, what you have inside shows outside, and if you haven’t been eating well, what you have got to show for all and sundry are dry hair, weak fingernails, a bloated stomach, swelling ankles and blotched skin. If you’re young, you wouldn’t want to age faster than necessary. If you’re old, you would want to live just a little bit longer to see your grandchildren. So isn’t it about time to start being healthy?
The determination to become healthy begins with eating healthy recipes foods because nourishment, in its many forms, is solidly manifested in easy recipes food. Begin with journalism to keep track of your goals, daily progress towards those goals and whether you may need adjustments or improvements on the methods that you employ to achieve those goals. Whether you’re slim or with a few extra pounds, unhealthy eating habits make you go downhill faster. Junk food, little or no exercise, vices like drinking alcohol excessively, smoking, late nights with little or no sleep and drugs all contribute to an early appointment with the Grim Reaper. Transformation, much like love, is a matter of will. You will yourself to have a different outlook and a new attitude. Health is a state of complete wellbeing in the physical, mental and social arenas and these all have to be in sync to be certified healthy.
An occasional cheese hamburger with soda and large order of fries is all right but eating them three times a day over six months will land you in the hospital’s ICU for a stroke, malfunctioning kidneys or liver enlargement. A cream-filled, chocolate doughnut dipped butterscotch icing is fine if you have it twice a month but eating it every single day for breakfast, lunch and dinner and even as an in-between meals snack can give you diabetes within a month.
We are creatures of habits and not all habits are good. Change is always difficult, more so if applied to habits which have hardened into unhealthy routines. Taking baby steps to becoming healthy are best to encourage someone who’s about to take that leap of faith. Remember the journaling mentioned earlier? Before you begin writing, post a photo of yourself in a swimsuit and post it some place where you will see it at once and see it often. Date the photo and then start a journal by keeping a record of every single food or drink you take during the day, and under what circumstances you ate or drank them. Take note of the moods, cravings and hunger levels you had before, during and after you ingested particular kinds of food and drink and then leave what you wrote for analysis later, say, after a week of journalism. Take a weekly or bi-weekly photo of yourself, date the photos and post them to see how you’re progressing in your journey towards health and fitness.
Simultaneously, research on foods, drinks, exercise regimens and leisure activities which have been categorized and confirmed as nutritious and beneficial to other people in the past. After your research, stock up on these healthy foods and drinks and chuck the rest that are in your refrigerator, pantry or cupboard.
You have to contend with the withdrawal syndrome, which would have you preoccupied with cravings often and even more than you had before you embarked on this transformation. That happens because your body, for instance, has been so used to having “fixes” (quick solutions to whet your appetite) – a donut, a potato chips and soda or chocolate fix usually – that it is “wondering” why you aren’t feeding it what it used to be fed with before. You can still have your fixes, but not the fatty, sugary and salty treats you had. Instead of a doughnut, have a wheat bran muffin with honey; munch on some toasted pita chips with hummus dip rather than potato chips and have them with real fruit juice like pineapple or watermelon (if you still want the carbonation, add a splash of soda water); and if you’re an incurable chocoholic, have your chocolate dark of your former milk variety.
Stress often leads to over-eating so when this happens, de-stress yourself by meditating for 10-15 minutes. Clearing your mind and focusing your attention only on your breathing will seem like a million years in the beginning, but once you’ve got the hang of it, meditation will be something you’ll look forward to every time you feel anxious or tensed. If your mind starts wandering off and goes to the stressful issues you are having, refocus on clearing your mind and focus on your breathing again.
Do a physical make-over. Get a new haircut and have your hair highlighted with colors you wouldn’t have tried before or a manicure with nail polish you always thought of as too bold for you. In other words, celebrate your new life as you are changing it. A positive attitude towards your transformation is an easy and happy way to deal with whatever rough times you might encounter while applying these changes to your body and lifestyle. Remember that the nearer you are to your goal, the better you’re looking and feeling, and the longer you stay on your fitness regimen, the healthier you will become.