The official start of the summer months begins this weekend, and our weather seems to be in tune with the calendar. It is also the time of the year we start truly shedding our heavier clothes and putting our winter bodies on display for the world to see. Guaranteed a larger majority of people planned on being in better shape at this point but chances are life got in the way and those January goals were not reached once again.
So rather than being hard on your self and beating your self up emotionally try, another strategy, one that might be healthier and keep you happier and possibly more effectively on course than the past. I think many times we try to make things so difficult that we overwhelm ourselves into failure yet once again..This time lets hit it from the angle of success and with less mental stress and anguish. I think one problem so many of us have is that change is hard and visible signs of those changes never happen as fast as we want them to. Obviously we have unrealistic expectations and want it all to happen and be done by tomorrow, and slow progress is hard for us to accept, although we did not get in this unhealthy state of affairs over night.
I have found that getting some visible signs of change can be amazingly motivating, so I like to be a little stricter and focused, while keeping it streamlined and even a bit boring for about 3 weeks. This seems to show some needed motivational changes and seems to give us the support we need for change. Of course after about three weeks a longer term program needs to be approached, but until then I make it as easy as possible. This is what I suggest for the hard to motivate group who need that extra level of motivation,
Daily- Protein- chicken, fish, all seafood, turkey, grass fed beef in whatever amount it takes to keep you full. Preparing it by baking, grilling, broiling, of course no batter and seasoned however you choose. Green vegetables, any and as much as you choose, and think outside the box. Try a few different vegetables every week and broaden the spectrum of your taste buds. Prepare them by steaming, grilling, baking or stir frying. Be creative and use as much variety as you can muster up. Add any spices and do not be afraid of the butter. Fruits, I usually suggest 1/2 cup of berries daily if you choose, or if your sweet tooth is screaming at you. Choose fresh whenever possible, but frozen is another great choice. That is it for the food for the first three weeks. Beverages, diet soda seems to be a popular choice, I prefer ice tea, green tea and of course 64 ounces or more of fresh water daily.
Boring, a bit, but the end result will make it enjoyable enough to get this done, and done well. Our problem is we have glamorized food so much that we expect our taste buds to be overly satisfied, and we now use food as a past time and a friend rather than a way of staying alive and replenishing our bodies of nutrition.
Weigh your self at the beginning, and again three weeks later, and that's it. Use clothing as goals and measure of your success. One more tip, do not talk about your problem with friends, family or co workers. Although we love them, they may be in need of the same program, but if they are not ready for the change, they have a tendency to not be always as supportive as they could be. This can add some negativity and may cause you to not be focused or to stray away from the goal you are ready this time to reach. Just let them notice your changes and say thank you, I am getting healthy and leave it at that.
For years I have been asked one question more than any other, and it has been asked of me from all corners and from all demographics of our country. The question being why I feel we as a nation are so sick, at such an early age when just a few generations ago, our families seemed to not get sick until they were much older? My answer has become a standard answer that today seems even more correct, diet!
Just as we try to do the best we can in every category of our life, searching for the newest, biggest, best products with all the bells and whistles, we are individuals that today are very outspoken about wanting the best. We like being the first to do something, or to be in the "IN CROWD" with everything hot, new and the most talked about products and healthy journeys. Somewhere we have overlooked the basics of health, and how to apply, and be consistent applying these principals to our health, our daily life and even our long term health goals.
Most people when asked this same question will say stress is the reason we are so sick, and although stress can be a killer, our overall state of health, and the malnutrition of our bodies causing this unhealthy state that many of us live in every day I feel is the main reason. If we were supplying our bodies all the tools it needs in the form of balanced healthy foods and supplements, while aiding the digestive system and supporting the immune system, we would have a finer tuned machine that would deal with stress head on, and successfully. But because our over fed, bloated, unbalanced, un rested and nutritionally unbalanced bodies are in such a state of dis- ease, we do not have the capability we could have if our bodies were better taken care of, and in better states of health.
Years ago the standard of life and life expectancy was much lower. We got smarter for a time, ate better and our life expectancy grew, and we lived longer healthier lives. I am now sadly seeing a reversal to times when the expectancy is much less than it is today because although we have the tools, knowledge and protocol in place to live a longer, healthier life, we choose not to do our homework. I feel many of us have a subconscious attitude that these things will never happen to me, and that I am in pretty good shape and I am not That sick, and we seem to feel we are untouchable. Although our hardened external shell may keep us protected and fearless, I am sure way down deep we know we need a change but maybe are fearful of doing it incorrectly, or afraid to ask for help and support, and we would rather just roll the dice than ask questions, this could be due to a bad track record.
Sooner or later all of us are going to need to make changes in our daily routines; I only hope that you will chose to make the changes while they are just a good measure of present and future health, rather than a necessity to survive because you waited way too long.
I often wonder why we allow ourselves to feel as badly as we do, and on a regular basis. I mean we talk about how badly we feel, we do complain and moan and groan, and when asked what we do about the situation we mostly say, nothing! I understand that we are busy, and that we have a lot on our plates, and most of it has been served up by us, but feeling badly all the time should take a major priority role.
This country over the last 15 or so years has become a symptomatic relief society, where we search out anything and everything to get rid of an annoying symptom, and rarely if ever ask or search for a cause as to how we got there. We go to the Doctor, the Doctor asks us how we are doing, and we gladly list the symptoms of health problems that annoy us. Many of my Doctor friends will tell me the patients will actually plead for something, actually anything to make the annoying symptoms go away. I am also informed that a patient will rarely ask how did this happen, or what could I have done, or better yet what could I do to make it never happen again. It has become very frustrating for both patients wanting help, and the Doctors trying to provide what is needed, and what is wanted.
I am not sure when we stopped taking responsibility for our health, and when we handed it over to the isles and isles of quick fix products in the drug store and the giving complete control to the medical community. There was a time when we fought to stay healthy, when we put our health in a priority position because we knew if we were ill or sick we could not work and support ourselves or our families.
Do I think we need a come to reality moment in this country, yes I do, and I think the sooner the better. We have, as a nation eaten and stressed ourselves into a way of living that is unhealthy and life shortening, all in the name of bad habits and vices. We have allowed our palates to run the show, and our taste buds to map out the diet we consume. We know in our heart and brains that eating good tasting, unhealthy processed, high sugar and fatty foods are a bad thing to consume, but the taste buds have learned to over ride our knowledge, and actually make us want it at all costs. Change is never easy, and it is going take some work on our part, but even when you feel the struggle the first couple weeks, I guarantee all the work will be worth it ten fold after just a short period of time.
Remind yourself everyday that life is short and you are worth every single effort needed to bring back and to regain your health.
So you have decided to start getting healthier, and you are ready for the inevitable changes, so now what? I think the hardest part of committing to a healthy way of living is first the deciding to actually do it. Of course the second difficult requirement is the actual follow through. I think personally the idea of change in general is hard to wrap our mind around because it means doing things differently, upsetting the apple cart, and walking on the unfamiliar wild side.
One of the hardest changes I think for all of us is our food consumption change, which involves eating differently than we are used to eating and going against our powerful taste buds. As many questions as I answer on dietary changes, the hardest thing people will admit to is having to give up the things they love. Even when we know the foods that we are eating are unhealthy and bad for us and harmful to our health, our taste buds have become so powerful that we give in and fail, knowing well and good it is not healthy. The thing is, if you can possibly stand up to your taste buds for a few weeks, they will actually come around and agree with your heart and brain as they themselves feel the healthier difference. I will admit, the first few weeks are not going to be easy, as you go through mental and physical withdrawal from addictive unhealthy processed foods, although it gets easier, the first week you may want to throw in the towel. remind yourself, I am worth it, I am worth it!!!
Remember that all of the things associated with change will get easier, and it will all make better sense as you feel the healthier difference. Plus, do not feel bad if you are only able to make small baby step changes at a time, it is still forward movement and still great for the long journey.
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My name is Jeffrey Burke. I have been in the health and nutrition field for well over three decades. In August 2012 I was inducted into the Nevada Broadcasting Hall Of Fame. It was an amazing honor to be honored at the Gala event.
Jeff has been posting about nutrition and health since 2006. See those posts here: