Thursday, May 28, 2015

12 Weeks to Better Health -- Day 5

How have you been doing with your week 1? Those first small changes can be really hard to make. I know that, already, I've been struggling to make sure to have a serving of fruit before I eat anything else in the morning. And really struggling to remember to do my rotator cuff physio exercises. The first while is the hardest, absolutely. It's the reason people last 2 days with things like New Year's resolutions: it can be hard to change our habits. It pushes us out of a comfort zone. Our comfort zone doesn't care about how healthy or better things are outside of it, so we have to sometimes deliberately challenge it so that it changes its size or its content.

I've been thinking ahead to my Week 2. I want to be exercising at least 3 times a week--Monday, Wednesday, Friday. So, I already started. Why? Well, because by the time I get to next week, it won't be as hard to stick to. My comfort zone will have been stretched a bit already.

The last post, I said I would share about my using "rules" rather than "goals." I do have a goal in mind--80% healthy eating, for example--but I know that the way to reach that goal is to break things down to develop habits bit-by-bit. But there's something that goes on in me that if I say my goal this week is to have fruit first thing every day, I might not actually achieve the goal. The goal is not the action itself, but the ending. So, what action do I need to take? I need to actually eat the fruit every morning. How do I make sure that I will stick with it? For me, setting it as a rule works. With a rule in place, I'm far more likely to actually follow through on the planned action because I don't want to break my rule. And the rule is reasonable and doable, so I'm not setting myself up for failure and actually helping myself be successful with the change to fruit first by setting it.

What about you? Would setting yourself a rule work for you? Or do you resist rules and tend to want to break them? What would be your "thing" to encourage you to actually stick with your planned action? For some people, it might be charting--and keeping the chart in a spot where others will see it to help with accountability. For others, it might actually be having a buddy to be accountable to and you don't want to have to admit you've messed up that day, so you're more likely to actually do it. There are all kinds of possibilities, it's just a matter of connecting with what would work best for you.

Monday, May 25, 2015

12 Weeks to Better Health--Day 2

I have a confession to make:

It is only Day 2 and I almost forgot my first rule for myself this week: Fruit first!

But I did remember, so that's all good. But let's say I had forgotten. What would you do if you'd forgotten? Would you say to yourself, "Ugh, I messed it up. I'll try again tomorrow." Or maybe, "If I can't even remember to do today, how am I going to do make it through 12 weeks?" If these are the kinds of things you'd say, I'm going to suggest something else, what I would have done had I eaten something else first:

"Oops. Let me eat some fruit right now." I could follow it by, "What can I do so that tomorrow morning I'll remember?"

It's really that simple.

It's exactly what I did for my rotator cuff care this morning. I had the fruit, got on with my day and realized I hadn't done my exercises. So, I did my exercises pretty much right then. They're done.

There's no need to beat yourself up or get down on yourself if you forget. Don't throw it all away if you have a goal you're working toward and you really goof on it one day. It's okay. The rest of the day can be in line with your goal. Or your rules. I'll write more about my "rules" for myself rather than my "goals" for this tomorrow.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

12 Weeks to Better Health--Week 1

I have been inspired to start a 12-week program. Or rather create my own 12-week program to better health.

This is not a program that I have all typed up in a document and ready to share. It'll evolve, I'm sure, as I go through the 12 weeks. Maybe you'd like to follow along with me--or maybe how I'm doing this will help you to create your own 12-week program.

I'm not sure why this "12 weeks" has hit me this week, but it has hit me as not being a huge amount of time and yet 12 weeks is 84 days, and 84 days of better habits can lead to some tremendous improvements. How much better would my health be if I exercised a few times a week for 12 weeks? How much better would my health be if I got enough fruits and vegetables for 12 weeks? Truth be told, this isn't going to be a challenge of doing 12 weeks of this or that, but more step-by-step, but even if it's only my first step for 12 weeks, I would see a difference.

And so, this first week of my 12 weeks, I'm focusing on how I start my day. My first rule for myself this week is that each morning has to start with at least one serving of fruit or a green smoothie. After I've had my fruit, I am free to eat as I normally would, so I can have that piece of toast or bowl of cereal or whatever after I've had the fruit. That said, I started my day today with a little fruit salad of fresh strawberries, fresh blueberries and some banana slices, probably 1.5 cups worth; it ended up being my breakfast because there was enough of it that I wasn't hungry for anything more. Fine by me! My second rule for myself to start my mornings is on the physical activity side of things. My rotator cuffs are still a problem, and I've been badly neglecting them, and so my rule for myself this week is to actually do my physio exercises each and every morning.

Are you going to join me for the next 12 weeks? Will you start your day with fruit? If you don't get enough fruits and vegetables each day (like me!), then I'm going to challenge you to do that: start each day with fruit. If a full serving is too much, then make it a bite of something, a single strawberry, a couple of grapes. Just get the habit going.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Loving This Book!

I have gotten back into books. I had, for a while, gotten so busy doing things on the computer that I had stopped reading. I purposefully made myself stop using my laptop after supper for about a week and it was all that it took to get me back into books.

One of the books I have out right now is David Wolfe's "The Sunfood Diet Success System." It wasn't at all what I thought it was going to be. I had watched some DVDs that got me more motivated to eat more raw foods and ended up requesting some of David Wolfe's books (even though, I have to admit, I can't stand those NutriBullet commercials of his). Opening up this particular book, I was surprised to have him get into life transformation--beyond just diet--and looking at your thoughts and beliefs and having you do things with each lesson (yes, they're lessons and not chapters) like writing down 100 goals to accomplish in the next year...

It's been very interesting and good for me so far. Writing down 100 goals took me more than a day to do. "How am I going to come up with 100 things I want to do/accomplish in the next year???" I did it though. And I keep adding to it. And with those goals now out there and more in my mind, I'm naturally taking more steps to accomplish them. I've done more natural visual improvement stuff in the past few days than I have in months. I've resumed my physiotherapy stretches for my rotator cuff problems. Just little things here and there, but those little things add up and over time become great.

I also have his Longevity Now book out from the library. It's food-focused and what I like about it is he's not about, "Oh, you have to become raw now! Get rid of eating this and that and the other!" Yes, the reasons for avoiding certain foods (especially cooked foods) are given, but all the reasons to just starting adding in these other good-for-you foods are given, with the idea being that you just keep adding good foods in and eventually, there won't be room--or possibly even a desire--for those other things. It's nice and gentle. No sense of "failing" if you can't meet some standard.

Are you reading a health/food book right now that you're loving? Share about it!