Have a More Fulfilling Life Through Getting Healthy
Here’s the honest truth, the road to living a healthy life is different for everyone. For some people, it’s as easy as breathing, but for the rest of us, it takes work. And when I say work, I mean work. No matter where you are right now, you have some place that you want to be.
Whether you want to lose 10, 15, 20, 25, 50, or 100 pounds, you want to lower your cholesterol, you want to break some unhealthy habits, or whatever the case may be, it’s going to take some effort. You’re going to have to work for it. It’s totally, 100% cliche, but also totally, 100% true, “nothing worth having comes easy” and “if it were easy, everyone would do it”.
Importance of Being Healthy
Getting healthy is about more than just eating the right foods and exercising on a regular basis. It’s about more than having big arms or a six pack. It’s about feeling good about yourself when you look in a mirror. It’s about having the energy and motivation to lead the life you’ve always wanted to lead. It’s about accomplishing the goals you set for yourself. It’s about getting a second chance at becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be.
The crazy thing about being healthy is that it affects you in more ways than just your physical health. It affects the way you think, the way you perceive and interact with the world around you, the way you feel about yourself, and how much energy you have throughout your day.
Be Kind to Yourself
First and foremost, you have to be kind to yourself, you have to stay positive on your journey, and you have to be patient. This is a long road and I guarantee that you’ll get to were you want to be if you can stay patient, motivated, and keep making progress day in and day out. If you beat yourself up every time you have a momentary misstep or you fill your head with negativity and self-doubt on your ability to change your life, you will fail. I hate to put it so callously, but it’s the truth. Quitting is the easiest thing you can do and when you bombard your desire for change with missiles of self-doubt, you grind down your defenses until you finally make yourself give up on your goals.
Ignore the Scale
Yes, you read that right. Ignore the scale. Checking that number every day is a phenomenally effective way to stress yourself out of your mind by attaching your self-worth to a number. Yes, dropping pounds is part of getting healthy, but if you put too much emphasis and fixate on hitting a specific number, you’re missing out on all the other areas you’re improving upon. Just because you lost 3 pounds one week instead of 4 doesn’t mean you failed. You still lost 3 pounds! That’s awesome! You’re 3 pounds closer to your goal! Don’t beat yourself up because of that one pound you didn’t lose. At nhs.uk they stress the importance of how you should stop being a slave to the scale and just focus on making progress.
Your goal when you’re first starting out should just be to improve with each passing week. Whether it’s doing an extra minute of cardio or an extra couple of reps when you’re lifting weights, just do more than you did yesterday, last week, or last month.
Cut Out the Stressors
This is one of those tough decisions that was alluded to earlier. There are aspects of our lives which cause us unnecessary stress, be it specific people at work, looking at the scale every morning, a relationship, or something as simple as not having enough free time to do the things you want to do. Stress, as detailed earlier, is unhealthy. This wikihow.life article emphasizes how unnecessary stress even more so because it is by its very definition it’s unnecessary. It is vestigial, pointless, and unwarranted.
Allowing it to remain in your life and affect your mental well-being is the metaphorical equivalent of chaining yourself with one hundred pounds of additional weight and then heaving yourself into the ocean. You’re working harder for no reason.
This isn’t an exercise, but it’s definitely something you should keep in the back of your mind while you’re in this journey. Whenever you’re feeling stressed, take a step back and try to identify what caused you to feel that way. Was it something a person said or did? Is it stemming from something at work? Figuring out the root cause of your stress is the first step in finding out how you can keep it from affecting you. A healthy dose of introspection will go a long way.
Breaking Bad, Unhealthy Habits
It’s not just one thing that causes you to live an unhealthy lifestyle. It’s not like you eat one triple triple cheeseburger and then BLAM! You’re now 75 pounds heavier. It’s a bunch of small decisions and concessions that add up over time and these things turn into habits.
Maybe you pick up dinner from a fast food joint on your way home from work every day. Maybe you drink 5 sodas throughout the day without fail. Maybe you go out to the bars Friday and Saturday night with your friends and end up at a greasy spoon before turning in.
It’s these things that add up over time and are the cause of your problems. Recognizing your bad habits, breaking them, and replacing them with good ones will make your journey to getting healthy immeasurably easier.
Get More Sleep
We all know that not getting enough sleep has an enormous effect on our mood the next day. We’ve all been there at one point or another; pulling an all-nighter in college, having a newborn baby, or just staying up late with your friends. The next day, you’re groggy, irritable, less observant, and more prone to making mistakes.
However, did you know that the effects of losing sleep are more far reaching than just your mood and mental sharpness? There are links to aging, depression, obesity, and a weakened immune system.
Prolonged sleep deprivation can cause a person to develop insomnia which in turn can cause depression. This vicious cycle feeds off itself and people with insomnia are five times as likely to be suffering from, or develop, depression because of their inability to sleep and recharge their batteries.
Whether we want to admit it or not, we’re all vain to some degree and there’s nothing wrong with taking pride in one’s appearance. First impressions are super important and a certain degree of vanity helps you project a professional, responsible appearance to new people you meet throughout the day.
Hydration, Hydration, Hydration
Our bodies are made up of roughly 60% water and how much you have in your system directly affects your cognitive and physical abilities. From cooling through sweat to keeping your cardiovascular system running, water keeps your body going and if you don’t get enough of it, you’ll quickly notice.
The effects of dehydration aren’t just restricted to lack of energy and “cottonmouth”. You’ll start to see a decrease in hand-eye coordination, judgment, emotional state, and decision-making. Your muscles get less blood and oxygen which makes it more difficult for them to flush waste out so you’ll get exhausted quicker. Being dehydrated also robs your body of excess water to sweat out when it heats up from exertion, which puts you at a severe risk of heatstroke and exhaustion, two things you should take very seriously.