In a world where we can be frequently judged on our appearance, it can be stressful to live up to what society deems acceptable.

It can be discouraging when you are trying to get on the healthy track and feel pressured that you must exercise every single day, eat perfectly and never indulge in anything you truly enjoy.

Let’s keep it real, we only live once, and life is meant to be enjoyed!

On the other hand, since we only live once, we do need to make our health a priority. As I said before, life is meant to be enjoyed but that can be difficult if the quality of our life is diminished by our daily habits.

Trying to transition to a healthier lifestyle can be difficult especially if you try to do it all at once. Couple that with any other life stressors you may have going on and you are bound to get frustrated and revert to old habits.

One thing I want to stress is that you should strive for progress and not perfection. Becoming healthier is not something that just happens overnight, it is a journey that requires consistency, persistence and discipline. When you see someone on Facebook and Instagram, and they seem to have their health game on lock just know that their transition has taken time and they were consistent.

You will not be perfect every day and guess what, that is okay!

It has taken several years for myself to get to the point where I make healthy decisions most of the time. But I also know when I want something like hot wings or a margarita, I don’t deprive myself.

I would like to share with you a few ways that can help keep you on track:

Write Down Your Goals

Write down your health goals using the SMART technique (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timeline). Writing your goals and placing them somewhere that is visible is a good way to give you a constant reminder of what you want to achieve.

Small Changes Over Time

Making smaller changes will help you stick with those changes versus making too many changes at once and getting overwhelmed.

For example, slowly remove unhealthy items from your diet and replace them with healthier options over time. If you drink soda every day, try moving to every other day then once a week and so on. If you never eat fruits or veggies, make it a goal to have at least one of each every day. A good way to get them in is by making a green smoothie that has both fruits and veggies in it.

Prepare healthy snacks ahead of time and take them to work with you so they are readily on hand when you get hungry. Things like oranges, apples, bananas, peanut butter and nuts are great snacks that can be filling and satisfying between breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Schedule Your Workouts

Create a schedule of when you want to work out and stick to it. Setting a routine will help to make exercise a habit. Be sure to schedule a rest day as it is important to give your body rest to prevent injury.

 Don’t always think that you must exercise for hours to get results. Consistent short workouts throughout the week can help you get to your goals even faster plus they are easier to fit in your schedule. The key is to remain on a consistent schedule to get results.

Working out as a family is also a good way to stay on track while spending quality time with each other. Why not get fit together?! If you have little ones, this will help them see how important exercise really is and it will come natural to them as they get older.

Don’t Have Unhealthy Things Readily Available At Home

Out of sight, out of mind! If you do not keep unhealthy foods readily stocked at home, they are easier to resist. Trust me, if the are there, they will get eaten!

If you do get the urge to have a soda, chips or something sweet, just get a single serving and enjoy it at that moment. If you buy it in large quantities, then you will eat it in large quantities unless you have the discipline not to. But why even create the temptation?

Another tip, that I know have mentioned in a previous blog before is to not go to the grocery store hungry. This is a recipe for disaster, as you will be tempted to buy anything that sounds good at that time simply because you are hungry. This tip can also help you save money at the grocery store!

Don’t Let Yourself Get Too Hungry

This is a big one! When we let ourselves get too hungry, anything available will do and the next person that walks in and offers you a doughnut will be your best friend! Try to eat something every 3 to 4 hours to prevent increased hunger and reduced discipline in your ability to make healthy selections.

So folks, just remember that being healthier is not a one size fit all thing. Each of us has our areas that we would like to improve and each of our journeys will be different.

Just focus on being consistent and not perfect; with consistency comes results. Always do what is best for you and try not to compare your journey to anyone else’s.

I am personally happy with being perfectly imperfect!  

Find Health in Every Day!

Dr. Lindsay