Have you been wanting to lose weight? Maybe you need to gain weight? Are you concerned about your health? Do you have a pretty good idea what to do, but you’re having trouble getting started? Or, do you get started just fine, but can’t stick with it?
Maybe you’re skipping the first step.
The first step – and it’s a doozie – is to commit.
Yes, a nutritionist can teach you about nutrition, a trainer can tell you what exercises to do, a doctor can tell you how much you should sleep and hydrate, etc., but those are really the details about “how” to get healthy and that is secondary to making it personal so that you’ll stick with it for life. You need to make a rock-solid commitment to yourself, a hard and fast pact to live a healthy lifestyle so you can be healthy, strong, and the very best you can be for the rest of your life.
Committing to a healthy lifestyle means you’re in it for the long haul; you’re choosing good nutrition for life, not a temporary quick fix diet; you’re choosing to improve your level of fitness; you’re willing to take the good with the bad and you’re going to stick with it even when “life gets in the way”. It’s different than wanting it or wishing for it. Committing means you’re willing to do the work and you accept that no one else can do it for you.
Here are some tips to help you take that first step and then stay committed to yourself and your healthy lifestyle:
Be grateful for your body and all that it does for you.
No matter how much you weigh, your current level of strength, your current aches and pains, etc, embrace your body with gratitude for all it does for you every day. When you value your body it helps you value your health and valuing your health means you’re more likely to stay committed and make healthy choices now and in the future.
Treat yourself like the treasure you are.
You’re one of a kind. No one else is like you in this world and you’re meant to do more than “get by” or just “survive”. Believe you’re a one-of-a-kind, exquisite creation and treat yourself like the treasure you are by committing to take care of yourself in the best way you possibly can.
Love yourself; love your body.
One of the most iconic images of Michelangelo’s painting of the Sistine Chapel is the “Creation of Man”. If you’ve been to church or Sunday school, you’ve heard that we are created in God’s image. That’s truly awesome and humbling. The human body is amazing. Stop and consider for one minute all that you do every day without even thinking about it – how you move, think, breathe, create, decide, etc. Don’t take your body or your health for granted.
Make your health a priority.
You’ll always have obligations that require your time and focus – spouse, kids, job, family, etc. That’s a given, and it’s a good thing! Don’t use those obligations as an excuse for not taking care of yourself. Stay committed to a healthy lifestyle and put yourself on your priority list.
Stop and be silent.
Connect with yourself and your thoughts whenever you can throughout the day – no radio, phone, television, computer. Try meditating by focusing on nothing but your breath, even for 5 minutes a day. Don’t have 5 minutes? Make it 3 minutes. Seriously. Shut your brain off and be silent. It may be hard at first but it gets easier. Quieting your mind is a great way to keep focused and balanced.
Accept yourself as you are today.
We get older, we age, we may have days when we feel like our bodies are falling apart and it’s tempting to feel discouraged about graying hair, wrinkles, middle-age spread, and saggy skin. A wise person once said, “Do not regret growing older. It’s a privilege denied to many.” Celebrate every day and do what you can to stay healthy, strong, and vibrant. The best anti-aging strategy is a healthy lifestyle. Stay committed.
Happiness and health start with you. No one can do it for you. It would be great if we could have some one else to do the work, figure it out, and fix it for us. Maybe a temporary fix is possible, but for long-lasting results, it has to be a lifestyle. And the first step is committing to it. You’re totally worth it. Now, just do it.