My motivation to get healthy last year began when I noticed how achy and OLD my body was feeling. It wasn’t just about losing weight and feeling better about my appearance, though that certainly played a large part in it, it was more about my desire to feel GOOD again. To feel young!
Looking back now, I got my start with the book: You: Staying Young by Dr. Michael Roizen and Dr. Mehmet Oz.
So what’s the secret to Staying Young? The key points that I took away from this book were: Eat right. Stay Active. Get enough sleep.
Yes, of course. We’ve heard it all before.
That’s all well and good, but HOW? How do you make these changes that lead to a happier, healthier life? How do you adapt these concepts into your own life and make them actually stick?
My answer? Find role models. I needed to see how people really did it. I needed different sources of motivation, whether from books, magazines, television, friends and family in my real life or from the internet. Seeing HOW other people implemented healthy life style choices into their lives taught me how to do it too. You watch. You try. You learn. You experiment. You fail. You watch. You try again. You learn. You persist.
When I think about how we learn to do anything, from cooking, cleaning and communicating, to what we eat, how we exercise, play, parent, what we wear, what’s trendy, what’s not; we learn from watching other people. I see how my daughters watch what I do and how they learn from me. I see them mimic my facial expressions, my gestures, my words, my actions, both the good and the not so good.
This doesn’t change as we grow, we continue to learn by observing others. As adults, we are able to discern what’s working for someone and consider how it might work for us. We learn how to surround ourselves with people who have characteristics we want to adopt. We are also able to observe what’s not working for someone and learn how to take steps to avoid negative outcomes. We’re always watching and learning, sometimes intentionally and sometimes unintentionally. We take away what we like, and make the choice to incorporate these new ideas into our own lives. Or not.
When I was losing weight, I was able to find all the motivation I needed from books, magazines and the people in my real life. As a child I watched parents stay active and exercise regularly and believe that’s a large part of the reason exercise has always been easy for me. Watching the numbers go down on the scale and feeling more comfortable in my clothes was incredibly motivating as well. But once I hit Maintenance Mode, I had moments where I felt like I was starting to flounder. I needed new inspiration to stick with it and keep from sliding back into my old habits. Healthy living blogs were my saving grace. Reading about the lives of complete strangers who were willing to share their stories and how they incorporated healthy habits into their own lives showed me how I could do it too and make it a normal part of my life.
I’m eager to share the ideas that have worked for me, because maybe some of the things I’ve learned and do can work for you. I’m always so excited to share the new things I’m trying and reading, and now I want to write about them. Maybe you’ll enjoy reading about the things I’ve enjoyed learning about. At the same time I want to show how I incorporate new ideas, healthy eating and exercise into my every day life, along side my roles as a mother, a wife, a daughter, a friend. I feel that I’ve come a long way, but I’m still learning. I’ve come to realize that if I don’t stay on top of what’s new and don’t continue to educate myself, I lose my way. I too am still watching, still making changes in my life, weeding through what I think will work for me and what won’t. My hope is that the things I find inspiring might inspire you too, and can contribute to positive change toward something we all want; a healthy, balanced life.