So it’s a new year . . . . . are you wanting a new you? Well that can be a good thing, to make changes in yourself, and that can also be overwhelming. If you’re anything like me and most other people, you tend to see ALL your faults and flaws and want them to all be gone! Well, the number one New Year’s resolution is to lose weight and for years that was my focus too. What started out as a quest for thinness in my teens led me to many unhealthy choices and behaviors (more on this later). I know so much more now because God took what was bad about all that and turned it into a healthy mindset for me so that I actually work as a fitness professional now. This hasn’t happened overnight or even in a few weeks or months. It has been years but God is good and has a plan in mind for each of us. When I realized God was for me and not against me, I got serious about learning what He has to say. Thus, changes in the way I think started to make changes in the way I behaved.
Here is where we need to talk about choices and behaviors. We all have choices to make, everyday, and that can be overwhelming too, but we still need to acknowledge that we make them. Choices about what we eat and if we exercise are available to all of us regardless of our circumstances. No one really forces us to eat unhealthy or to stay on the couch. We do that. And when we come to terms with the fact that we have a choice, the ability to make changes begins.
So getting started on the journey to a healthier you, whether that looks like losing weight, lowering your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, or just wanting to have more energy and feel good, will depend on you making the choice to be responsible for your choices.
With that being said, there are a few simple (not easy) changes that can be made in your daily habits that will make a difference in all the previously mentioned conditions.
First, drink enough water.
Most Americans live in a state of dehydration. When you feel thirsty, your body is already dehydrated. Brain fog, fatigue, constipation, headache, light headedness, and muscle cramps are some symptoms of needing to drink water. Not soda, tea, coffee, etc.
Even if you already drink water, you are probably not getting all you need. Most women need 70 ounces per day and most men need 90 ounces per day. I thought I drank enough water but when I actually measured, I came up short. A helpful way to get more water is to start off drinking some first thing in the morning, especially if you are a coffee drinker as caffeine is a natural diuretic and will cause water loss. Also carrying a water bottle with you (ALL the time) that can be refilled will help you remember to choose water more often.
Second is eating breakfast.
Read that word again: ‘break-fast’. When we get up in the morning, we presumably have had nothing to eat for 6-8+ hours. We are breaking the fast our bodies have been on through the night. This is really when your metabolism starts for the day, when you eat. Eating raises your metabolism. Your body uses energy to digest and assimilate nutrients from food . . . odd that we skip meals and skimp on the very thing that our bodies need to be active and then wonder why we don’t lose weight and have no energy.
That’s all for now. Next time we’ll talk about what to eat for that fast breaking!