New Year New You?!
Here we are again at the beginning of a new year. Many of us neglect to make a doable New Year’s resolution. Some of us have made the same resolution to lose weight for years. This year, I have made the resolution to make a lifestyle change. I have made the choice to make a lifestyle change versus just to lose the 5 or 10 pounds. I have done this knowing that a lifestyle change will not only help me lose weight but to improve my health overall. So how do you take that resolution of losing weight and change it into a change of lifestyle?
Purpose for lifestyle change
First you need to identify what your purpose is for the lifestyle change. We all will have different reasons that drive us. Some of us want to have that “beach body” for our spring vacation. Others of us want to be healthy to enjoy playing with our children or grandchildren. In my case, I want to improve my health to help with the arthritis and to play with my grandchild. Whatever your reason is for changing your lifestyle, it should be personal.
Before starting any big lifestyle changes or as some of you may say “diet”, it is important that you consult with your physician, dietitian, nutritionist or physical therapist. These individuals can help you put together a plan that will not only help you with your lifestyle change, but help you find way to be successful.
Just as we are all unique, the lifestyle plan that we choose should be just as unique as we are. Remember the most successful lifestyle change is one that works for YOU!
Second, before you being any lifestyle change it is important to start a journal. Did you know that there is an app for that? Many apps can help you track what you eat, drink, exercise and how you’re feeling. Some of the apps have a watch or pedometer that can measure your steps, laps or other exercise. They work in the same format just as you would in an journal book. Before starting the lifestyle change either with an app or in a journal book know what is your purpose for the change. It is important to make time for recording the information in the app or in a journal. The information that you are tracking can give you information into what you are doing that is good and what you need to change to improve your health. This information is important to share with your health care provider to help make the changes in your lifestyle.
Finally, many of us think that when we walk or do extraneous activities at work that we are doing is a form of exercise. In reality, our bodies get used to the work that we do regularly, so in order to achieve a lifestyle change, additional exercise may need to be incorporated. After a few weeks, you may find that additional exercise will help reduce stress levels.
Everyone can adopt a healthier lifestyle. Let your friends and family know what you are doing, and ask for their support. Long-term success is more likely with supportive family and friends who encourage healthy eating, regular exercise and stress-reduction activities. They may even join you!