If you are like most, you think that getting health means you have to focus on losing weight. This is not true! You can be skinny (whatever that means to you) and still be unhealthy. When losing weight is the focus of being healthy, it leads to confusion and frustration. When we see people on social media showing their 30 pound weight-loss or their before and after pictures, instead of motivating most, it results in frustration and causes people to give-up.
I am going to debunk the myths of what getting healthy means. I will also give you solutions, tips and tricks on how to get healthy. Let's get started!
Myth #1: You must lose weight to be healthy.
Losing weight is a side-effect of getting healthy but it is not the goal. If all you are trying to do is to lose weight, then you are not trying to be healthy. Losing weight is a short-term goal that may or may not be achievable. It can lead to using products or buying into fad diets that aren't good for your body.
The solution to changing the "I must diet" mindset is to simply get moving. What does get moving mean? Doing something physical for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. This doesn't have to be a fancy gym or exercise class (unless you want to try it of course). It can be taking a brisk walk outside or riding a bike. It can mean participating in a free YouTube exercise class. It can be buying workout DVDs to follow. It doesn't have to be crazy hard workouts either. As long as you get your body moving and your blood flowing, you are getting healthy.
Your body wants to move. It was never meant to be sedentary for 8 or more hours a day. If you have a long commute and a long workday like I do, see if your employer will invest in a standing desk. Alternating standing with sitting is another way to keep your muscles active. If you don't get moving, you will lose muscle strength and tone, which will eventually lead to not being healthy.
Myth #2: You have to stop eating indulgent food.
How many times have you restricted yourself from indulgent food only to binge and then feel so frustrated you stop working on being healthy? Indulgences have to be part of the routine. There are smart ways to indulge but this requires time, patience, trying new things and changing your mind-set on what an indulgence means.
Popcorn is a great indulgence because it is low in calories and can be topped with any flavor craving from salty to sweet to spicy. The key is to limit how much you eat and buy organic. Instead of making a large bag of microwave popcorn, buy the single serve. Another option is to buy bagged popcorn, such as Skinny Pop. You can also make popcorn "old school" style by air-popping and adding toppings.
Did you know chocolate can be good for you? But it has to be dark chocolate with at least 65% cacao in it. Why? Cacao powder is full of antioxidants and flavoniods that can support a healthy body. There are so many different products to try! Such as:
Green & Black's Organic Dark Chocolate
NibMor Organic Dark Chocolate with Blueberries
Smart Bark Crispy Quinoa Dark Chocolate
Now there will be family gatherings and holidays where you cannot control what you are being served. Life happens! All you need to do is to mentally prepare and not be upset with yourself. After all, you are making memories when celebrating or enjoying family time. It just means you go back to your healthy routine as soon as you can. And who knows? As you tell family members about your new lifestyle, you may just inspire others to try something new.
Myth #3: Eating organic is expensive.
Let's put this in perspective:
Chemotherapy costs $30,000 for an 8 week treatment.
A heart attack can cost $18,000 for a hospital stay - this does not include the cost of any surgery as a result of the heart attack.
Diabetes costs $16,700 per year.
So you would rather buy conventionally grown food that contains pesticides and lack nutrients, which interrupt our natural body processes and result in medical bills later in life. I have this struggle in my family as well. What I realized as I buy more organic products, is that I am making an investment in my health to avoid illness and disease. Also, I feel so much better eating organic food! Even my significant other is blown away from the taste of organic food. It is so much better than conventionally grown food!
Accessibility to organic food is getting better and better. My local grocery store has invested in a no-name brand that is USDA certified organic. This keeps costs low for my monthly grocery bill. Also, I will shop at Whole Foods but I am a savvy shopper! I look for weekly sales and I know my prices. Amazon is another great outlet for organic foods. Finally, look for local natural food stores. They can supply great products and may also send out coupons via email lists or mailed circulars.
Myth #4: I can't beat my family history.
I used to think this as well. My family has cancer and heart disease as the top two "heredity" diseases. But what is so interesting, is that while you have a genetic make-up from your parents and family history, there are other factors that can lead to having a disease. It may simply be family habits that result in having the same diseases. We learn how to live by how we are taught. It can be hard to unlearn what we've been taught. We may not even know how to start!
If you want to avoid any illness or disease, it comes down to helping your body be as healthy as it can be. This means moving your body, eating organic and taking vitamins. Your body is amazing! It wants to be healthy no matter what we do to it. It will fight for you as long as it can, until it can fight no more and it succumbs to illness and disease.
Why vitamins? If you've made the decision to eat organic food, which is nutrient dense, we cannot get the enough of the nutrients we need from food alone. Vitamins must be used to support a healthy body. The key vitamins are:
Omega-3 (could be fish oil or flaxseed oil)
There may be others depending on your situation. The above can provide basic support to your body at a cellular level. When your cells are healthy, you are healthy. Working with a holistic nutritionist is the best way to figure out what supplements you need for your stage of life.
I hope I helped to dispel the myths of what getting healthy means. While this may seem overwhelming, it only takes 21 days to create a habit (good or bad). So if you start slowly, you will find that this will become a lifestyle. Eventually, you will feel so good you won't even miss your previous lifestyle.
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