dont just diet, change your life

i know it is unusual to write 2 entries in one day, but i had a request for this "info" and thought a blog entry would be most effective way to get the info out there to everyone.
this is going to be "short and sweet" - if you would like more info just let me know via comment/email :o)

changing your life - get and stay mentally & physically healthy
dont just diet, make life long changes for your physical and mental health

a few notes i think are crucial to your (lifestyle change) success:
- dont judge yourself, and work on not judging others
(our judgments of others generally stem from our self judgments)
- dont compare yourself to others
(no two humans are the same... well minus identical twins, but even they have differences)
- not everyone will enjoy the same exercises or foods; find what works for you
- ask your doctor for help/supervision, especially if you have health problems
- find a (work out) buddy and/or support system to help you stick with your goals
- use any and all resouces/apps out there that could help you with your (lifestyle change) success

shopping, cooking, eating ~
to start do NOT go out and buy low fat, low cal, and processed diet foods.
with this change in lifestyle comes a change in eating habits.
stop buying and drinking sodas, juices, drink mixes - stick with water and/or fresh brewed (iced) unsweetened tea. use lemon, lime, and other citruses and fresh fruits for flavor.
buy fresh ingredients as much as possible (yes there are things and times when this is not possible).
and last but not least remember: half your daily intake should be fruits and veggies, the other half should be split between (1/4) protein, and (1/4) healthy grains.
side note: many people eat half their days worth of food/calories in carbs and wonder why they cannot loose any weight or gain any ground - drop that bag of chips/bowl crackers and grab yourself some veggies and/or fruit! oh and dont use a cup of dressing, especially dressings like ranch. stick to the suggested serving size or less. on average there is about 130 calories in 2 tbsp of ranch dressing - that's a lot!
learn to love cooking and the prep - it is therapeutic and most of all, food that is made with love tastes so much better then the meal that has no emotion.
and last, but certainly not least - calorie intake, snacks and meals
talk to a medical professional about what your calorie intake should be based on your goals and needs.
for myself the goal was to loose 1 pound a week. to do this i needed a calorie intake of 1200 calories a day. if i exercised i had to replace calories so i did not land up below the 1200 calorie point (you do not want to consume too many OR too little calories - there are repercussions either way).
when discussing the topic of snacks and meals through studies (and via personal experience) we know that the most effective way to eat through out a day is to have 3 smaller meals, and 2 to 3 snacks. by eating this way we keep a more even blood sugar level throughout the day which helps our metabolism among other "things".
for myself i need to eat every couple hours or i land up with physical and mental "symptoms" of low blood sugar.

next things is working exercise into your daily routine.
no matter whether you are trying to loose weight or not, EVERYONE should get approx 30 mins of exercise/physical activity a day. this helps heart health, cholesterol, diabetes, etc, and improves mental health. we all need our 30 mins a day ;o)
there are many things you can do for physical activity - even doing your house cleaning and grocery shopping count (especially for those who are sedentary or limited mobility). for me, due to my mental health when i first started my life style changes, these were the types of activities i counted as my daily exercise. now i go for hikes up mountains, can interval run up to 3 miles, practice yoga, and do atleast 30 mins of exercise atleast 5 days a week. where i once dreaded physical activity (i also have fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, among other physical conditions that make physical activity painful and extremely exhausting), i now look forward to the act and the feeling afterward. i notice on days where i dont have time or decide to skip my mood is not as "up". i truly believe everyone can find physical activities they enjoy and learn to love. our bodies and minds crave the challenge and exertion. nevermind the pride and confidence you build from the life long process.
so get out there and change your life baby step by baby step - building your confidence and strength along the way and in turn learning to love yourself.

truly hope this helped someone out there - i know i needed all the help i could get while starting and working through my initial lifestyle change.
until next time folks,
live, laugh, love!

a couple of pics i meant to put in here earlier, but forgot ;o) doh ;o)

like any change, it may not be easy but man oh man is it so very worth the effort you will put in!

don't feel like leaving the house to work out? this is perfect to do at home :o)

you always have a choice - make the choice to change your life forever!


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