Saturday, February 22, 2014

Countdown to Confidence: 9 Ways to Take Good Care of Your Body

Miami 2 Ibiza ♕
Image Credit: Teenage Crime
Hi there! I was never that girl who was super into healthy eating, working out, and simply being good to my body… until now. I didn’t grow up in a household that promoted that very much. It wasn’t a big thing for my parents because growing up, getting enough food to eat was already an accomplishment, so that didn’t leave much room for being picky, which is unfortunately the downside of trying to lead a healthier lifestyle – it can get expensive.

I got into working out multiple times last year starting in February, but they were really short bursts of enthusiasm that got interrupted by big life things, making it extremely hard to continue. Just before school started again after my big trip to Vietnam, I made an effort to eat much healthier and work out. I don’t do any sports and only swam and skated growing up, so I wasn’t a very active child. I actually enjoy swimming quite a bit, but never continued with it.

After making that change in my life, I noticed that I became a lot happier and felt a lot better about myself. I know that saying that I “started eating healthier” and “started working out” are probably so vague and not helpful, so allow me to elaborate.

Before I begin, just a little disclaimer: I am in no way an expert and am not trying to say that you have to do this and this to be healthy or trying to be pretentious and say that I’m super healthy because I’m not. I try really hard and these are simply tips I’ve found helpful on my journey.

1. STAY POSITIVE. When you start thinking about all this healthy stuff, it can actually have the opposite effect and make you feel like crap about yourself. Remember to stay positive and when you’re making goals, make them because you love yourself, not because you hate yourself, a little something I learned from Gerry from floral and freckled.

2. Being healthy is important. I’m definitely guilty of saying, “Oh, I’m too busy to work out,” or something along those lines. Of course there are exceptions to this, but you should put working out and all that good stuff at the top or very near the top of your list. Yes, I agree that school is super important as well and I take it really seriously (a little too seriously at times, honestly) but so is being healthy. Yeah. So let’s get into things.

3. Assess your current health. How healthy are you eating? Are you working out? Make a (mental) list of things you need to work on.

4. Hold yourself accountable. While you should write your goals down or acknowledge them and all that, don’t be too hard on yourself. Make this journey to a healthy life a positive one instead of a negative one where you get down on yourself for “messing up” every single time.

5. Start small. Maybe you just can’t run like me. Start out with small goals for yourself like running for ten minutes or so a few times a week. I’ve heard people say you should start with fifteen or twenty or whatever, but if you really can’t run (again, like me), ten minutes straight is bad enough. Slowly increase your load bit by bit.

6. Blogilates is the BEST. I’ve mentioned my love for Cassey numerous times, but she is the best person to get you motivated. Her voice makes you want to keep working out and not want to stop at all. I’d really recommend checking out her videos especially if you’re just starting out.

7. Eliminate (for the most part) junk food. Let’s face it here, junk food is bad for you. I used to love it before, but after eating more wholesome foods for a while, I started to hate it honestly. Or at least, I’ve tricked my body into not liking it for seven months. Substitute things like chips with fruit or hummus, etc. Substitute Nutella for almond butter, things like that.

8. Take your food into your own hands. That means having a hand in grocery shopping to pick out food that is good for you and nutritious as opposed to processed and packaged stuff that has no nutritional value. Also, cook. Yes, I said it, cook. Who knows what restaurants put in their food, so the only way to be super safe is to make the food yourself (or a friend or family member can do it, you get the gist) to be sure of what you put in.

9. Treat yourself! You should always remember to treat yourself and try operating on a YOLO meal-type thing. It’s a term in the Blogilates community that basically means the meal you treat yourself to every week that’s like a reward at the end of the week. It’s always been in the back of my mind to start doing this, so I’ll be starting this with all of you guys next week! If you don’t remember to treat yourself, one day, you might just explode and binge on junk food and completely lose the motivation to keep at it.

Which tip did you find most helpful? Do you have any to add? How important do you think being healthy is? Share your stories below!

Thank you so much for reading!

- J

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