How can you give yourself a little bit of a break this week and take it easy on yourself?
Have you noticed that “Getting Healthy” means “cracking the whip”, “getting it together”, “working harder”, “never giving up”, the list goes on and on? I’m not a big fan of these motivation techniques when it comes to making healthy changes and choices. Why does it have to be so serious? Can’t getting healthier be fun, enjoyable, and dare I say….easy?
Let’s talk about this for a minute. Do you typically stick to things that you genuinely enjoy, that come easy to you, and that are fun? I definitely do. It’s hard to make something a habit if it’s not something you’re enjoying. So, I’d like to take the seriousness out of getting fit, healthy, losing 10 pounds, what have you. And put the FUN and EASE back into it.
Let’s make our lives a little less serious and give ourselves more room for play. We can do this pretty simply by giving ourselves a much needed break. We don’t have to juice all of our vegetables and do a hardcore 7-day cleanse in order to get healthy. We can make it a little easier on ourselves and enjoy a simply made salad instead. We can have a dinner party for a few friends and serve a healthy dinner to make the process more enjoyable. Think about how much fun it would be to invite some friends over for a potluck and ask each person to bring a healthy dish to share? You could even turn it into a recipe swap! You’re all getting healthy while enjoying yourselves and in great company. And there’s nothing saying you can’t serve those delicious dishes with a side of wine!
The foods you choose to eat don’t have to be overly complicated either. One of my favorite and FAST go-to breakfasts or snacks is toast with smashed avocado. It takes all of 5 minutes to make and is healthy, filling, and so tasty! It doesn’t have to be complicated with ingredients that cost a month’s rent.
Don’t get me wrong – I totally understand that sometimes in life we can’t always do things we enjoy. Sometimes going to the gym for thirty minutes or an hour is just something we have to dig deep and do because we know that when we’re done we’ll be glad we did it. But does it have to be a workout that we don’t enjoy doing? Does it have to be something that is so hard to do that we can’t make it through the warm up? I don’t believe it does. I don’t think that sounds like all that much fun – doing so many burpees that you feel faint. Nor does it sound healthy. Part of living a healthy life is having balance in your life. There’s an ebb and flow between times of exerted effort and times of relaxation. Sometimes it’s a blast to have a pushup contest with a friend or push to beat your last running time. But I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about the folks out there that are doing it all just in the name of getting healthy and not for the enjoyment of taking care of themselves. The one’s that do it and get injured because they’re not taking rest days. In the words of Frankie, I say RELAX.
I recently had a conversation with a client of mine, let’s call her Sara, where she said that she needed to work out more. Maybe this was true. Sara wasn’t as active as she would like to be. It’s what brought her to come and start working with me. So, I suggested she start tracking her workouts in between our sessions, but I told her to include “non-traditional workouts” such as going for walks. What we found out is that she was actually A LOT more active than she thought. The truth was she had the idea in her mind that her activities had to be hardcore workout, sweat sessions. And she wasn’t giving herself credit where credit was due. Sara was actually a very active person, but still she wanted more sweaty workouts in her life to feel more balanced. I get that. I like it too. I try to keep a healthy lifestyle in my day to day activity, but also enjoy really sweating it out. I told her the workout doesn’t have to be a pain in the ass for it to be a workout. I consider walking my dog for 30 minutes workout time. Some might not agree with me, but I’m active, off the couch, and enjoying myself. To me, that meets all the workout requirements. And I do that almost daily. I might not hit the gym for an hour everyday, but when I do, I do workouts I enjoy. And now Sara does as well. Give yourself a break. It doesn’t have to be so serious.
It can be…dare I say… Easy.