Brace yourself – I’m about to use a four-letter word that may offend some of you. For the faint of heart, please hold on to your chair. Are you ready? ….. DIET. OK, I said it.
Most people think Diet means limiting what you eat to lose weight, but that's not its primary definition. Your diet is the sum total of everything you eat and drink. Being smart about your diet is the SAME as being smart about your health. DIET is the first component for Stayin’ Alive.
A healthy diet is all about lifestyle. It means you're making sensible choices about what you consume. It doesn't mean you have to be restrictive or obsessive. You can follow the 80/20 rule: making smart choices the majority of the time and loosening up the reins the other 20 percent. It’s possible to eat well and enjoy yourself at the same time.
I bet you already know what the second component of Stayin’ Alive is. YES, it’s EXERCISE. Physical activity is essential for maintaining good health and long-term independence. To make physical activity a routine habit, choose activities that are fun and interesting to you. If you can stick with an exercise routine for at least 6 months, it’s a good sign that you’re on your way to making it a regular habit. Choose activities that fit into your schedule, that are affordable and that include friends or family. Keep it positive; Set realistic goals; Check your progress; Celebrate your accomplishments.
What can you expect to see from this kind of lifestyle? Greater ease in doing daily tasks, more energy to do the things you love, improved health and a better outlook on life.
How do you get started? There is a WEALTH of information online; Clearly, it is on everyone’s mind. You are not alone. There are free diet and exercise tracking apps. My favorite is myfitnesspal.com – it even syncs with my fitbit pedometer. There are also many free nutrition e-newsletters. I regularly read the NutritionAction Health Letter from the Center for Science in the Public Interest. There are plenty of support groups and healthy diet and lifestyle blogs out there for inspiration and information. As the official Red Hat Society Fabulous Fitness Facilitator, my online chapter is one big support group. We motivate and encourage each other to stay active. In June 2015, several of my Red Hat ladies joined me in a 30-Day Plank Challenge – to see how long we could hold a front plank. JUST picture 60 and 70 year olds ladies on their forearms doing planks!! It was a hoot!!
Here is Your challenge: Over the next three days, think about ONE lifestyle change you want to make – perhaps it’s ditching diet soda, doing 10 pushups/10 squats/20 jumping jacks before breakfast, eating leafy green vegetables every day, or walking 10,000 steps a day … whatever suits YOU. Write it down. Post it on your bathroom mirror so you will see it often.
You are about to embark on mission that is going to take you out of your comfort zone. BUT, as a Hatter, you already know how to step up to the plate. It’s how we grow and develop confidence. It takes EFFORT + DIRECTION to achieve MASTERY. In six months, you’ll have established a new lifestyle habit. Then it will be time to make another change. I can just hear you saying,
“Hello Healthy ... I am Stayin’ Alive!!”
Compliments of Queen Sunny, Florida
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