These days it can be a real minefield when it comes to being healthy! We are bombarded by information as to what the best way is to get healthy and happy. Companies convincing us that if we want TRUE health and wellbeing then we must consume their products. The fact is, we are all different and unique and what works for one person probably won’t work for the next. What is healthy to one person can be quite different to what another person perceives to be healthy anyway.
Here is what I know. I used to drink way too much alcohol. I would go as far as saying that I had a dependency on it. It made me feel pretty tired, emotional, overweight, stressed out and lots of negative things. I used to abuse food. So I would eat all the wrong things a lot of the time, emotional eater and often throw up after. Not exactly very healthy! I drank heaps of diet soda and water rarely passed my lips, and don’t talk to me about exercise! I was allergic. So I feel like I know what I am talking about on this subject. I know the contrast. I know how it feels to live and unhealthy life. I also smoked a lot too. All of this left me feeling often depressed. I felt like I was just existing in my life and thought this is “just how it is”.
A few years ago, I changed my life around and I became much healthier in my approach to life and the way I treated myself. The way I live my life now is such a massive contrast and I am so much healthier and HAPPIER as a result. I exercise most days, I regularly meditate, I eat a plant-based diet, I rarely eat sugary products, and I do something nice for myself every single day. I show up to life with a really positive attitude as a result. I very rarely get depressive episodes and if I do, they pass very quickly.
The other thing I like to add here is that I am so connected with my “WHY” that I simply cannot live my life the way I used to. I LOVE the way I feel every single day. I LOVE life. And this is why I am so keen to share my learnings with others. I feel like I have been through this for a reason, in order to help other people who may be experiencing something similar.
People are really motivated to make changes in their lives in January. They feel really motivated to get started and they do some crazy detoxes and join gyms and commit their lives to going 7 days a week. The pattern ( and I was the same) was after 2 weeks it all seemed too hard. I would fall off the wagon and the old services resumed. I think I am not alone too here!
So how exactly did I change and make it permanent? Well, sister, I will tell you my secrets. First of all, I didn’t do everything at once. I didn’t stop drinking, start eating plant-based, stop smoking, start exercising and meditating all at once. If I had, there is NO way I could have sustained it. No, I started with ONE thing. For me, it was exercise. I was sitting in a counselling session with my counsellor, who I respected a great deal. He could see my potential in life. He could see that I could really help myself here. He suggested something that at the time seemed rather absurd. He suggested I start walking. Walking! Really? How was that going to help me? But I trusted him. So I started going for walks with my friend. Small walks and I was really puffed. But immediately I felt the benefits. I really did. And just like Forrest Gump, I kept doing it. Every day we would walk at 6 am for one hour. And I just felt better. I wasn’t thinking of all my other bad habits, I just started to incorporate THIS one. Focussed on this ONE thing.
Then I discovered an exercise called Powerhooping. Using a weighted hoop in a class. I smiled from ear to ear that first class. AT LAST, I had finally found a FUN way to move. So exercise became something I really looked forward to. I loved walking with my friend because it made me feel good but I also loved chatting away with her. Then the Powerhoop just made my body feel great. It made my mind feel good too.
The exercise was the start of my transformation. Over time, I would start to think about my eating, drinking and smoking… BUT I had to nail the first thing first. I am so connected now to moving that I know my mental health depends on it. So it is now part of my DNA. When we introduce new good habits into our lives, well it kind of feels like we want to do more to improve our lives. It is a bit like a drug. You just want to keep getting better and better.
My message in this blog is to go and find something you LOVE to do to move your body. If you are already exercising and this is a habit already, then look at another thing you can slowly introduce into your life, like meditation, or having more me time. But don’t try to introduce too much too soon. The wheels could quickly fall off. Just one thing at a time.
I am addicted to feeling good. I have changed all my bad habits into life-enhancing ones and I know that you can too.