So it’s February and the first month of the New Year is over where most people’s New Year’s Resolutions have dissipated into thin air and we are back to doing what we always do-always done and around and around we go again. Am I right?  We struggle with starting a new lifestyle that is healthier because we have to stop doing the same routine we have had all of our lives.  We are creatures of habit and no matter if it is a good or a bad one—they are not easy to change or adjust-it’s just science. But can we blame that? No. Can we continually excuse our unhealthy ways saying it’s just “human nature” and well, we just can’t help it?  I call BS to that.  So to “be” the same person or “not to be” is the question isn’t it?  Shakespeare isn’t the only one with issues-we all have them.

This month I wasn’t sure what to talk about. I only have 1000 words to inspire you and hopefully steer you in the right direction.  It is not impossible my darlings but I must be assertive and to the point!  So I reached out to my friends on Facebook asking them what they need help with.  What do they struggle with the most?  Many are in a stagnant state where they just can’t get started, and others that are doing the right things but are concerned about staying on track.  Today I want to focus on the folks that have gotten their feet wet but are having trouble continuing to swim. People who have begun transforming their life but are struggling with the unceasing journey of the lifestyle change.  Which I will stress again this is not a diet, it is a lifestyle change.

What I mean by lifestyle change is you need to incorporate healthy eating and continuous exercise in your life. I have already said to never fall into the   “never eat carbs again” or for a “30 day challenge” I will not eat sugar because after you fail or after the thirty days end, you need to add carbs and sugars back into your life.  You have not learned moderation but only eliminating a major ingredient in everything we consume.

We need learn how to eat right and learn how to make “being physically active” not a chore but one more thing on your daily list that must be done to survive.  So going back to the Facebook question that came up the most, it was- “How do I keep up with my workouts and eating right with everything going on in my life”  I.e. kids, activities, work, sleep, church, PTA, chores, making dinners, making lunches, sports, grocery shopping and the list goes on and on and on.  It’s really overwhelming! So I’m going to give you a way to start. I’m going to tell you things my husband and I do that works for us. Mind you; we don’t have kids, just two dogs but no matter what-we all feel like there is never enough time.  Let’s start with some basic starter steps!!

1.) Get a workout buddy.  This could be your partner, a parent or a friend. Before I met my husband I would typically work out solo but then my mother wanted to get in better shape and we became work out buddies. We both had Planet Fitness memberships and we did things together.  Having a workout buddy is great!  Some days I don’t feel like going to the gym and my husband says “it’s only 30 minutes, we can do this”. Or if he is feeling lazy I tell him how much better we will feel after we go. So if you can get a work out partner-I strongly recommend it!

2.)Get a Calendar.  My husband and I have a huge dry erase calendar on our wall.  Every day we have something we need to do. We try to stick to a schedule that we workout the same days every week and the other days we are doing chores or just resting or whatever it is we need to do.  For example:  Mondays is Spinning. Every Monday we do a Spin Class at 7:30pm. Tuesday is a regular gym day.  Wednesdays is Laundry and Dusting.  Thursday is a free day that we can do a gym workout we may have missed earlier in the week or if we can out to dinner. Friday is again another regular gym day and then we order Pizza. Woohooo!!  This is what we go by. Everyone is different and has other priorities, but by sitting down and putting a schedule together every week you will plan out your days and you will become more organized. Not just with exercising but chores or anything in your life.

3.) Learn more about food.  Working out is only a part of this process. What you eat is even more important than how many workouts you get in during the week.  If you don’t know how to eat clean-you need to learn. I decided about a year ago to clear out my cupboards of sugar free, fat free, reduced fat items.  They are filled with chemicals your body cannot process and it becomes stored in the body and not to mention we know this crap we ingest is inevitably hurting us.  Also if you look at a reduced fat item-the sugars are higher.

If you look at a sugar free product-the fat grams go up.  Check it out!  Eating clean non processed foods is a great start and it is so easy. No more boxed meals, instant mashed potatoes.  Cook real potatoes.  Fresh fruits and raw vegetables is where you begin.  The only thing I buy in a can is beans or corn when it’s not in season.  Dried beans I have attempted to make and it’s a lengthy process that personally I choose not to waste my time on. I have read rinsing canned beans and not using the juices are just as healthy as making your own beans.  If you eat good most of the time and exercise frequently, you will be in good shape inside and out.  Not working out every day or completely eliminating carbs or sugar forever.  It’s crazy and impractical and it never works.

Little changes create big results. I know deciding to eat clean is a big step but in the end you will see changes and you will notice how much better you feel and the energy you have. I know this because I did it.  It wasn’t buying crazy expensive products or anything special.  It’s just going back to the basics.  Eating fresh food from nature.

So to end with another Shakespeare quote. “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”

You are the only person that can fulfill the things you want my friends- so just do It!