Happy Saturday everyone! It's my mama's birthday, Happy Birthday Mom!
I have been blogging since June, can you believe it? And can you believe in all this time I've never asked any of my awesome blogging friends to do a guest post?! I just occurred to me the other day and I got really excited about the possibilities. So without further adieu, here's a super inspirational guest post from my good friend Shayna who blogs over at Good Friends, Good Food, Good Times! Thanks Shayna :)
What Will Happen to Your Body Today?
Being a Penn State alumna and fan, the only logical place for me to be on January 26th, 2012 at 2 pm was watching TV (in my case, at Planet Fitness) to see Joe Paterno’s memorial service, and it didn’t disappoint. I gained many new insights from the speeches about Joe’s life and legacy that day, but what has stuck with me the most is this quote:
“Is today going to be better or is it going to be worse? Because it’s not going to be the same”.
I love this. I aspire to think this every morning and to make the decision (then follow through on it) to make the day better! P.S. Yes, that was me crying on the elliptical- luckily, it’s the ‘judgment-free zone’. Phew.
Okay, so I’ve decided to make today better. Now, how is that going to happen? The first step is to allow my body to work optimally so that I can enjoy the experience of the day. My mom is a chiropractor and in her office while I was growing up, she had a bulletin board with little plastic letters which we changed weekly with a new healthy living quote. At some point, the quote stopped changing and for awhile, we just kept this gem up there. It was worthy of its near-permanent status and will stick with me for life:
“If you don’t take care of your body, where are you going to live?” ~Anonymous
Let’s think about this for a second.
So we want our bodies to function at their best in order to enjoy the day, each day, and create the life that we want for ourselves, then spread all kinds of goodness to others around us…right? How do we do all of this?
I’ve been focusing on health in 2012 in a big way- eating better, training for the ODDyssey half marathon (inspired and motivated by Amber, a good friend since 5th grade), and gaining a new awareness about my body- and I plan to make this ‘health kick’ a habit that lasts a long time. I was really honored last week when Amber contacted me asking if I would write a guest post for the blog, and have been thinking about what to write for days. Well, here it is. My words of wisdom?
“Hold yourself accountable for what happens to your body”. ~Me!
Think about the foods you take in, exercise/energy you send out, being proactive (as opposed to reactive) when it comes to your health, considering the words that you say and the things that you do, and even the ways in which you will treat your body/taste buds/muscles as part of your new routine.
I love the concept of accountability when it comes to health. Another quote is actually coming to mind (gotta love good quotes). I was involved with the Jewish organization, Hillel, in college and while at a leadership conference one Summer, this one struck a chord in me:
“If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?” ~Rabbi Hillel
So today (not tomorrow), think about your goals to make each day the best it can be, then figure out just one way in which you can hold yourself accountable for what happens to your body. Once you start measuring and seeing progress, you’ll feel great and you’ll want to keep going. That’s how I started making some good choices for my body and losing 19 pounds between January and March this year. Crazy, right?
The key is that you already know what changes you should make (I did), and in most cases, you already know how to do them. It’s just a matter of kicking your butt into gear, writing goal-reaching activities into your schedule and holding yourself accountable for your body. SO GO FOR IT! You can do it :)
Here are a few ways to mark your progress and hold yourself accountable:
1. Foods you take in- Remember, everything in moderation. Set a goal to cut back, but not necessarily to cut out what you love completely. Log it. If you have an iPhone or another smartphone, you can download an app called MyFitnessPal for free and log your breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, water intake, cardio and strength exercise each day. It’s an accountability tool masked as a calorie counting calculator and it’s been a great one for me. Another way to measure healthy eating habits over time? Hop on a scale- I’d recommend just once a week (try it on a Monday for great over-the-weekend motivation to keep yourself on track)- and log your progress toward your weight goals. When you feel good, see #5 below.
2. Exercise/Energy you send out- MyFitnessPal is good for this too, but I’ve also been keeping a copy of my Training Plan for the ½ marathon taped up on the wall in my room and I’ve been logging progress with each run. I love writing on the plan after a good run and adding up my miles at the end of each week. I also started logging the miles on my new sneakers when I bought them and it’s amazing to watch that number go up. Signing up for a 5k, a run, a walk, a class or another exercise-related event (especially with friends, and ESPECIALLY when a monetary downpayment is involved) is amazing motivation.
Sending energy outward can also include sending good thoughts and wishes to people who are close to you. What kind of energy are you sending out into the universe? My fiance, Kyle, and I have been trying to live with a ‘change your mind, change your life’ mindset. Not happy with something or someone? Change your own mind about the situation, look at it a different way and decide to make it better; it could change your life (or at least your perception of life)! Oh, and after you send out energy (exercise or otherwise), see #5.
3. Being Proactive as opposed to Reactive- Feeling like something’s a little off with your body? Not sure what ‘normal’ should be? Do some research, visit a doctor, get testing done (and ask for copies for your own records) and get to know your body. After all, it’s the only one you’re going to get. Take care of it and if something doesn’t seem right, you know what you should do. Make a list of what needs to be done, then do it. When everything’s checked off, see #5.
4. Consider What You Say and Do (and the information that others send you)- What goes around comes around. Be kind. Be thoughtful. Be respectful. Don’t trash talk other people. Use your good judgment and your heart. Listen. Think. Take in any information that you feel is useful toward your goals. Let go of anything that does not align with your new lifestyle. Find mentors, teachers, heroes and role models of healthy living. Ask questions, observe, imitate in any way that jives with you, and have fun. Yeah, and make sure you see #5!
5. Treat Yourself- Here it is! After all this hard work, allow your body to feel good. Eat dessert, get a massage, play a game, go out with friends, sit around and relax, have fun, get a manicure/pedicure, watch a movie, go for a walk, just enjoy. Don’t forget this step- it’s very important. If needed, plan treats into your schedule because you deserve them.
After all, we all want today to be better than yesterday. So how will you hold yourself accountable for your body today?