16 April 2013

A little more, a little less: Round 2

Much to my surprise and delight, my post talking about doing just a little more or a little less has been viewed often. So often, in fact, that it's looked at almost daily by someone around the world and overall has twice as many views and my next most frequented post!

First of all, I'm amazed that people actually look at the little blog site I've got going here! Thank you for stopping by, seeing what I have to say and making me feel like I know what I'm talking about :) Please feel free to leave a comment at any time or email me using the link on the right side.

Second, I love that this is the most popular post because it really encompasses what this blog is all about. The whole idea of Healthy Living for Real Life is that "being healthy" needs to assimilated into your lifestyle and your habits to be sustainable and that, even though its hard, it's totally worth it (and delicious to boot!). Crash diets don't work long term because you're subjecting yourself to unrealistic and unsustainable conditions. When you educate yourself and learn to start making better, conscious decisions, you really move along on your journey to healthy living. The popularity of one this post further justifies that this thinking has real merit (and that I'm not totally crazy, despite my husband's claims ;) ) and that other people out there are trying to make these small choices every day in their lives, just like I am.

So here are some more ideas for you. Remember, every little thing counts, good or bad. Try to increase your "good"s and decrease your "bad"s a little each day and your new healthy habits will fall into place.

A little more...
  • If you live within a mile from whatever store you're going to and the weather is nice, consider walking or biking there instead of driving. It'll be good for you and good for the environment and you won't have to worry about finding a parking spot. Plus, you'll build up some muscles lugging your purchases home.
  • Try a new vegetable. My sister, who avoided most all vegetables growing up, has declared each of the last few years as the "year of the ____" to force herself to at least be open to trying veggies more often. I think last year was asparagus. This year is the mushroom. A lot of times, childhood associations keep us from eating things that we think we don't like, or that we decided not to like as a child. Try them again and you might be surprised how much you like it now that your palate has changed and matured. This warmer weather is the perfect time to throw some veggies on the grill!
  • Read a book or watch a documentary to educate yourself about healthy living or personal growth. I have Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, and Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way on my to-read book list, as recommended by some of my favorite bloggers and their viewers.
  • Choose to words carefully. Choose to say "I don't [action you want to avoid]" rather than "I can't [action you want to avoid]". This simple change in syntax turns that thing you want to avoid into a choice rather than a limitation and you're more likely to stick with it! This article has the methods behind the study on this and it's fascinating!
  • Find someone with similar goals and join forces! Or, ask a friend/family member/priest/co-worker/anyone to hold you accountable. You could email/text them daily or weekly with what you have done and not done, ask them to check in with you regularly or even make some sort of penalty if you don't follow through what you've set up to do, like pay $50 every time you miss a workout! This article is really long but has some good points on realizing that willpower is a finite resource and how to help yourself use it better.
A little less...
  • Give yourself permission to stop worrying about things you can't change. By releasing your worries and anxieties, you make room in your life to think about things that really matter and put your energy into them instead.
  • Don't be afraid to say "no" if you are feeling overwhelmed by everything you have committed too. You're better off giving your full time and energy to a few things you really care about rather than a small amount of yourself to many different things. 
  • Use the off button. If you're like me and can't seem to find even 10 minutes of the ever elusive "free time", try to turn off those electronics that are your go to time wasters, like facebook, pinterest, video games, angry bird, etc. Try keeping them powered down and see if you find you actually have more time than you thought you did. The added bonus of not using electronic devices near bedtime is that your body will be more likely to drift off to sleep sooner. The light and stimulation from the electronics disrupts this normal process.
And lastly, in keeping with the adorable animal theme of the original post :)


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