Starting in November of last year, I committed myself to making positive, healthy changes in my life and sticking to them. I had tried to change my eating, sleeping, and living habits before and had always failed to maintain them for longer than a week, but something was different this time. I wasn't motivated to make this change for a better body, longer hair, clearer skin, or any of the other reasons people start (and promptly end) diets. I was doing this for my health. I wanted to feel better. I wanted to do better. I wanted to be better. And I knew that starting at the most basic levels of my existence was a great way to make those goals a reality. So, I stopped eating food that was bad for me. I stopped drinking things that were bad for me. I started consciously taking trips to the grocery store to learn about my food — where it comes from, what it does for my body, and how these things I'm eating are connected to how I feel. And it unlocked a whole new world for me.
Food has always, always been a great pleasure in my life, and I've been lucky to have a mostly uncomplicated relationship with it. However, I didn't know anything about nutrition. I ate to taste, not to live. And now that I know the difference, I don't know how I would ever go back. That's the thing about making healthy changes for the right reasons, they don't (often) feel like work, they just feel good. Sure, there have been many times where I was desperate for a cheeseburger or seriously craving Dr. Pepper, and sometimes I gave in because this isn't a diet. It's me being mindful with no punishment or guilt involved.
But that doesn't mean there haven't been a few trials. Exercise has never been my strong point, and it took me a while to figure out how to find the fun in it. I dreaded having to run or doing repetitive workouts. So I started looking for things that I would enjoy instead of hate. Because of this, I've found new activities that I love, and they just so happen to be good for my body. Adding these multiple, small changes to my daily life has had a huge impact on how I feel. Listening to what my body needs and respecting myself in the process has made this wholly beneficial to me.
I really wanted to start appreciating this home I've been given, so taking the time to feed it the things it needs and exercising to keep it in mint condition is the least I can do. I've always tried to work on my brain. I've kept it well nourished and working hard for as long as I can remember. But now that my body is in line with my brain, I've never felt more ready to tackle everything I want to accomplish. You don't need a fancy diet to get healthy, and you definitely don't need to follow the advice of people who don't respect you or your body. Instead, take a chance on yourself and follow steps that you know are going to work for you. Try new things, get creative and change the way you look at diet and exercise.