6 essential first steps you need to take for realistic, sustainable healthy habits

6 essential first steps you need to take for realistic, sustainable healthy habits

So you're sick of diets? Tired of yo-yo'ing? Tired of feeling like a failure or getting all psyched just to find out that the program your friends have been raving about didn't work for you? What about the other side of it? Have you tried a program or diet that DID actually work? You got stoked, but as soon as you stopped the program, you stopped exercising and you were back to eating junk food? 

UGH - WHY!?! 

Why me? Why again? Why can't I get the hang of this? I'm just always going to be overweight. That's just how I'm built. 

WRONG, WRONG AND WRONG AGAIN! 

You know why you failed? Because the diet told you what to do, but never equipped you with the knowledge to wean yourself off of it and incorporate aspects of that diet into real life. And in real life, we don't starve ourselves for 30 days and we don't refuse every opportunity to go out to eat. Lunch meetings, hello! And date night? Can't cut that out.

You want to lose weight, you want to be healthy and you want to look and feel great - but you don't want to sacrifice your sanity to do it. 

Learning how to create healthy habits that actually work for your lifestyle is CRUCIAL - absolutely vital! How do you do it? By laying the right groundwork, and getting comfortable with taking just one step at a time. Here are the 6 steps you need to take, in order.

5 Reasons it's CRUCIAL to create your own healthy habits

5 Reasons it's CRUCIAL to create your own healthy habits

You know the saying:

"Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for the rest of his life."

I love this saying. For one, it's a reminder to me that I want to learn how to fish instead of being given a fish (because honestly, who wants to rely on someone else for daily food?). 

But what about in other areas of your life? You learned to walk, talk, and read on your own. You've learned how to study, how to drive, how to use a phone. Can you imagine what your life would be like if you had to rely on someone else to communicate for you? If you couldn't go anywhere on your own, if you didn't know how to learn, or study, or check your own email? Or use Google maps? 

Would you feel stuck?

What about healthy lifestyles? Diets and programs are the equivalent of giving you a fish.

I mean if you don't know where to start, diets can at least give you a boost, right? Act as your cleanse? Get you started in the right direction? Drop your first few pounds?

Wrong. They'll just end up making you feel stuck. 

Learning to create healthy habits of your own is like teaching you how to fish. And just like all those other skills you've learned in life, it'll free you, make you less dependent on others and give you what you need to sustain healthy habits over a lifetime - all of which will leave you feeling more confident, capable and probably happier and more productive.

Not convinced yet? Here's 5 SPECIFIC reasons it's absolutely CRUCIAL to learn how to fish, a.k.a. learn how to create your own healthy habits.

Keeping 30 lbs off for 5+ years: My emotional journey

Keeping 30 lbs off for 5+ years: My emotional journey

Before we jump right into today's post, let me preface it with this: we all have different experiences in life. We have ups and downs and each of our ups and downs looks different. There are plenty of you who have gained less weight than I did, but likely felt the same discouragement, frustration and stress that I did. But there are also plenty of you who gained more weight than I did and felt a similar misery, disdain and depression. 

No matter what the details of your particular journey are, I want you to know that you're not alone and you're definitely not stuck. 

In some capacity, we've all experienced that depression and anxiety that comes with not liking how you look or feel. I've been there too. 

If you're looking for added motivation to kick-start healthy changes, join me for free every Friday, where I'm doing a weekly Facebook live series: Real Talk: Motivation for a healthy lifestyle. It's full of tips, questions, answers and just plain real talk about getting motivated to make healthy changes. There are over 400 people currently tuning in, and you should be one of them!

Do I really have to make goals + plans for a healthy lifestyle? Can't I just start?

Do I really have to make goals + plans for a healthy lifestyle? Can't I just start?

Think about your biggest life accomplishment. How did it feel to receive that award? To publish your book? To finalize your project? To purchase your home? To get that little league trophy... :)

Amazing, right? 

But how did you get there? You didn't just wake up one day and say "Today, I'm going to publish a book!"

And if you're saying that's how you wound up making your biggest accomplishment, you're lying. Either that or you don't realize everything that went into achieving your goal. 

What you did first was sit down with a goal: "I want to publish a book."

It's likely that after that initial goal, you made several other, smaller goals (what I call check-point goals). You probably sat down on different days and said "Today I need to write a chapter." Or, "This week I need to write a chapter."

You then start to write - you sit down, you know you need your computer, some scratch paper, some good music to get the creative juices flowing and maybe some snacks and water so you don't even have to get up to eat. You can just sit, focus and write. 

And so you do. You sit down and you carry out the plan to write a chapter in a day. 

You sit back at the end of the day, give a good smirk at that good 'ol computer screen and raise both of your hands in the air like you just came in first place in a marathon.

And you did - your marathon was your writing an entire chapter in one day - and you slayed. 

You turn around to the imaginary people around you and thank them for their compliments and paparazzi, but say "no, really, it was nothing." Even though you're glowing with success, confidence and a well deserved feeling of accomplishment. And everyone can see it. 

Without realizing it, your past accomplishments are proving my point. If you want to actually accomplish some kind of healthy change, it is absolutely necessary that you make a realistic goal and create a practical plan. Somewhere inside, you already know how to accomplish your goals.

The ultimate healthy lifestyle guide: exceptions + celebrations (the when, why, how + more)

The ultimate healthy lifestyle guide: exceptions + celebrations (the when, why, how + more)

When you hear "healthy lifestyle," do you immediately roll your eyes and think to yourself: "healthy, sustainable and realistic just don't go in the same sentence!"

Does a healthy lifestyle seem overwhelming and waaaay too time consuming because you've been stalking Instagram accounts of totally ripped women spending hours in the gym and cooking and food prepping EVERY. SINGLE. MEAL?

And never going out to eat?

And never making exceptions?

And never skipping a workout?

And scoffing at people who say they don't have time because #noexcuses. 

Ya. Social media can really make healthy look overwhelming. And that's not cool.

What we often forget when we see posts on social media is that those people in the images we're drooling over and #bodygoals over - they're real people. And they didn't go from sitting on the couch all day to having totally drool worthy bodies.