The message is clear: Great or even good health requires you to eat better and exercise more. Earlier this year, I shared my journey to maintaining as a woman of a certain age: “Fit And Fine At Any Age”. The blog inspired passionate conversation amongst friends, family & colleagues. The struggle, commitment and BS are real!
For me a healthy lifestyle is a journey not a destination. Frankly, that mindset keeps me on my Ps and Qs. “Feel good, celebrate yourself, but don’t get too comfortable girlfriend.” Letting down your guard breeds mindlessness. Fit and fine is a mandate for mindfulness – every day all day. My tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle:
- Be proactive about managing hunger. When traveling, pack healthy options that keep you from eating fast food that’s always in great abundance. Fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, and low-calorie nutrition bars travel well. If you spend a lot of time in your car, keep a “healthy stash” in your car.
2. STOP – Don’t eat out of that potato chip bag! First, understand the amount of calories your choices consume. Practice self-control by estimating the number of calories you are okay with and then count out every cookie, chip… on a napkin. Yes, I’m talking 1, 2, 3, and 4 . . . Apply the same principle when drinking adult beverages: wine, beer, mixed drinks — YOU NAME IT!
3. Save some for later. That slice of pie, brownie, large cookie, if it’s not miniature, save half for another day. Think differently about sandwiches and burgers. I hate being redundant but, save half for later.
4. Drink warm green tea or water instead of soda, fruit drinks, or alcohol with your meals and in between meals. See Tip #5 before you grab the sugar or sweetener!
5. Out with the BAD in with the BETTER
Salad Dressing Olive Oil or Red Wine Vinegar
Refined rice, pasta, bread Whole grain rice, pasta, bread
Non-Fat Yogurt Greek Non-Fat Yogurt
Fry Bake or Broil
6. Not ready to eliminate calorie rich condiments and sauces? Try my “1 Tablespoon Rule” for a couple of months. Over time you’ll be able to reduce it to 1 Teaspoon. You get where this is headed: minimize or remove.
7. Eliminate large or supersize orders of anything — small please. Enjoy it slowly (LOL)!
8. Order restaurant salads without salad dressing (see Tip #5). Or request the dressing on the side. If it’s on the side, implement Tip #6.
9. One day a week avoid eating meat, poultry or fish. For that day, all of your nutrients will come from the other food groups.
10. Get & keep that body moving. Walk, run, swim, dance, jump rope, cycle…Start small and make changes incrementally. Successfully integrating physical activity into your daily routine requires alignment of your mind and body. The goal is to make your exercise regime sustainable. Check out choosemyplate.gov for ideas on increasing physical activity.
11. Speak up! Let people know when you can’t, don’t, won’t eat… But you can and will enjoy… Most people want to be supportive. Living your truth is amazingly empowering.
12. Be mindful of your thoughts . “As a man thinketh, so is he” (Proverbs 23). Some days will go better than others. Don’t waste time lamenting on what you didn’t do. Reflect, adjust, recommit and get back at it. Edit your self-talk to include I am, I’m doing…Envision yourself living at the level you want. Put in the work. The results speak for themselves.
“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference” ~ The Serenity Prayer
Until next time, remember healthy is very sexy. By any means necessary, keep you fit and fine!
This blog was written in loving memory of Watson Stewart. Thank you dad for inspiring exercise and healthy eating — from my beginning!