I’ve always been a fan of taking your health into your own hands. The problem is, you have to know *how* to do that. It didn’t take long for me to grow weary and overwhelmed with all the research I was doing on healthy food, products, and lifestyles. I’m a recovering perfectionist, so I still often feel like I have to do things perfectly. But I had already fallen into the rabbit hole, and the only way to go was deeper.
Overwhelmed With Information
With every new book and article I read, I got deeper. One day I remember wandering around the grocery store in a daze – what was even healthy anymore? Meat – nope, full of antibiotics and the animals fed with GMO corn. Vegetables – nope, flown in from other countries after being doused in pesticides. Fruit – nope, same deal as the vegetables. Bread – nope, full of additives and sugar.
(P.s. I’m at Walmart right now, not Whole Foods where they have organic everything.)
All the typical “healthy” foods I could think of still technically weren’t optimal. No wonder people are abandoning cities and going back to farming. No wonder people have little vegetable gardens in their backyards. No wonder I was ready to pull my hair out.
Okay, well, let’s go down the body care product aisles. If I can’t find healthy food, I’ll buy myself some new shampoo as a consolation prize. That can’t be harmful, right? Nope. Sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and “fragrance” were all major ingredients (or hidden/renamed) on the labels. At this point, I’m just never going to shower or eat ever again (insert adult temper tantrum in aisle 3 here)!
One Step, Then Another
But like anything else, living a more healthy lifestyle is about baby steps. I don’t like walking slowly, ever, but in this case, I was going to have to move at a slow but steady pace.
If you’re beginning to get inspired to make some changes, here are some baby steps to take:
If you were going to make a change, why would you want to? What’s your motivation? What has convicted you that it’s time for something new? You’ll want to hold onto that moving forward.
- Pick one thing you’re concerned about (added sugar in your food, your weight, your water intake, chemicals in your deodorant, your acne, your level of physical activity, etc) and do a little bit of research to learn more.
- Pick one thing to change this week – maybe you quit soda, maybe you switch your face wash to a natural alternative, maybe you decide to go for a 30 min. walk 3x this week.
- And repeat this cycle every week or every month, whatever you feel up to. Maybe you take 1 month to research and slowly start changing your diet. Maybe you take 2 weeks to do research on simple workouts and then add in more and more physical activity each week. It’s less about rules and more about moving forward.
Taking your health into your own hands = whatever progress looks like for you.
Whatever you decide to do, start, or change, make sure you’re doing it for a reason that will drive you forward. We all want to generally look better, but that won’t keep you going when you’re suffering caffeine withdrawals, have had a bad day and just want some CAKE ALREADY, or are feeling too exhausted to go on your walk.
It has to be something deeper than that.
Here are some things that convict me:
- I’m a recovering sugar addict – I don’t want my emotions or my life to be ruled by sugar anymore.
- I treated my body like crap (from a nutritional standpoint) for 2 decades. It’s time to start loving my body with quality food.
- It brings my husband delight to see me happier when I’m “off” sugar (or eating very little).
- I have one body for this life – my pastor recently said that we all have an appointed time to die, but there’s no reason we have to be sick and tired on the way there!
I have found that the first steps are hard, but it gets easier. I got sick and tired of being sick and tired. When I am off sugar (eating little of it), I am happier, my moods are more stable, I don’t get headaches, and I have more energy. Once you see positive benefits, it encourages you to keep going.
Baby steps. Just start with one step towards health and see what happens next!