Forming New Habits

One day, several years ago, a big batch of stress came for a visit.  Slowly I began to be swallowed up by the overwhelm.  In my busyness and focus to take care of what I needed to, I was too exhausted to take care of myself. I got lost.  It took just a short amount of time for me to go from healthy choices and self care to hyper focused survival mode and basically, eating for comfort.  One change led to another and then those choices began forming new habits which then became my lifestyle.  Stress became my boss.

The result of my choices has been a significant increase in weight with a side of sporadic high blood pressure.  Even more importantly than how I looked, was how I felt physically, emotionally and spiritually.  The exhaustion was paralyzing at times… not to mention the shame I felt.

Before the point that I was ready to change my habits back towards being healthy, I was absolutely not ready.  I tried to talk myself into it and made all of these plans.  I bought books, shake mixes, programs,  listened to other people’s success stories.  Cleanses, detoxes, fasts, juiced vegetables…  they all helped – momentarily.

What I have learned is that it is not about a diet so much, as it is a LIVE IT!  I love this term – Live it. Kudos to my sister who said to me, “Sissy, don’t diet! Live it!” It ‘s a great option.  Positive. Hopeful. It has a “can do” ring to it!

I am living it.  As a family we are living it.  For us, living it means having the freedom to choose what we eat, but making sure it is balanced and as non-toxic as possible.  I am not opposed to doing a cleanse or detox, in fact I think it’s a good place to start – but it’s not the long term answer. It takes discipline when breaking a cycle and forming new habits. We have to learn how to feed ourselves properly.

Our family is full of active athletes.  As the mom of our group, I have enjoyed my role and convenient excuse to sit and watch as “spectator” for several years.  Now, I am back in the game by forming new habits of back to basics caring for myself.  Breathing and stretching with pilates and yoga exercises (breathing and stretching).  I walk to detox the stress and get my serotonin levels up.  Working on our little farm, doing projects and gardening have been helpful for me as well.

Over time, I will share tips and guide maps as to how we are choosing to live a more healthy lifestyle.  This is not about rules, but just me simply sharing choices that we are making as we choose to live a healthy lifestyle.  The first big hurdle for me was my own mindset.  That old stinkin’ thinkin’ played hard with me for years.  Here is how I got started changing and forming new habits:

  1. Remember that comparison is the thief of joy.  Don’t do it.  Do not compare yourself to anyone else or to the younger, thinner you that used to be.  Just don’t even go there.  Shift your mindset to right now and envision what and who you would like to be.
    • For me – I want to be and feel healthy.
    • I want to feel good and confident in my own skin!  Okay, you got me – I want to look good! I want to dress cute. To envision that excites me.  What excites you?
  2. Breathe and do a mindset exercise such as journaling or a dream board to help you identify and define WHY you want to change.   It could be a number on the scale, but I would also include positive effects and emotions that would go with that loss.  You are not just a number, so I would encourage you to not just make it about that.
    • For me – I wanted to feel confident in woman’s professional group I am in.
    • I have felt conviction over not properly caring for this temple of mine.
    • I also wanted to not feel so tired all of the time.
    • I had been experiencing brain fogs and other symptoms that I wasn’t comfortable with.  I knew that how I was treating my body was definitely affecting how I feel.
  3. Figure out what tools you need.  Do you need a plan that has products attached? Do you need a structured plan that allows you to make choices, but it gives you the guidelines?
    • For me, I began with a detox program to purge my body of those toxins.
    • My second step for long term care: I know my limitations and realized that I needed a plan to follow.  I needed help and a here’s what you do and how to do it approach. I took into consideration my three main goals: Live healthy and eat real food, no gimmicks and nothing crazy –  and honestly, I need to lose weight. I decided to utilize a plan that was successful for some of my friends called – Trim Healthy Mama.  (More to come later on this!)
  4. Get moving.  Find an activity that you like or try that one that you have always wanted to.
    • For me – I have to be careful of a neck and back injury. (Know your limitations, consult your doctor.)
    •  Yoga and pilates work well for me.  To me, yoga is just about breathing and stretching.  My time of meditation is praying to the magnificent creator of the universe.  There is a new, fun thing called goat yoga.  Do not be surprised if you see us trying this out here on the farm! If nothing else than to have a little fun! 😉
    • I walk because I enjoy it and I am able to think and release stress and it helps me to tone up.
  5. Get the support you need.  Some people need accountability partners, some need cheerleaders and some need both.  What will keep you going?  Grab a friend or sister or trainer to come alongside you on your journey.
    • For accountability – I chose my daughter, Devony.  She is an athlete, encouraging in a no nonsense kind of way and every kind of disciplined. She inspires me!
    • For encouragement – I chose my sister, Millie, because she is my real life cheerleader. “Go, Michelle! Live it! You can do it!”
    • For ongoing inspiration – I chose my friend, Nicole.  She is on her own journey, is really real with her struggles and successes.  Nicole recently lost fifty pounds and continues to lose more.  She has this great hashtag – #losingmybiggirl – how can you not love that transparency?

Writing out your reasons is important.  It will serve you as a reminder as to why you wanted to start your journey to be more healthy in the first place. Remember that you are NOT on a diet! This is your life journey and to get started you will need a plan, tools and support.  Soon your new choices will form into habits that will become your new healthy norm.  It’s all about choices. Have fun and live it!

From my heart and home to yours,

~Michelle

Weight Loss Journey

Change is a choice and it’s hard, but totally doable.

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