Today marks the beginning of a new series: Step-by-Step: Your Journey to Better Health & Weight Loss.
Many of you don’t know my story, so I’ll recap it here. I decided to get healthy in 2009 when I lost my health insurance. I was 58 years old and hadn’t been without insurance EVER before! Instead of totally freaking out (well, I did that for a few days) I decided that I’d just get healthy. This was the beginning of my journey.
I knew that the basics of better health including moving more, eliminating red meat, eating more fruits and veggies would reduce weight and improve blood pressure and cholesterol. So, that’s what I did. I knew that I would burn out if I started all at once, so I began slow and steady.
It wasn’t too bad, but after a few months I decided to stop eating chicken since I was totally eating a ton of fried chicken instead of red meat (not the best alternative). Later on I thought that dairy might not be a great choice for me, so I decided to take it out of my diet as well.
The results? I lost 35 pounds, my blood pressure went to normal. I reduced my cholesterol and got off statins. But, some surprising things happened that I didn’t expect … I thought they were pretty miraculous: I lost my asthma and my allergies. Yep. Gone. I had been using an inhaler and was on an inhaled steroid for the asthma. I haven’t used any since 2010.
To control my itchy eyes and sneezing fits, I took Zyrtec™ every day from the time it was created (I’m guessing 10 years at least). Before that I took Allegra for several years. One day I didn’t take anything. Nothing happened. I didn’t take anything the next day. Nothing happened. I haven’t taken a Zyrtec™ since then (2010). I didn’t even know that was possible!
These miracles, at least to me they’re miracles, are what inspired me to become a Certified Holistic Health Coach by graduating from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. But, enough about my journey, let’s get you started on yours!
This series is about steps. It’s about habits. It’s about choosing to make several small changes over time with the goal of building a healthy and fit lifestyle.
This isn’t a daytrip or even a weekend excursion. This is a journey that will last your entire life. That doesn’t mean you will be devoting all of your time to studying healthy lifestyle choices, but it does mean that you will be adjusting your food, exercise and the things that provide for an enjoyable journey as life’s inevitable changes occur.
I’m assuming that you want to improve your health, gain energy, happiness, possibly lose weight, and that you want to spend far less time and money on doctors, hospitals and medications. That being said, lifestyle is the key and discovering how to change behaviors is an important factor in achieving your goal/s.
Each person is different. Each person will choose different steps. It is entirely up to you. I am giving you the tools you need to succeed at the changes you decide to make. You see, my goal is not to change you into something you’re not. I will encourage you to increase the amount of plant-based foods in your diet and reduce the amount of meat because that’s what the research shows is most effective at preventing, improving and/or curing disease. That is very different than trying to get you to become a vegan or vegetarian.
While I reserve the right to change course during this series, I see it unfolding in a manner that gives you support in making changes and further along moves into specific steps (or changes) that would be beneficial goals for most people.
Since attitude about change is the biggest factor in success, I encourage you to begin your journey by watching this fun, informative TED Talk by Shawn Achor. I actually encourage you to bookmark it and go back to it whenever you start thinking negative thoughts while struggling to maintain some of your choices.
So, I hope you will begin this journey … It’s not my journey, it’s yours and it could be the most important journey you’ve ever gone on.
The Practical Health Coach