But How?

June 7th, 2009 | Posted by Alison in Motivation

My motivation to get healthy began in 2008 when I started to notice how achy and old my body was feeling at the ripe old age of 29.  Getting healthy wasn’t just about losing weight and feeling better about my appearance, (although I won’t deny that vanity certainly played a role) I realized I wanted to feel good again, to feel like myself again.  To feel young again!

You: Staying Young by Dr. Michael Roizen and Dr. Mehmet Oz was what kicked off my “It is Time to Get Healthy” initiative.


Learning to Live a Healthy Life

So what’s the secret to Staying Young? The key points that I took away from this book were: Eat right. Stay Active. Get enough sleep.

Yes, of course. We’ve heard it all before.

That’s all well and good, but HOW? How do you make these changes that lead to a happier, healthier life? How do you adapt these concepts into your own life and make them actually stick?

My answer? Find role models. I needed to see how people really did it. I needed different sources of motivation, whether from books, magazines, television, friends and family in my real life or from the internet. Seeing HOW other people implemented healthy life style choices into their lives to teach me how to do it.

You watch. You try. You learn. You experiment. You fail. You watch. You try again. You learn. You persist.

When I think about how we learn to do anything – be it cooking or cleaning or communicating – from what we eat, to how we exercise, from playing to parenting, what we wear, what’s trendy, what’s not – we learn it all by watching other people. I see how my daughters watch what I do and how they learn from me. I see them mimic my facial expressions, my gestures, my words, my actions, both the good and the not so good.

And we continue to learn this way throughout the course of our lives.

Watch and Learn

We continue to learn by observing others. As adults, we are able to discern what’s working for someone and consider how it might work for us. We learn how to surround ourselves with people who have characteristics we want to adopt. We are also able to observe what’s not working for someone and learn how to take steps to avoid negative outcomes. We’re always watching and learning, sometimes intentionally and sometimes unintentionally. We take away what we like, and make the choice to incorporate these new ideas into our own lives. Or not.

When I was losing weight, I was able to find all the motivation I needed from books, magazines and the people in my real life. As a child I watched parents stay active and exercise regularly.  I’m sure that plays a large role in why I enjoy exercise and fitness today.  I want this for my children too.  I run and stay active because it allows  me to feel good and makes it easier to maintain my healthy weight.  But I also stay active because I know my children are watching and observing me – before they even know what they are seeing.

Watching the numbers go down on the scale and feeling more comfortable in my clothes was incredibly motivating, but once I started to maintain my new weight, I had moments where I felt like I was starting to flounder. I needed new inspiration to stick with it and keep from sliding back into old habits. Healthy living blogs were my saving grace. Reading about the lives of complete strangers who were willing to share their stories and how they incorporated healthy habits into their own lives showed me how I could do it too and make it a normal part of my life as well.

Get Healthy, Stay Healthy

I’m eager to share the ideas that have worked for me, because maybe some of the things I’ve learned and do can work for you. I’m always so excited to share the new things I’m trying and reading, and now I enjoy writing about them for other people to find, the same way I found what I needed when I needed it.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading about the things I enjoy learning about and the way I incorporate these things into my life.  At the same time, I want to show how I incorporate any new ideas, healthy eating and exercise into my every day life – along side my roles as a mother, wife, daughter and friend.

I’ve come a long way, but I’m still learning too. I’ve come to realize that if I don’t stay on top of what’s new and don’t continue to educate myself, I lose my way.  I too am still watching, still making changes in my life, weeding through what I think will work for me and what won’t.

My hope is that the things I find inspiring might inspire you as well, and that these things might help you make positive change in your life as well as we all work toward a similar goal – a healthy, fulfilling and balanced life.

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