Guest post by Bex from Vegan Sparkles
One of the best ways you can be kind to yourself is by nourishing your body with wholesome food. Food is energy and everything you eat becomes part of your body at a cellular level.
It affects your looks, your moods, your thoughts, your sleep and your energy levels, so it’s vital for your quality of life and overall happiness to treat yourself to great food.
But sometimes it can be hard to know where to start and how to get where you want to go. How to become that healthy, happy person you’ve always wanted to be.
Whether you’re completely at a loss as to where to begin or just need some help getting back on track, this simple exercise will help you build a life, body and health you love.
Start by writing down what your current typical day of food looks like.
Do you eat breakfast? What sort of lunches do you eat? How much water do you drink? Do you drink soda and/or eat salty snacks? Are your dinners usually home-cooked or eaten out? What are your portions like? How do you feel after meals? Do you usually have wine and dessert?
Be brutally honest. There are no wrong answers here, beautiful. This is just your starting point and the clearer your picture of where you currently are, the better you’ll be able to move forward.
Next, close your eyes and imagine yourself in one month’s time. Imagine yourself in great health; taking perfect care of yourself. How do you feel? Are you happy, healthy, sexy, confident, energetic, glowing, well rested, relaxed?
Open your eyes and write it all down in as much detail as possible. Your goals are completely personal and specific to you and getting a clear picture of them is the most powerful step you can take to propel you towards them.
Now write down what you imagine you would eat in a typical day in order to feel that way.
Would you be drinking more water? A cup of hot water with fresh lemon juice every morning? A vegetable juice every other day? Herbal tea? More greens? Salad? Fruit? Wholegrains rather than their processed, white counterparts? Dark chocolate and berries rather than sugary lollies? More fresh, home-made food? Would you pack your own lunches and snacks, and if so, what would they be?
Focus on what you would be adding in (nourishing foods) rather than what you would be taking away (unhealthy food addictions).
Be kind. Be optimistic but also realistic. Making lasting lifestyle changes takes time and it’s extremely difficult to transition from an average diet to 100% organic, clean food in just one month. Having realistic short-term goals rather than ideals based on perfectionism or fantasy will help you to progress with enthusiasm and avoid becoming overwhelmed.
Also, be sure to only write down healthy foods you actually like. There are plenty of healthy options that will make you feel amazing without you having to force yourself to eat foods that don’t excite you. This is about being kind to yourself and creating a life you love. Even slight changes and improvements will affect how you feel, so take it slowly and make it fun.
Lastly, write down 2 – 3 action steps you will take this week to propel you towards your healthy living goals.
Will you make a trip to your local farmer’s market? Make a weekly meal (and shopping) plan? Buy a pretty water bottle for your desk to encourage you to drink more? Order a weekly organic vegetable delivery service? Spend an hour on Sunday afternoon chopping fruit and salad for the week ahead so you’re not tempted to reach for junk? Try a healthy new recipe? Rise 15 minutes earlier each weekday to make a green smoothie? Meet a girlfriend for a long walk and a fresh juice rather than coffee and cake?
Remember, this is all about building lasting habits, so take it slowly. Don’t try to do everything at once – just pick two or three action steps per week. Then when you feel like you’ve mastered those actions, add another two, and so on.
Above all, be kind to yourself and congratulate yourself for even the smallest changes. Don’t beat yourself up if you fall back into old habits; you’re human, sweetheart! We all do it. Just revisit your intentions from Step 2 and try another two action steps. If one plan is not working for you, maybe you need to shake things up and try something new. Keep it interesting, keep it fun, listen to your body, and enjoy the journey. Your life will be so much richer for it.
Rebecca ‘Bex’ Weller is a Holistic Health Coach passionate about helping women transition to happier, healthier living, re-ignite their sparkle, and fall in love with life again. Based in Western Australia, she writes about love, life, laughter, health, food and adventures on her wellness site, VeganSparkles.com.
Other posts in the 8 ways to be kind to yourself series: