The new year is not far away now and some of you might already be thinking about your annual New Year’s resolutions. Here is the bad news: most New Year’s resolutions are out of action by the end of January. The good news is: there are still ways for you to make the most of the new year.
5 Healthy Habits for the New Year
Long term vs. short term
Instead of trying a short term weight loss programme, find a sustainable solution that works for you, long term. How can you eat healthier on a regular basis? How can you get regular movement into your daily schedule? It could be that you only have time to drink a green smoothie in the morning and to do a quick 15 minute workout before dinner. But practicing these small changes regularly is a lot more effective than only exercising and crash dieting for 3 weeks straight and giving up after.
Accept that there is no ‘perfect’ and start to love imperfection. So you didn’t have time to do your workout today because you felt so stressed—well, then leave it out for one day focus on what is to come. Maybe you had a family dinner and ate more than you wanted to? It’s not bad when you’ve eaten healthy for most of the week. Accept that sometimes we can’t be “good” and “eat clean” all the time—that’s just life and that’s okay.
This is closely connected to the above. I think by now we all know that perfection doesn’t exist and that we all have flaws. Luckily more and more fashion magazines are showing women in all shapes and sizes and have stopped photoshopping everything to perfection. You may have scars on your body—many people do and they are part of your experiences and maybe what you stronger. You may have stretch marks from your pregnancy, but these is proof that you gave life to another human. You may have cellulite—who doesn’t? Start to love and accept yourself as who you are—you are beautiful as you are.
Be aware of how you feel
Often I have people say to me “Carina, I am confused this healthy or not?” My answer to this most of the time is:“In general this is considered to be healthy/unhealthy—but how do YOU feel when eating/doing it?”
I will never forget the time I stayed at a friend’s house in Malaysia and her husband came back with a big pack of dairy products. Knowing quite well that quite most Asians don’t have the enzymes to digest dairy, I asked him why he bought this. His answer was “Well, it’s supposed to be healthy and full of protein.” My reply was “And how do YOU feel after eating it?” The answer was “Well, a bit of stomach grumbling and diarrhoea, but otherwise I feel fine”.
So the lesson of this story is: even though certain foods and activities are promoted as healthy, you need to first and foremost check in with yourself and see how it makes you feel. Start tuning in and listening to what your body really needs and wants.
Getting to know your body or making changes doesn’t happen overnight. Be kind to yourself and give yourself the time you need to adjust. This is true for learning to listen to your body and understanding its signals. It is also true for weight loss, being able to control your monkey-mind and everything else. Enjoy the ride—transformation happens in stages.