Lifestyle Living: ditching diets, debt and debbie downers

Photo cred to the indubitably handsome sailor man.

Lifestyle, the way in which a person lives; a set of attitudes, habits, moral behaviors and socioeconomic status associated with a particular group of people. So often we hear this word associated with “healthy lifestyle”, and for good reason, but I challenge you to include your entire way of living as well. I firmly believe we cannot reach our highest potential, nor experience life to the fullest when our lives are imbalanced in any of the following areas:

  • physical
  • financial
  • spiritual
  • emotional

Consider this article PART 2, following “Why Diets Don’t Work”. How can you focus on purchasing healthier foods for meal prep, if your bank account is in the red? Where will you find the motivation to work out if your significant other has called it quits and walked out on you? Where will you find the hope to move on after a personal tragedy? I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, but these are all valid, and unfortunately, quite frequent answers I receive as to why someone isn’t maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I don’t have a magic formula for ‘one size fits all’, but I am more than happy to share what works for me/us.

PHYSICAL

I have always been physically active, so this area hasn’t really been a struggle for me. Plus, running helped pay for school. In a more general sense of the word, I have been blessed with good health, not to mention I am only 28. Some practical tips for those looking to begin an exercise routine:

  • start small, and break it up if you have to….three 10 minute walks/day.
  • misery loves company some days when I ran for Baylor, if it wouldn’t have been for my teammates, I would have gone insane.
  • do something you enjoy if that is cycle classes, running, hiking, swimming,etc. If it’s something you dislike, it’ll be harder to stick with it.
  • consistency set a reminder in your phone and make it the same time of day. As much as we hate to admit it, we humans operate more efficiently with routine.

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Love me a good view, while running😎

Aside from physical activity, taking time to cook and consume healthy foods is uber important..and I’m not just saying that because that’s what I do for a living! If you have any lifestyle behavior related diseases, improving your health can not only delay disease progression, but in some cases may even reverse it!!!! All the more reason to get on it.

FINANCIAL

Our society is so hush hush when it comes to money. I can understand why, but what’s the point? It doesn’t define who we are as a person. I’m not saying my husband and I openly advertise our monthly budget, but because he is in the military, his pay is public knowledge. Sure, there are bonuses that are not published, but nonetheless. Our family has three cars, two of which we owe a remaining balance. Lord willing, the Tahoe will be paid off in January, and with his upcoming deployment we will pay off the Silverado in the first quarter of 2019. Other than that, we have zero consumer debt. No credit cards, student loans or personal loans, just our monthly living expenses.

We have definitely sacrificed in other areas to make this a possibility. When we first got married we lived on the border of Texas and Mexico (not New Mexico…Mexico the country!) in a small apartment, where we paid only $550/month for rent. Our washer and dryer were in the kitchen🤣 Oh, and we drove a beater, monster pick up truck!

I am by no means a financial expert, but I do know this: when you spend less than you earn, it makes life easier.

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SPIRITUAL

I am a sinner saved by grace. I don’t advertise myself a perfect person, not even close, but I do strive to love Jesus and love others. I encourage y’all to do some soul searching if you’re looking for eternal hope.

EMOTIONAL

My friends will tell ya I am not much of a warm and fuzzy person; they’ll also probably describe me as ‘drama free’. That’s the way I like it. If you’re looking to make some healthy lifestyle changes, I encourage folks to examine their personal relationships. If you’re married, how can you be a better spouse? Take it a step further, how can you be a better mother/father/sister/brother/daughter/son…fill in the blank to suit your needs. At the same time, if you’re in a broken relationship, do your part to mend it. Emotional baggage wreaks havoc on your physical health, BIG time! If it is past the point of repair, is it a relationship worth continual investment, with no return?

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Can’t imagine life without him/we look so much younger!

Before we are able to make lasting changes, we have to reflect on where we are, and where we would like to be.

Let’s dial it in, shall we? Where to go from here, nutrition-wise:

  1. Self-reflection. Figure out your starting and ending points.
  2. Determine your why and create 2-3 S.M.A.R.T goals. This will keep you going when the going gets tough.
  3. Follow Sam’s weekly meal plan just until you feel comfortable enough creating your own healthy and affordable options.
  4. Aim for at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week.
  5. As you reach your S.M.A.R.T goals evaluate and re-assess/create new ones!
  6. Practice intuitive eating and encourage those in your circle of influence to join you!

Happy Monday, Y’all!