Sunday, March 29, 2015

Healthy living reset

Over the past two months my schedule has been all over the place.  I went on two long trips to D.C. in February, and then hosted two friends back to back in Seattle in March.  It's been a blast, but with all the flying, driving, and time changes my body has felt completely out of whack.  As proof, when I looked down on the scale last week, I realized I had gained 7 lbs during this time period (for someone my size who has stayed at a consistent weight for the last 5 years this was pretty unusual to discover).  It wasn't a moment of guilt or panic, but a good wake up call.

Earlier this year when I felt myself getting off track, I (frankly) didn't care.  I wasn't feeling motivated to put in the effort, and I intentionally chose to have fun instead of being disciplined (which, for the record, I don't regret).  Being reunited with your best friend from college for the first time in 7 years?  Yes, I'll skip exercise and go for all the drinks, cupcakes, and late night dining that comes along with that opportunity.

However, this weekend I experienced a shift.  I felt SO ready for a change for the first time in a long time.  I was wanting to eat healthy, wanting to grocery shop, wanting to read the stack of health books on my nightstand, wanting to exercise, and wanting to challenge myself.  I reminded myself that travel, friends, parties, and other events will always surround me, and so it's up to me to ditch the excuses and empower myself to take control of my health.

So, moving forward (for the foreseeable future), I will be giving my body and spirit a "reset" - focusing much more on my health and getting back on track.  I took some time today to brainstorm a list of motivators during this time period that I know will keep myself inspired, focused, and disciplined along this journey (as they have always worked for me in the past):

Healthy Living Reset Motivators

1. Accountability
Yesterday I heard from my cousin Robin, who shared her desire to get back on track and do a cleanse after getting home from vacation.  It was the icing on the cake that made me even more motivated to take action! I LOVE when your life intersects with a close friend who is experiencing and wanting something similar to you, so you can encourage each other along the way.  Note: please join Robin and I in a healthy living reset if you are feeling inspired!

2. Healthy Food Options & New Recipes
During my reset period (and hopefully after) I will be focusing on a mostly vegetarian diet (including seafood and eggs), and being mindful about my intake of sugar, caffeine, gluten, animal products, and alcohol.  In the past this cleanse concept with 5 focus areas has worked remarkably well for me (I learned about it from Kathy Freston's 21 Day Cleanse mentioned in Quantum Wellness).  I am not eliminating those things entirely, but trying to scale back in each of the areas to keep my blood sugar and energy more consistent. 

Today I went to the grocery store and purchased a cart load of healthy food options.  I've never been so excited about an inventory of food at home!  Before going to the store I had looked through a series of recipes so I could try out some new dishes (tonight's recipe will be my favorite Sweet Potato Quinoa cakes with Avocado-Lime dressing and a fresh garden salad).  I also purchased a variety of new products to mix things up, and splurged on a high quality multivitamin to integrate into my daily routine. 

When I got home, I made myself an yummy smoothie designed by my friend Lestraundra (a health and wellness guru and owner of The Balanced Berry) who has some awesome resources and ideas.  I highly recommend liking The Balanced Berry on Facebook to fun new ideas for eating and exercise!

3. Reading & Sleeping Routine
Recently I splurged on a new mattress (and pillows), after waiting for years to pull the trigger.  For the first time ever, I now enjoy getting into my bed and going to sleep (I'm serious). Along with the joys of a new mattress, I am excited to establish a healthier evening routine (different from staying up late staring at a bright TV screen).  My hope is to get in bed around 9:30 on week nights to read books, journal, and digest the day.  I have a stack of health/wellness related books that I am excited to comb through.  When I'm embarking on a health journey of some kind, I've found that if I read relevant books during that time period, I'm more successful in meeting my goals.  A few on my list to check out:
4. Yoga!
Lately my body has been craving yoga.  I got totally lucky when I came across an awesome Groupon deal at the exact studio I've been wanting to go to.  I can't wait to get back into yoga and try out some new classes at Core Power Yoga!  Whenever I am doing yoga regularly, I am happier, more at peace, energized, and healthier overall, and I am so excited to experience this shift again.

5. Girl crush: Kate Walsh
Perhaps the most random/ridiculous motivator of them all - channeling some girl crush inspiration! I adore Kate Walsh and have always been amazed by her inner and outer beauty.  She is simply a strong, sexy, kind, and confident woman and I love her style.  As silly as it sounds, sometimes when I'm looking for some inspiration, I channel my Kate (or whatever person/role model it is at the time) and somehow get a friendly nudge in the right direction.

Wish (Robin and me) luck! Stay tuned for our findings, book reviews, and results!