This week we’ll be coming together with friends and family and giving thanks. It’s been a particularly stressful Fall for many of us this year, and my hope for all of you is that the remainder of 2016 is not only a time to celebrate the season, but also a time to rest and restore. But whether it’s cantankerous family members, or the siren call of desserts on the table, or just one too many cocktails that has you not feeling your A game, I wanted to share some thoughts on how we can move through the season as our best selves, and prepare for a new year.
Two big questions that are buzzing in my head right now are:
- What if our true nature is joy?
- What if our default state is perfect health?
I actually believe both these things to be true. I also believe that to reveal the true nature of health and happiness that exists at our core, we need to peel back the layers of negative thoughts, self-sabotaging habits, poor body image, low self-esteem and all the extra weight and baggage that has accumulated in our minds and around our waistlines over the years.
Once we start to shift how we think about our bodies and behavior, we have to follow up with action, of course. Because just wanting and believing that we can have a life of happiness and a bikini-ready bod doesn't actually make it happen. I don't know who said it, but this phrase sticks in my mind.
"If you're interested, you'll do what's convenient. If you're committed, you'll do whatever it takes."
So are you interested, or are you committed?
This is where our mind offers a litany of excuses, like "I don't have the money, time, space, energy, fill in the blank". These are familiar to me, because they're the excuses I tell myself too. But deep down, I know that taking good care of myself is the key to having the life and health that I want, and the more I commit, the more effortless self-care becomes.
So what I encourage you to do is take baby steps. Think big, but start small. Here are three simple suggestions on ways to start doing "whatever it takes" today.
- 10 minute Daily Meditation. It's free and it takes 10 minutes. Commit to this for 10 days and see how much you accomplish in a short amount of time. My favorite free app for this is available at http://www.headspace.com. With Headspace installed on my smartphone, I can pretty much meditate anytime anywhere. I even meditated on a crowded A train a couple weeks ago and it was probably the nicest subway trip of my life!
- Drink more water. Again, this is free and it takes no time. Aim for half your bodyweight in ounces per day. My routine is to have 16 oz first thing when I wake up and another 8 oz before I go to bed. I drink a lot in between meals as well, keeping my handy reusable stainless steel water bottle in places where I'll see it, like my desk. One thing to note, however–you don't want to chug water with your meals. It will dilute your stomach acid and reduce your digestive strength. Bonus points if you skip the sugary drinks like juice, sweet tea and soda, and drink water instead.
- Go to bed a half hour earlier. Sleep is important. One study of sleep deprived individuals showed that when you don't get enough sleep, you can actually change your body chemistry in ways that damage your immune system and affect your body's ability to handle stress. So turn off the TV and the computer, put your phone on Do Not Disturb, pick up a boring book and get yourself to bed earlier than usual. You may be surprised at how early you can fall asleep and how much energy you have the next day.
Do you feel ready to commit? If you need support in turning your intentions into action, I want you to know that we’re here for you. Our team of wellness experts and certified culinary nutrition experts are available to discuss your wellness goals. If this post resonated with you, and you're having that light bulb moment of clarity around your own path to true health and happiness as we move towards 2017, then please don't hesitate to contact us.
Caroll is an avid cook, mother of two, Board Certified Health Counselor and the founder of Provenance Meals. Her passion in life is to feed people real food -- food that is raised, grown and prepared in traditional ways that are good for your health and good for the planet. Caroll practices holistic nutrition, understanding that a healthy diet must be combined with other sources of nourishment—loving relationships, enjoyable physical activity, meaningful work and spiritual connectedness—to reach true health and happiness.