You need strong, established healthy habits to ground you through a transformation journey and, often more importantly, to support you when you encounter those unexpected challenges along your journey.
Many of my returning readers know that I live on the west side of the beautiful island of Maui just south of Lahaina Town, which was recently destroyed by a hurricane wind-fueled fire that blew through the town and surrounding areas, leaving devastation in its wake. So many of us were dealing with evacuations, displacement, loss, unknown status of property, family and friends. It was an amazingly difficult time (and dealing with aspects of the aftermath continues to be). During this same time, I was heading up a significant project for my company with no real, experienced back up to step into my role. If it had been absolutely necessary, outside counsel could have taken over, but within the company, I was it. While my co-workers did their best to take as much pressure as possible off me, particularly while we were displaced and were waiting to hear if our home was still standing, most of what they were able to do was to hold off the work until I was in a mental space to deal with it (which I was very grateful for).
In the past, stressors like these, either alone, but certainly when combined, would have sent me running at a gallop to bury my head in food, both as a method of self-comfort and stress relief (which worked at least while I was eating, even if the extra eating ended up stressing me out or upsetting me after the fact). Now, because my life is anchored with healthy, daily lifestyle habits, I am able to deal with these stressors in healthier ways. Instead of giving in to emotional eating and reaching for the chips or sweets, I take a walk, I meditate, I journal, I workout, I call a friend, I play with my dog. I pick an activity that will relieve the stress that does not involve food. This change in habits did not happen overnight. In fact, it took a minimum of six months of regular practice, with many failures, before these new healthy habits took hold. Let’s be honest – ingrained habits, whether healthy or not, are not easily changed. It takes effort, focus, intention and consistency, but the good news is that you CAN change those old habits and replace them with new healthy ones.
Do these healthier, established habits mean I never overeat or grab something sweet when I’m stressed or overtired? Oh, heck no! BUT – that is now the exception instead of the rule AND even when this happens (and it did happen a time or two after the fire), I go right back to my healthy habits the next day. The one episode is no longer a gateway to fall down that tunnel of a week of overeating.
All of this is to say that there are more benefits to establishing those lifestyle habits than may appear obvious at the time. Tracking macros, not calories; lifting heavy weights (to progressive overload) regularly; using cardio as needed (depending if you are in a cut, maintenance or build); working on your mindset, including knowing your triggers for unhealthy eating habits and having a plan ready when those triggers arise, are all important, foundational, daily habits you need to establish if you want to age in good health and live an active, joyful life. I now know from personal experience that those healthy habits will be your support system to lift you up and carry you through when life throws a few curveballs your way.
As I share what I’ve learned and continue to learn on my own transformation journey, one of the things that is …Read More
Sleep.. Who has time for it anymore really? Achieving restful sleep is a challenge many face, particularly as they …Read More
As we journey past the age of 50, embracing these next decades can be both a challenge and an opportunity. Society …Read More