So, you’re trying to get healthy in 2019?
First we want to say, good for you!
Regardless of whether you kicked butt with your diet and fitness in 2018, or it was a rough year for your health, staying committed to “getting healthy” isn’t easy. Even the most committed fitness-fanatics struggle with temptations and setbacks.
Think about it. We are faced with so many temptations that can deter us from reaching our health goals on a daily basis.
Work luncheons, bingeing Netflix on the couch instead of hitting the gym, lounging all weekend instead of meal prepping, running through the drive-thru on the way home from work because it’s easier than cooking… Honestly, sometimes it seems like getting healthy is a losing battle. And sometimes, it is.
People often claim they want to “get healthy,” that they want to be a better version of themselves. They want to start eating right and working out and are infatuated with their desired results. But these people are not committed to the grind. So at the first temptation or setback, they quit.
Getting healthy and more importantly, staying healthy, is no easy task. Not for anyone- hence why so many people fail. It’s hard to change bad habits. It’s hard to go to the gym before or after work. It’s hard to say no to unhealthy drinks and snacks when you’re out with friends. It’s hard to keep pushing forward when you’ve hit a plateau and are sick of not seeing results despite working hard everyday.
But here’s the deal: if you really want to get healthy in 2019, you will.
It’s as simple as that. Because if you believe you can do it, are willing to take all the steps to get there, embrace the grind, and keep at it no matter what comes your way, you will achieve what you put your mind to.
If your goal in 2019 is to become the healthiest version of yourself and you’re 100% committed to achieving it, you’ve come to the right place. At ISN, we believe that knowledge is power and we want to see you all succeed in achieving your health goals this year. So with that, we are dishing out the five things you need to know before you start your journey to lasting health.
Getting Healthy in 2019: The 5 Things You Need to Know
When it comes to giving yourself a health makeover, there are a number of factors to consider before getting started.
In our society, we are constantly looking for the best workout, diet plan, and/or regimen to get us in great shape and all the while, expecting that protocol to work equally well for everyone else.
We like knowing that there is a definitive answer to our problems. But here’s the deal. We are all individuals and our bodies need different things to reach optimal health and performance. And because all of our bodies need different things, “healthy” looks very different from person to person. There is no best diet plan, best workout, or best regimen…there is only what works best for YOU.
However, all that being said, there are some general truths about getting healthy that apply to everyone and cannot be ignored. Those truths are what you will learn here today!
There is no best diet plan, best workout, or best regimen…there is only what works best for YOU.
The obvious starting point when you decide to make a change in your life is to set some great goals. Last week, we talked all about goal setting in How to Achieve Your Goals in 2019. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, go check it out. It has tons of information on how to write strong goals that you can actually achieve.
When it comes to getting healthy, all those same rules apply. You want to make sure that you set specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound goals. But before you even begin that process, you need to sit down and define what “getting healthy” means to you.
If being healthy means losing weight, improving your gym performance, sticking to a healthy diet consistently, or even something like having more work life balance, it’s important to know that going into your goal setting session.
Because here is the issue we see all the time: people say they want to get healthy, so they make goals for weight loss, improved performance, diet adherence, AND work life balance…all at the same time. We love that kind of ambition but it becomes overwhelming and often leads people to failure. No one can focus on that many goals all at once.
Rather than have goals across the health spectrum, we recommend choosing 1-2 areas that you want to focus on improving this year.
So if you’re sitting heavier than you want to be after the holiday season, maybe weight loss and diet adherence are two things you want to focus on in 2019.
Once you know that, you can write SMART goals that will help you achieve those results, and then develop some processes to keep you on track. Check out our blog on how to create processes to complement your goals here.
You know that saying, “you are what you eat”? We hate to break it to you, but it is 100% true.
If getting healthy is your big goal for 2019, you cannot ignore your nutrition. What you put in your body, i.e. what you eat and drink, has an enormous impact on your overall health.
Think of it this way, there are 168 hours in a week. Of those 168 hours, the average healthy lifestyle exerciser might spend 5-10 hours working out a week. Outside of that time, they have anywhere from 158 and 163 hours remaining to do what? Eat and drink. Okay…yes, you can factor in sleep as “non-eating” time, but how many people do you know who wake up in the middle of the night and end up snacking? Exactly. We’re keeping those hours in the equation…deal with it!
This time adds up…FAST! Oftentimes when people start “getting healthy” or “getting in shape,” they assume that a few workouts a week will be enough to get them to where they want to be. So rather than focus on adhering to a consistently healthy diet, they continue to eat how they’re used to eating. They’re still going out for 4-6 meals a week; still drinking on the weekends and snacking on unhealthy convenience items; still skipping meals due to lack of preparation…and ultimately, guess what result they will see? More than likely, failure.
Getting your nutrition in check is one of the most important things you will do in your journey to improved and lasting health. So here are a couple tips to help you get started:
A. BE PREPARED
When it comes to eating healthy, nothing is more helpful than preparation.
It looks different for everyone, but weekend meal prep saves loads of time during the week and ensures that you aren’t left without healthy options. Think about it, when you have healthy meals at home, you don’t need to go to that restaurant down the street and tempt yourself with nachos and a beer. You also know exactly what you’re putting in your meals- something you can never know completely when you eat out. Restaurants hide tons of fats, sugars, and salt in their menu items without us even knowing it!
You don’t have to prep an entire week’s worth of food all at once, at least not to start. It can be intimidating to take on meal prep, especially if you aren’t a confident cook. Start small with chopping up your veggies for snacks and work your way up to cooking full meals for the week ahead.
B. EAT VEGGIES- AS MANY AS YOU WANT!
We’re convinced that the best thing you can do for your body is eat all the veggies. Why? Because we said so!
No, but seriously, they really do amazing things for your body. Not only are vegetables full of fiber aka they help regulate your digestion AND keep you full, they are also packed full of micronutrients.
Want sparkly eyes and clear skin? Eat your veggies. Want thick, shiny hair? Eat your veggies. Want stronger bones? Eat your veggies.
Veggies are good for your body and good for your soul, and they are friendly to your waistline (which we can all get behind)! So eat all the veggies you want and thank us later!
C. DRINK WATER
If you want to get healthier in 2019, a quick change you can make is to drink more water. Are you someone who has a soft drink with meals? Replace it with water!
Not only will you be better hydrated, which is crucial for optimal organ and bodily functions, but it is far friendlier to your waistline. We know what you’re going to say, “I drink diet soda! It doesn’t have calories!” Listen up, guys, it may not have “calories,” but it does nothing positive for your health. Want proof? Try giving up all soda for a month and replacing those beverages with water. If you don’t lose weight or notice better energy levels throughout the day, or experience any improvements at all, we’ll owe you a bottle of pre-workout.
Trust us and try it for 30 days. Replace your sugary drinks with water; your frappe’s with black coffee or tea; and yes, even try replacing your alcohol with sparkling water. You’ll see how much of a difference water can make to your overall health.
This is the first thing that most people think of when they say to themselves, “I want to get healthy this year.”
“Getting healthy” is often synonymous with “getting in shape” but getting in shape implies that a certain shape exists to indicate that a person is healthy. And that is just not true.
If this body positivity movement has taught us anything, it’s that there isn’t just one body type that means that a person is healthy. Everyone is unique and will look differently when they are healthy.
But fitness IS important. If you are heavier-set, but you work out 3 – 4 times per week and are eating mostly healthy foods and drinking water and making time for recovery, then, hey, you’re healthy and being heavier-set is your body type! And that’s amazing!
On the contrary, if you’re very thin but you eat plenty of healthy meals throughout the day and exercise regularly and drink water and make time for recovery, then, hey, you’re healthy and being thin is your body type! And that’s amazing!
When your body type stops being your body type and starts being evidence of your lifestyle is when you’re heavier than you should be because you aren’t working out, you’re not eating well, and you’re not taking care of yourself. Or if you’re skinnier than you should be because you aren’t eating enough food and are restricting calories in order to be thin. That isn’t healthy.
So when it comes time to determine how you want to address your fitness is 2019, we want you to take aesthetics out of it and prioritize your HEALTH. Because here’s the deal: if you need to lose some weight to be healthier, you will simultaneously improve your shape, but losing weight for the sake of your health is a lot more motivating and important than losing weight to make your body fit a certain stereotype.
Start small. Try a free week of group classes at your local gym, CrossFit box, or bootcamp with a friend. See if you like it. If you do, commit to going at least three days per week and walking outside or on the treadmill on your off-days.
As you begin to get in better shape, you might bump up your class attendance to 4-5 days per week. And maybe start running on one of those off-days. Notice the trend?
When it comes to developing exercise habits, slow and steady (aka consistency) always wins the race.
Having a support system in place can make all the difference in your journey to a healthier you in 2019. This is nothing new. If you’ve ever taken a psychology class before, then you know how important having social supports in your life is to your overall wellbeing.
For those of you who haven’t heard the term thrown around before, social supports are essentially relationships. Romantic, familial, friendships…doesn’t matter! Any trusting, supportive relationships in your life count as social supports.
These are the people you turn to when you are going through a hard time and visa versa. You encourage each other, help each other navigate changes, celebrate victories with one another and ultimately, you are just there for each other.
As you decide to get healthy this year, make sure you have at least one or two people in your life to encourage you when you get discouraged, hold you accountable to your goals when you’re frustrated, celebrate with you when you hit milestones, and who are genuinely invested in your success.
It’s hard enough to make lifestyle changes when you’re the only one making them. Make it a little easier on yourself by having people you trust alongside you to encourage you this year.
Finally, mindset plays the most important role in your efforts to get healthy in 2019.
You are going to face setbacks and temptations. You’re human and life is life. It’s going to get hard to stay committed. It’s going to be tough to keep up with your workouts when you’re exhausted. It’s going to be tough to eat clean when the people around you are crushing burgers, nachos, and beer. It’s going to be tough to stay motivated to hit your goals when you’ve hit a plateau (which prepare yourself now, you will…we all do).
But with the proper mindset, you will experience these obstacles and they will be tough, but they won’t break you because you are committed to making 2019 your healthiest year yet. On the contrary, YOU will break through those obstacles because you’re stronger.
You’re not going to the gym to look good. Well, part of you is, but the larger part is there because you committed to getting healthy in 2019.
You’re not eating clean because junk food is “bad.” No food is inherently bad. You’re choosing to eat foods that are healthier for you because you committed to getting healthy in 2019.
Your beliefs about yourself and the world you live in determine your reality. So create a reality where you can thrive. Don’t tell yourself you can’t. If you do, you will fail. Don’t tell yourself this is all a waste of time, or it will be.
The best encouragement is the kind you give to yourself day in and day out. Show yourself grace when you experience a setback. We all fail at times. But the people who succeed are the ones who are committed to their goals and get back up time after time after time. We believe that 2019 can be your year. All that’s left is for you to believe it, too.
Your beliefs about yourself and the world you live in determine your reality. So create a reality where you can thrive.