A couple of years ago Thom and I came up with the word “right-sizing: to help define our new lifestyle. By simplifying our home, managing our finances, focusing on what gives purpose and meaning to our daily experience, and eliminating the unnecessary, we have gradually right-sized almost every area of our life. It was only recently that I realized that in many ways we have also right-sized our diet, our approach to exercise, and our overall health. And while I don’t consider myself an expert, I do feel that as a student of SMART I’ve learned a few things along the way.
With that in mind, here is a quick list of 25 things we believe are beneficial broken down into three areas:
- Eliminate the stress of “dieting” and instead adjust your eating to reflect the life you want.
- Eat only when hungry—stop when full.
- Savor and appreciate everything you put in your mouth—or else don’t!
- Moderation in all things is a key to a simple and balanced way of eating.
- Avoid eating anything that you consider “filler” or empty calories. If it isn’t really good for you or doesn’t taste awesome don’t bother with it.
- Attempt to think of eating as something you do to maintain good health rather than something you do to reward yourself for what you have to do.
- Realize that wherever you put your focus and appreciation on will grow in your life—so if you focus on healthy eating you will experience and become that!
- Eat for your body. If I’ve learned anything during my last 58 years it is that every single one of our bodies is unique. What might work for one doesn’t necessarily translate to another. Find what works best for you and then do it.
- Make movement a big part of every day.
- Find ways to move that you love doing and stop forcing yourself to move in ways you dislike.
- Pay attention and stay aware of your exercise (or lack thereof) and the habits you’ve formed. Create new movement habits that make you smile.
- Buy comfortable shoes and equipment, but do it for comfort and support and let go of how you look.
- Stop comparing your health and your body with anyone else. Strive to be the best you, you can be.
- Learn to listen to the messages and guidance from your body. While it can be good to stretch beyond your limitations—stop when it screams “No!”
- Adding a dog to your life that likes exercise will help in more ways than one! Not only do they keep you moving, their mere presence lowers your stress levels.
- Strive toward balance—physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
- Make good health a primary objective.
- Get the right amount of good sleep as much as possible.
- Forget trying to be younger than you are and instead celebrate and enjoy where and who you are right now.
- Spend as much time in nature as you can.
- Learn to meditate (quiet and focus your mind) in a way that fits you and your lifestyle. (It’s amazing what just 15 minutes a day has done for me!)
- While only going to the doctor on a regular basis won’t make you a healthy person, don’t ignore their help. Get checkups regularly and use their input to help keep you on track.
- Regular intimacy and a satisfying sex life can do wonders for you physically, mentally and emotionally.
- Surround yourself with supportive, happy and healthy people—they will mirror back to you the way to create a similar life.
- Find a way to give back to others—volunteer, share kindness, be compassionate. A life balanced with meaning and purpose tends to make healthier choices.
Bonus Tip: Take the time to laugh and smile as much as possible. Abraham-Hicks says, “Life is supposed to be fun for you!” Remember that children smile and laugh approximately 400 times a day while adults usually only manage 20 times. Ask yourself, do healthy people smile and laugh more, or does an abundance of smiling and laughing make you healthy?
I understand that most of these tips are open-ended and leave a lot to your discretion. Usually diet and exercise guides provide a list of things to do or not to do, and then if you don’t follow them exactly right you fail. Instead, by its nature, right-sizing is something that is unique to you alone. And because it is, the responsibility for its success lies on your shoulders. So, unless you are willing to think for yourself and then make choices out of your own awareness, rightsizing your diet and exercise might not be the answer you are looking for.
The good news is that once you take the time to get clear about your own right-sized diet and exercise, the stress and anxiety of trying to fit into someone else’s box will fall away. I tend to believe we all spend far too much time trying to live life based on other people’s terms and never take the time to create, enjoy and appreciate our own. By right-sizing your diet and exercise you are well on your way to living SMART 365.
Question: From your experience, what tip would you add or take away from this list?
This post is participating in a Blog Hop at Urban Naturale.com