Magic BulletJuly 2009
As much as I’d like to believe its true, there is no magic bullet for the things we want most in life: looking good and feeling healthy. However, I’ll let you in on the secret to looking gorgeous: consistency in your daily practices. Eating right, exercising, and taking supplements require us to do a little bit of work every day. These daily disciplines are not quick-fixes, but they’re guaranteed to yield big results in the long run. Slow and steady wins the race, not crash-dieting or a juice fast.
Setting Yourself Up for Success If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Knowing that it’s your responsibility to yourself to treat yourself with health is a life-long commitment. Incorporating these strategies into your daily cycle is sure to help you stay on track:
Just In Case Vitamins always work much better in your body than in the bottle. So buy yourself a travel-size case to hold loose pills for the week. That way, you’ll keep the vitamins conveniently on hand and will have no excuses not to take them. Plus, you’ll only have to refill the case once per week, instead of opening up numerous bottles each day. Out of sight means out of mind, so keep your vitamins right where you can see them.
Don’t Be a Bump On A Log—Keep One Instead! Writing down what goes into your body holds you accountable for what you eat and also makes eating a conscious experience. Often we are disconnected from the eating experience because we eat while walking down the street, watching television, working on the computer, or driving. We must take our food out of the container, prepare it, and put it on a plate. There should be no distractions like reading or talking on the telephone while eating (listening to music or conversation is okay). This will enable us, body and soul, to be present in the eating experience and to understand our hunger-fullness cues. Logging meals in a journal creates an awareness of ourselves and our relationship to food unlike any other. It’s not always about what you’re eating; sometimes it’s about what’s eating you!
Instead of a Workout Make It a Playout Most of us forget that exercise is actually a privilege and can be tons of fun and not just self-imposed suffering. So think of things that you love to do—and do them! Yoga, belly dancing, swimming, biking, rollerblading, and hiking are all great ways to let loose while getting in shape. Try to join a group or grab a friend to help you stay motivated. Make it just as much a social activity as a way to get fit. Some of my deepest friendships evolved while training for the marathon. An 18-mile run can generate a lot of interesting conversation, to say the least!
Shop ‘Till You Drop Food shopping is my least favorite activity, although I do love to cook. Despite this, I do spend a few days per week in the grocery store. An empty refrigerator leads to spending money on unhealthy take-out food. A fridge filled with cherries, avocado, turkey slices, grape tomatoes, iced green tea, and pre-washed spinach means I can’t go wrong no matter how I satisfy my hunger. And the pain of shopping becomes outweighed with the joy of taking care of myself through nutritional excellence.
So remember this: living gorgeously is about the little things we do for ourselves every day. Giving to yourself never felt better.