Imagine you are on a long trip with your favorite purse and a small overnight bag. As you travel, without thinking about it, you pick up additional stuff and add it to your bag. Then, after filling the pockets of your jeans and jacket you purchase another piece of luggage. In a short timespan, you may realize you have taken on an additional 50 pounds of “stuff” – not only in weight but in circumstances weigh you down and keep you from moving forward.
Today is the time to open up the totebag and spill out your pockets. Take a good look at where you are and what you have. Are you carrying unneccessary things that don’t belong to you? Are you dragging around weight that only weighs you down? Have you been toting old pain or new aches?
Many women discover while recovering from their hysterectomy that they want to make big changes in their lives that typically include getting their health in order.
This is choosing wellness.
Are you a smoker?
Are you leading a sedatary life without much exercise?
Are you drinking more alcohol than you should?
Are you relying on pain meds without the regular input and assistance from a pain medical professional?
Determine what you need to take the first step for a positive outcome.
Choose your path. Choose the best. Choose wellness.
The first place to start in your plan towards wellness is with your family doctor. If you do not have a family doctor who specializes in wellness, find one. Ask your friends and family for recommendations.
Take a list of symptoms you are experiencing including specific examples of your concerns. Example: I’m a smoker and I’m ready to give it up. Can you help me? Example: I think I’m using too many pain medications and I’d like to explore if there is a root cause of my pain so I can get off/cut back on my pain medications.
Your doctor should give you a complete check-up including taking a sample of blood, weighing you, checking your blood pressure, checking cholesterol, doing a bone density test, and more. With the results of your tests, your doctor should provide you with your first step towards wellness.
If you find any health challenge to be too much, talk it over with your doctor and family and friends. Gather a support group around you. Ask for their help. You will find that with the support of those who care for you, you will be encouraged to choose wellness and stick with it.
Be brave. Choose wellness.
5 Steps to Success
1. Be realistic.
Changing your health habits will take time. You will likely be tempted, you will probably backslide, and you may get discouraged. Keep this in mind as you make your goals so you don’t set yourself up for disappointment. “I’m going to cut my soda intake in half in 6 months,” is a lot more realistic than, “I’m never drinking soda again!”
2. Write it down.
It’s been said that, “a goal not written is merely a wish.” This is especially true for fitness goals. Taking time to write down your goals, plan checkpoints throughout the year, and record your progress as you go can go along way toward accomplishing your goals. There are numerous apps and pre-made journals designed for tracking goals and progress, but a simple notebook will work just as well!
3. Grab a buddy.
Having a support team in place can be the difference between success and failure. This can mean joining an actual support group of people with similar goals and/or simply asking your family and friends for their support. Either way, it is a lot easier to accomplish fitness goals when you have a good support team in place.
4. Take small steps.
One of the best ways to accomplish big health goals is to break them down into smaller steps. If your goal is to stop drinking sodas, for instance, you might start by reducing your intake by one or two each month until you have completely removed them from your diet. If your goal is to lose fifty pounds this year, it might be easier to start by losing five pounds this month.
5. Reward yourself.
As you set your fitness goals, it may be helpful to plan rewards along the way. A new outfit for achieving your four-month goal? A day at the salon for your six-month goal? A trip to the beach for reaching your year-long goal? Only you know what will motivate you, so give yourself something good to work for. It also might be helpful to pre-write motivational letters to yourself to open each month. Maybe you can ask your support team to pre-write some, too! Consider what motivates you, and include it in your fitness plan.