Have you ever been inspired to make healthier changes but just wasn’t sure where to start? I’ve been there, too.
Throughout my sophomore year in college, I told myself I’d make time for my workouts. You see, I was really determined with my workouts during my freshman year. Then, I injured my knee and took a break to allow it to heal. After that, it was really hard for me to get back in the habit of working out 5-6 days a week.
The commitment was hard…I fell back into my old, teenage habits of “putting it off until tomorrow”. I’d try to work out in between classes and science labs, but then I’d quickly talk myself out of it…a nap sounded better instead.
After gaining a few unwanted pounds, developing a poor relationship with food & self, and having a hard time fitting into my clothes, I decided things needed to change…I needed to change…I needed to get my mind right so I could be happy with myself again.
But how?? How did I manage my time for my health?
- I changed my outlook
While at the time my motivation was how my clothes fit, it didn’t take long for me to remember the “exercise high” from endorphin release–and I fell in love with exercising again. I quit looking at exercise and health as a chore and just made smaller decisions along the way that now last me a lifetime. I put a priority on my health, and eventually, my “healthy habits” became a part of my daily life.
- I scheduled time
We are all busy! We all work, have families, school functions, socialization…it all adds up! My biggest advice to you (and myself!) is to schedule time in your day for your health. If you want to meal plan, pick one day and dedicate one hour to prepping all of your fruits + veggies for the week. Schedule time for your workouts. If you know your busy in the evenings, try waking up early to get your workout in. Allow yourself to take an hour daily for you to find joyful movement to help you reach your health promoting goals.
- I prayed
I’m a very spiritual person, and I look to God daily for guidance. When I was struggling prioritizing my health, I prayed to Him. I reached out to Him to help motivate me. Exercising was important for my mental health, and I looked to God’s support to guide me. I even started going on walks in the evenings just to talk to Him–I looked forward to those walks because I knew I’d feel enriched after.
- I found an accountability partner
Luckily, I have some great friends! Friends that encouraged me to wake up early to go for a morning run. Friends that had the same goals as I did. Friends that motivated me to drink more water. Friends that helped me normalize foods! Friends that supported me. We were able to lean on each other, talk about our struggles and learn from one another. I highly suggest finding someone that can keep you accountable for both gentle nutrition & joyful movement–and it may be two different people!
- I gave myself grace
Sometimes life gets in the way, and you can’t complete your workout. Sometimes you really want to eat french fries instead of a side salad at your favorite restaurant. Sometimes your muscles are sore and your body is telling you it needs rest. And you know what?? That is totally and completely OKAY…and normal! That is part of making sustainable lifestyle changes–allowing yourself to take a rest day, allowing yourself to eat foods that may not be the most nourishing–that IS part of a healthy lifestyle! Food flexibility, food freedom, joyful movement, gentle nutrition, rest days–all of that makes up a mindful & intuitive eating lifestyle. It can be hard in the beginning to give yourself that grace, but eventually, your life will be transformed and you will truly enjoy all aspects of a well-rounded life.
My hope for you is that you can apply at least one of these time management strategies to prioritize your health.
**Challenge for the week? Focus on one of these areas to help you prioritize your health.
Jump-start your mindful eating journey by downloading my 6 Steps to Mindful Eating guide here -it’s FREE!