This is a post I’ve been looking to write for a while now primarily with the intention of documenting the changes that I have been trying to make to my own lifestyle, while also hoping someone somewhere feels inspired to make a few changes to their life as well if it helps them to be happier. All my efforts at first had been driven by my desire to get back in to shape and ‘feel good’ about myself again. I was struggling with body image issues and was quite unhappy with the person that stared back at me when I looked in to the mirror. All I did for as long as I can remember was eat and complain that I was getting fat!
Quite recently I had to make a trip back home to India and this ended up being the grounds for my rude awakening! I was greeted with tactfully disguised and not-so-disguised remarks on how much weight I had gained and one woman even took it upon herself to give me weight loss tips and suggested I skip my breakfast and subsequently more meals if I wasn’t seeing any ‘results’. (How about not eating at all?!) Ugh! The nerve…
Anyhow, cutting to the chase, when I got back to Toronto, I was sure I wanted to change certain aspects of my lifestyle. And I wanted these changes to not just incorporate my weight-loss goals but also my goals for living a healthier and happier life. Here’s a list of 5 things I’m glad I incorporated in my life and am sure will make yours a whole lot better too!
1.Make smarter food choices –
For someone who skipped breakfast and had the biggest sweet tooth and an undying craving for rice, controlling what I put on my plate was the hardest change to make and one that I struggle with constantly even now. Portion control and choosing ‘cleaner’ food options right from the time I go shopping have been my biggest saviors on this front. When you don’t buy junk to stock up at home, you simply have lesser chances of consuming them. Downloading the MyFitnessPal app has also helped me see how much of unwanted calories I had been consuming without even realizing it. Now I start my day with a green smoothie, eat rice just once a day, incorporate more protein, veggies and fruits in my diet and run as far away as I can from chocolates! I may still eat food that is unhealthy every now and then, but for the most part I eat healthy and trust me it feels good.
2. Work out and then work out some more –
I was one of those people who literally saw stars and had a black out if I worked out for more than 15 minutes. I’m still the kind of person who feels all of these things if I ever had to work out first thing in the morning sans food after all those hours of intermittent fasting. My brother-in-law calls me the 30-second-wonder when it comes to H.I.I.Ts. Or was it 20? Well, I think what I’m trying to say is I never had too much of stamina and I was supremely unhealthy. I could barely run 20 meters without gasping for breath. But ever since I started really pushing myself to work out and listening to my body, I have been getting better at so many of those things I was an absolute disaster at. I even ran 2 miles on the treadmill recently! As far as weight-loss goes, I still have a long way to go but I feel so much stronger and capable physically, and I couldn’t be happier!
3. Pick Up a Hobby –
This one’s all for the soul and to give you a reason to feel resourceful and happy. As many perks as there were of being a full-time housewife, I was beginning to feel unhappy and resentful constantly because there wasn’t anything I really loved or enjoyed doing during any part of my day. There are only so many favorite dishes you can cook and so many different ways you can make the bed to gratify your fancy. And just like that when I was browsing through a craft supply store, during my routine rounds of the stores around my neighborhood, a paint set caught my eye. The next thing I knew I was walking home with 2 bags full of art supplies. I’m on my second canvas right now and painting is turning out to be the happiest part of my day. Find something you love doing, whether it’s baking, gardening or even playing a sport, and you’ll see how much it helps to keep you in a positive frame of mind.
4. Keep a Journal –
For the most part of my life, I have maintained a journal and it’s something I spend time on during the last few minutes of my day before I go to bed. At first when I began writing in it when I was younger, it was mostly an account of how my best friends were ranked for the week (*Hides face in embarrassment*). But slowly over time it was my space where I wrote about my dreams, plans and hopes for the future. I wrote about how things made me feel and about how I could’ve done certain things differently. Somehow writing about things gives you clarity like no other. It’s my version of meditation. It’s always been my go to way of sorting out the mess in my head every time I was confused and one that even made me feel more at peace when I was faced with a difficult situation. I know some people who even write affirmations and swear by them to help achieve things in life. I guess what I’m trying to say is choose a time of day you’re comfortable with and spend some time journaling. It can be the most rewarding few minutes you’ve spent with yourself.
5. Try something new today!
Well no, I don’t try my hand at something new every single day. But unlike before when I was so averse to any kind of change or anything new, I think I have opened up a lot more as a person. And to be quite honest it feels good to do or experience something out of the ordinary. Whether it’s travelling to a new place or going bungee jumping (Just typing that out aggravates my acrophobia!) it’s nice to get a taste of the unknown. Talking about tasting, the new thing I did recently was eating Sushi! I know it would sound lame to most of you but until a few weeks ago, I couldn’t wrap my head around even smelling it. But I did try it and guess what? It wasn’t all bad!
When I started out writing I didn’t think this post would end up being so long. I apologize for that to all those people who made it this far in to the article. And considering you have, leave me a comment in case you have more pointers to add to the list 🙂
PS. If it weren’t for the husband spending hours after work with the camera to help me out, this post wouldn’t have any pictures. Thank you, A.H. 😉