Food for Thought

Nutrition, Fitness, and Wellness articles for busy women who want to lead a healthy, fulfilled life they love.

The Most Important First Step for Your Health

The Most Important First Step for Your Health

When we first begin our journeys to better our health, we often look for some magic potion or hidden secret for the key to a healthy lifestyle. I wish I could give you one, but the truth is, staying in good health comes from making decisions that benefit your body and mind each and every day. 

Still, every great journey has to start with a first step, and here’s how I recommend you start. The very first thing to do when you want to make changes to your health is be completely honest with yourself.

No, it’s not slashing your calories in half or immediately going out for a run. You might be surprised that the first thing you can do to benefit your health is simply be honest about where you are right now. 

I started thinking about being honest to ourselves when I was working with my 16 year old to get him to come clean about some school assignments that may (or may not) have been completed. During our conversation, I saw so many parallels between that talk with my son and my experience working with my clients. It can be really hard to be honest about the work we still have to do, but taking an honest assessment about where you are right now in your journey can help you know exactly where to start. 

The point of assessing yourself isn’t to pass judgement on yourself or feel frustrated that you didn’t start sooner. It is just data, plain and simple, that will help you set your path going forward and keep track of the progress you make as you go. 

Personally, I’ve had both hips and one knee totally replaced. Being honest with myself means understanding that I’m not exactly in a place to be setting a goal to run a marathon. Recognizing my limits means I’ve traded in my running days for other forms of movement, and that’s okay!

Assessing where I stand in my health right now makes it possible for me to set attainable goals, feel good about achieving them, and keep progressing in my journey. 

If you’re struggling with assessing yourself in an honest way, I’m always happy to help! If you’re ready to take the step by yourself, you can do it by looking at each leg of our Triangle of Health (Eat, Move, & Recharge). Give yourself a fair and honest rating from 1-5 for each category. Do you feel good about your eating habits? Are you exercising as much as you’d like, and what exercises can you realistically start with now? Have you been giving yourself plenty of time to recharge your batteries? Consider where you fall in each category, and you’ll have a better idea of where to start!

It can be really difficult to make changes in multiple areas at once, so the first step you might take after your assessment is to choose one area to really focus on. That way, you can make gradual and sustainable changes so that will stick and prevent burnout before you really get started. If you want this week’s focus to be the eating portion of our triangle, maybe you can focus on cooking healthy home meals instead of ordering out. If your focus is movement, you can commit to three or more workouts each week, plus a quick stretch each day. If you really just need to give yourself time to recharge, you can set aside as much time as is realistic this week to do what makes you feel your best. 

We can’t do everything at once, so choosing one area to work on can be really beneficial for managing your time and making progress that’s sustainable. Give yourself an honest assessment and figure out what your body needs from you!

 

Have any questions? Drop them into the comments and let me help you get started!

 

 

 
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