If you read my blog often (of course you do!) and especially if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen a gradual transition I’ve made in the past 18 months. There was no singular event that turned the switch on deciding to make a lifestyle overhaul, but one day I just decided it was time. Many people reportedly do the same, whether that day be January 1st or a random day in April like me. It’s daunting at first; your body is telling you it’s feeling tired, achy, weight-y (lol) and making a promise to push yourself to move more and make better choices has to happen first. The result of that day, that decision to change things, has been an amazing one for me. Twenty-eight pounds lighter (give or take, I float up and down 3 pounds which works for me), more energetic, and definitely smarter, the change has been a welcome one. Thinking back about the past year and a half, here is what really made the difference for me, my 4 healthy lifestyle hacks!
1. Be aware of what you’re eating. First and foremost, start learning about calorie counts, read labels and track your calories! It is a huge eye-opener to see the calories in some of your favourite foods, and then how those calories add up at the end of the day. I use an app called My Fitness Pal which makes it super easy to keep track and look up the calories in items I’m unsure of. You don’t have to obsess over every morsel that goes in your mouth, but awareness is key and can help you make better decisions.
2. Move more! This is sometimes the hardest part of the lifestyle transition for me because I work from home, so there isn’t an option to “park farther way” or “take the stairs” to my office. Still, even working from home I’ve found ways to incorporate more movement into my day. Before the snow fell, that meant a bike ride when time allowed, or even just a walk around the block instead of a quick jaunt to get the mail. We live in a two-story house, so I’d challenge myself to run up and down our staircase 10 times, instead of just once to go grab the laundry. Little changes add up. And then you add more on top of that. Invest in a step-counter to track, just like your calories, and see how much (or little!) you’re moving in a day.
3. Take your vitamins and get adequate rest (yes, all the things your mom told you!) I have taken a daily multi-vitamin now every day for over 18 months! I have never in my life taken a vitamin every day for that long. We start, we stop. We start again. I don’t know what impact it’s made on my overall health, but I can only guess that filling in any nutritional and mineral gaps has made a positive difference based on what I see every day in the mirror, on the scale, and in my stamina.
I don’t eat any seafood. Zero. None. Nada. So, I know it’s important that I get Omega-3 in my diet and in the winter months I’m not able to get out for my bike rides and running so Vitamin D is a concern as well. Check this out: OmegaSea is a great tasting, ultra-pure Omega-3 supplement available in chocolate and lemon flavours for families and bubblegum bonanza flavour for kids. With one tasty teaspoon a day, you’ll get a healthy dose of liquid omega-3 and vitamin D which maintain good health, cardiovascular health and brain function. Additionally, OmegaSea kids promotes brain, eyes, and nerve development in children up to 12 years of age so the kids are yumming it up with OmegaSea now as well. There’s no fishy after-taste (or worse, burps!) and the flavours make it super-easy to add it to a smoothie. Look for OmegaSea products in the pharmacy section at your local Walmart, Rexall, Superstore, Fortino’s and more.
4. Try new things, but don’t do something you hate. In the past 18 months I’ve learned how to actually run (using an app called Couch to 5K by ZenLabs that I highly recommend), tried hot yoga (I’m completely unflexible and uncoordinated but I didn’t die so that’s a win), and walked into a gym for the first time. I even hired a personal trainer to show me what the heck to do with all those weird machines. After a few months I realized going to the gym was more of a chore than something I looked forward to and I decided it wasn’t for me. It doesn’t mean I’ll never go back, and certainly doesn’t mean it was a fail. I tried it. I did it. And now I’m doing something else (back to my treadmill and weights at home!)
Be gentle with yourself, and remember that the goal of any lifestyle change whether it be losing weight, getting more fit, or simply eating healthier is to better yourself. You’re not changing the views or opinions of anyone else and certainly not doing it for anyone but yourself. If you’re satisfied with your path, that’s what matters. If you’re not, change it. I’m so thankful to live in a time where motivation, encouragement and ideas are at my fingertips online. I’m constantly learning and evaluating, and once in awhile I’m pouring a glass of wine and opening a snack sized chocolate bar. It’s what works for me, and hopefully one or more of these little hacks will work for you too!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of OmegaSea. As always, my opinions and witty commentary are my own.