Aha Moments: A Few Reflections on Wellness
We are not the same as we were yesterday. Because our lives are constantly changing and because we are forever evolving, it makes sense that we periodically reevaluate our lifestyle to ensure that it continues to serve us and bring us desired results.
“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.”—John C. Maxwell
As a holistic health and wellness coach, I have been consistent in following a healthy routine: eating a mostly plant-based diet, exercising regularly, maintaining a strong spiritual practice, and balancing career and social life. Although my weight is within the healthy range and has been stable for the last few years, I have secretly wanted to drop a few extra pounds. I knew that releasing those last, stubborn, 7 pounds would elevate me to a new level.
With the demands of launching my business, Lifestyle 120, last year, I felt challenged to initiate change, but was convinced it was necessary in order to achieve the level of personal growth I was seeking. It was time to set my intention on a lifestyle shift. But how does one begin to make adjustments to an already healthy regimen? I spent some time reflecting on my goal and devised a plan that I’d like to share with you—6 simple steps that improved my performance and helped me melt off the weight.
The Lifestyle Shift
1. Adjust bedtime hours!
Sometimes, if I’m working on a project, I tend to stay up past midnight or until the work is done. However, becoming overextended late at night puts me at risk for an energy bust in the morning. It’s a hefty fine to pay for the reward of a finished project. The morning is my most productive time of day. And since I need my 8½ hours of sleep, I would wind up getting up later than desired and lose the benefit of the fresh, early A.M. hours.
Establishing a cut-off time for work in the evening has been transformative. And the big bonus—going to bed earlier caused me to eat less (see below). By retiring around 10:30, I am able to arise by 7 for increased morning productivity. Genius!
2. No late-night snacking!
The later you stay up at night, the more calories you consume. Why? Because you require fuel in order to finish that project, right? It’s a vicious cycle! You may end up going to bed full, but not necessarily fulfilled. And then wake up groggy.
Gotta have a regular routine—consistency is key to success. I have established a habit of consuming my last meal 3-4 hours before bedtime, to allow for proper digestion. No need for late-night snacking because there’s no late-night tracking. And the health benefits are stacking up quite nicely!
3. Cut down on carbs at dinner!
Of course, it’s always good practice to eat healthy, well-balanced meals. However, just by reducing the carbohydrate intake (bread, potatoes, pasta, rice, etc.) at dinner, allows the body to get into a fat-burning mode. Notice I said cut down, not cut out. Shrinking the carb servings helps shrink the body, especially in the evening when you tend to be less active. This practice allows me to awaken in the morning lighter and more refreshed!
4. Shut off the screen one hour before bedtime!
You don’t want to be over-stimulated before hitting the sack. Help reduce stress and improve sleep quality by getting unplugged (from the computer, T.V. and phone) at least one hour before retiring. Relaxation is essential to wellness.
5. Schedule some me-time!
After you’ve turned off the tech devices, enjoy a cup of herbal tea. Chamomile, lavender and lemon balm boast calming properties. Also, consider applying essential healing oils to your wrists and temples. Lovely aromatic fragrances like lavender, vanilla and rosemary will help you unwind. If you’ve experienced extreme stress during the day, taking a warm scented bath will help to relieve the tension. Listen to soft music, read an inspirational poem or short uplifting article, reflect on your daily accomplishments, express gratitude for your blessings… Just be still.
Choose to chillax before entering your chamber. This practice has become an essential part of my day. My body, mind and spirit welcome this ritual, and I have been doubly rewarded. Stress reduction can help promote weight loss.
6. Purchase a training package!
Experts say that we must trick our muscles to receive the maximum benefit from a workout. I incorporate a variety of movement options into my weekly physical fitness regime: the whole gym routine, yoga, Pilates and power walking. Even though my fitness record reveals diversity, sometimes a great routine can become stale.
It’s been over a year since my TRX training sessions. So in January, I decided to mix things up a bit by purchasing a new training package. I am challenging my muscles and beginning to notice a difference in overall fitness. I recommend a short training package once a year for variety and to keep your muscles guessing. If personal training doesn’t appeal to you, try new exercise classes to help boost your metabolism.
If you are looking for ways to jump-start a healthy lifestyle or improve your current routine, the above six suggestions may help you reach your goals. Mindfulness and a willingness to embrace small changes helped me release the last few pounds needed to celebrate my best self.
Lifestyle 120 can help you devise an empowering wellness plan that supports your needs, lifestyle and individual goals. To learn more, click here.
As you know, I am co-hosting a monthly wellness series with Dr. Pat of The Dr. Pat Show – Transformation Talk Radio. If you missed the most recent show, Detox Your Life: Live Clean Part 2, which aired on May 16, you can listen to the recorded episode here. The next episode is scheduled for June 20, and we will be discussing the gluten-free lifestyle. Future shows are scheduled through July and are highlighted on the events page.
“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again.”—Joseph Campbell
Love, peace and health,
T. Kari Mitchell
Certified Holistic Health and Wellness Coach