While I was pregnant the first time, I decided to get rid of all of my diet and nutrition program books. I’d bought each one with this hopeful feeling that with it would come a permanent solution to all of my food and body issues forever. Amen.
I have experimented with literally every nutrition program and cleanse you can think of. And I’ve followed them all to a tee. And they all worked for as long as I followed them, and many delivered benefits that went beyond the initial 21, 28, 30, or 60 days.
Here’s what I’ve found: giant soup-to-nuts overhauls don’t have a lot of staying power for me. They have a place, for sure–like if you’ve just had congestive heart failure or you find out you have stage 4 cancer or something like that.
But barring emergency situations, I’ve found that a dab’ll do yah as far as lifestyle changes go. Focusing on one little thing at a time tends to ripple out and shift everything, as opposed to trying to change everything (and be totally perfect) all at the same time.
There are 3 lifestyle changes I’ve made that have really stuck. They’ve become more than habits. They’re part of who I am.
In case you’re looking for a way to tell your body that you love her, I thought I’d share my top 3 lasting changes with you in hopes of inspiring you!
1. I started taking supplements religiously.
I’d been a supplement dabbler since I was a tween (unavoidable as the daughter of a holistic health enthusiast), but it wasn’t until I was truly living on my own and struggling with seasonal blues in my early twenties that I became really regimented about my supplements. I got customized morning and evening packets with my name on them to improve my compliance, and I got serious. My mood improved (thank you, Vitamin D), my energy improved, my skin improved, and every manicurist I’ve ever had since has commented on how remarkably strong my nails are.
2. I stopped feeling guilty about sleep.
I decided that sleep is a spiritual practice. My life doesn’t work that well when I’m tired, so why was I making myself feel guilty for going to bed early and missing out on nightlife (prior to having a kid) or waking up late and not getting a jump on the day? I’d rather be happy and present for the hours that I am awake than awake more hours but exhausted for them. Quality over quantity. Sleep heals almost anything for me. Why would I feel guilty about healing?
Sleep is my spiritual practice.
3. I started using an entire skin care system instead of piecemealing products together.
I used to use one cleanser from one company, another treatment product from another company, a toner from another, and a moisturizer from yet another. Then I decided to heed the advice to use an entire system because it’s designed to work together (plus it made my life easier.) I thought perhaps the whole “system” message was just for marketing, but I was pretty amazed by the results. My aesthetician at the time, who I was seeing regularly for glycolic acid peels because my breakouts were so bad, was blown away by the results and cut me back to one peel every few months. Now I’m a loyal skin care user, and I get it that someone has spent time making everything work together, so it does my skin good to put their hard work to good use and use the whole darn thing.
Supplements, sleep, skin. There you have it. The stuff I’ve tried that’s stuck.
Want some support and community around making healthy lifestyle changes like these? I’m co-hosting a 28-day Be Beautiful Program with my friend and fellow “Do Less” enthusiast, mama entrepreneur and health coach Kendra Cover. The deadline to sign up is 11/19.Learn more about the Be Beautiful Program here.
OVER TO YOU:
What lifestyle changes have you made that have become part of you? I’d love to know more in the comments!