It’s New Year’s Eve! How brilliant is that?? I’m so excited for 2014 and I hope that you are too!
As the year wraps to a close, I thought I’d share a couple of new year resolutions! So here are 10 healthy Living resolutions for 2014 you might want to consider!
1. Redefine Health.
Health to most people now seems to be just centered around healthy eating and regular exercise but health, as I’ve come to know, is really so much more that that. Health is first and foremost, in the mind. A life characterized by the fear of food, or constantly counting calories or protein percentages and whatnot, of lying in bed desperately coveting a model’s body, of planning and scheduling every single morsel that passes through your lips and feeling like a failure each time you fail to keep to that self imposed perfection- is not health. You may be eating really healthily, you may look like a million bucks, you may not be fat, you may be at the gym at the stroke of 6 every morning, people may think you are healthy, look up to you in awe and admiration but that’s not health. Health is not debilitating obsessive behaviors. True health is mental freedom from all of these fears and worry that you don’t look like an airbrushed model or that you aren’t fueling yourself on 100% nutrition from every bit of food that you eat. Health is not in bulging muscles or a modelesque body or a life lived in fear and restriction. Health is a personal awareness that the food you eat is nourishment for a body that will help you to live life to the fullest in gratitude and to love those around you.
2. Personalise Health
Health means different things to every one. Maybe you feel that the best for you is a vegan diet. Perhaps you feel that paleo is the way to go. Whatever it is, take it, experiment with it and don’t be afraid to modify it. Your body is unique and entirely yours. Only you know everything about it and how certain food makes you feel. How would the best selling author of some diet book know what works best for your body? The basics of healthy living is easy- more real food, more water, more movement.
3. Stop living in restriction
Perhaps you always tell yourself ‘no’. I can’t do this, I can’t eat that, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t. If you are trying to break a sugar habit, why not remove the adam’s apple of temptation and tell yourself what you CAN. You CAN eat a beautifully buttered brioche bread (or dark rye!) with smoked salmon and scrambled eggs instead of the pack of chips because mhmmm, they taste so much better. You CAN eat a warm comforting bowl of oatmeal stirred with sweet bananas topped with silvered almonds instead of plain nutella and bread for breakfast. It’s not that you can’t eat the chips or you can’t eat carbs or you can’t eat a million and one things you always tell yourself you can’t- you can, if you wanted to (and yes, you can!) But life is beautiful and filled with so much good stuff. The chips will always be in the supermarket beckoning you in glossy packaging from the shelves. Why not nourish yourself with an indulgent grilled fish and salad for lunch instead?
4. Invest in the eternal not the external.
What are things that will still be around when you pass away? Your family maybe- through your children? What would you like to be remembered post posthumously for when all is said and done and you are no longer around? I don’t know what you might want to leave behind when you pass on but I’ll tell you what you can’t leave behind- your body. All the time you spend worrying about your imperfect jaw line, your nose bridge that isn’t high enough, the tummy flab that wouldn’t go away after 2 kids, the money used to rectify all of these- what would come out of investing your entire life on your body? All the time and effort that you invested into creating an adonis body of art would be for nothing. Suffering through starving yourself to fit a social ideal- nothing. Worrying day and night about what to eat, what to wear, how someone thinks about your body- nothing. One day, your body will be gone, buried six feet deep for decomposers to work on or cremated into little unrecognizable shards of bone but what you CAN live behind- WOW! You could leave behind children who are a reflection of what you once were- responsible, respectful, a heart for social change perhaps. You could teach your children (daughters) to believe in themselves, live healthy, live large, break the cycles of fat talking about physical stereotypes that have hurt and discriminated for generations. You could leave behind social institutions built to feed the poor or empower the downtrodden in society for generations to come. You could leave behind the budding seeds of new inventions for future generations to work on and make life easier for all. Teach, empower, invest your time and energies into things that would last beyond you and your years. At the very least, you could leave behind the memory that you were more than just a pretty body. This doesn’t mean you don’t bother about your health and work yourself to do the bone or eat drink and be merry excessively. Nourish your body for the NOW. Take care of it wisely, not obsessively so that it is strong enough to enable you to invest in the eternal.
5. Stop the Fat Talking.
6. Be brave, empower others
It is all too easy to be swept up in the current of popular opinion. To stand out there and bring your lunch to work perhaps, to refuse another slice of cake, to not take part in fat talking as a social bonding tool, to bring up the topic of healthier eating- it all takes a lot of bravery especially when you don’t look like a fitness model (screw society and its singular definition of good health). You WILL be open to jibes. People will mock you. When you eat healthily, they will taunt you. When you don’t, they will jeer you (“I thought you very health conscious one?”). But secretly, deep down inside, everyone wants to be nourished even if they declare with much swag that they would rather DIE than eat a salad for dinner. I’ve lived past all the jeering and the taunts (mostly lighthearted and goodnatured) and discovered that if you just keep being true to yourself, one day it’ll all be okay. People will start asking you for advice to eat healthier, or to live better. When you don’t cave in to social pressure and choose instead to eat the healthier option (seriously, what is with this glamorization of unhealthy eating. Is it some YOLO thing I’m missing out?), you are empowering someone else out there to muster up the courage to do likewise as well next time. When you make healthy eating a natural conversation topic, you empower others to speak up with their doubts, fears and insecurities as well. When you are brave enough to eat out of a lunchbox at the office, you empower others to do the same as well. Don’t bother criticizing what you hate in life. Just be brave and empower others such that the good you believe in becomes the norm instead.
7. Cut out the diet mentality
When you are on a diet, you fail to see food/fruits as it is- whole,
real, natural and bursting with nourishing vitamins and minerals.
Instead, everything is judged by the ‘allowed’ and ‘disallowed’ list that somebody wrote up.
It doesn’t matter anymore whether the food infront of you is a banana
or a potato chip. You eat it and your mind races the same way, your
heart palpitates and you are overcome by an overwhelming guilt for
having done something you shouldn’t. What happens then after the week is up or the month? Who’s going to write up your next diet plan? Healthy living is a lifestyle change, not a 2 week thing.
8. Stop judging other based on appearance.
If you stop fat talking about judging your appearance, it’ll help you stop judging others as well. To cut it short- you don’t know A THING about other people. You cannot tell EVERYTHING about a person’s health based on how he or she looks. You cannot tell if the person is struggling with an eating disorder, or a thyroid condition. You don’t know if he/spent the day writing up yet another diet plan and the nights crying to sleep locked up in a mental prison of despair and fear. BODY SIZE TELLS YOU NOTHING. You can never know everything about the person but you do know yourself. Just take care of yourself and leave others to take care of them as well. Offer advice if needed but never from a moral high horse. Everybody is a work in progress at different stages in life with different circumstances to battle with. I really want to build up a society where the body means nothing but if you really must look I want you to look at the person and think of not of the lack of perfection so far from the standard of an airbrushed model but to just look at the twinkle in a person’s eye, the funny way the person throws back her head to laugh, the soft roundedness of tummy indicating the joy of several good meals shared in the company of loved ones. The tiny muscles a physical manifestation of a determination to be better than the day before.
9. Stop measuring your self worth by numbers
The scale- throw it away. Now. ’nuff said. You are defined by how much you can love those around you, how the strength of your mind inspires others, your determination, your resolve, everything else but those damn numbers on a machine you stand on every morning.
10. Live simply, passionately and joyfully/ It’s okay to be a cogwheel in a great and purposeful plan.
Never mind about the car or the condo or the whatever. Life is not in building up an empire for yourself now but it’s in what you would leave behind for the future. Live simply, live happy. DO you really want to spend another evening catching up with old friends talking yet once again about how much your investments have made? Or what’s the best bonds to buy? Does catching up with old friends seem like a prideful discussion on who has made the most money or come the furthest in life? How about sharing about your passion instead? Or your hobbies? (see: Be brave and empower others) My generation especially, the terribly privileged one has been brought up to believe that we can achieved (somewhere a long the lines, it’s turned into we MUST achieve) we are the university grads, the white collar workers but somehow we’ve forgotten that it’s okay to be part of a team to build a life for future generations to come. We are so obsessed with the fact that we must succeed, make a name for ourselves that we no longer believe in working as a team in causes worth working for. It is OKAY to not get to the top of the working world. It is OKAY to never have your name written down in history books. As long as you go to work and do your best, with the all the passion you have, with much sincere joy, your contribution will go a long way as well. Live simply, acknowledge that you are planting seeds for trees you would never get to enjoy the shade of and take care of the earth you are in now. Your children will inherit whatever you are careful with now.
Okay! That’s my 10 for this year! I didn’t write any about the usual drink water, sleep more etc etc etc because I’m sure everybody knows that already. Those are all just steps to truly live a healthy and fulfilling life! What’s more important is a positive mindset so here’s wishing you a healthy and happy 2014! May it be a year of love for you! 🙂
Ending off with 2 pictures I really like 🙂
Go Live life!
Lots of love and all of God’s blessings,