My last blog about the Olympians and the focus, dedication and commitment they bring to their games has really got me thinking more about how this same approach relates to you and your health goals. The athletes spend years training, gave up many sacrifices such as moving away from their homes to train elsewhere, working through painful physiotherapy to get over injuries and of course putting careers and starting a family on hold. These sacrifices pay off in many ways even if they don’t win medals, just getting to the Olympics is a huge accomplishment and is up there with being nominated for a Nobel prize ( my opinion here).
The link between the athletes’ game plan for winning and your game plan for living your healthiest and happiest life possible, is not far off. Here are some strategies I know to work to help you live your best and healthiest life: First, take back control over preparing all or most of your meals. To be at your healthiest you will need to know what you are eating and how it is prepared. If it is not made with your health goals in mind, then you will miss out on the chance of eating to win. In my other blogs, I talked about eating to win to mean getting to your healthiest and happiest by choosing foods that fit with this desire. Second, say no to manufacturers desire to capitalize on your busyness by really asking yourself what are you so busy doing? Does it take me closer to or farther away from my health goals? What do I need to change in order to put my health first? Third, stay true to the fundamentals. Nothing worth having comes easy; you must be willing to work everyday at doing at least one simple act that will take you closer to living your healthiest and happiest life possible. This simple daily act could be to cut out drinking pop and replace it with water and low-fat milk. It could mean promising yourself to go for a 20 minute walk or run and doing it. It could mean using less processed foods and more whole, fresh foods, the list is endless.
What is crucial to your success though, is to choose one small act and work on it each day. The return on this investment will be astounding! Fourth, be smart about your health. Your health is your greatest wealth and you must invest in guarding it carefully. You can do so by taking time to prepare meals from scratch using fresh,unprocessed foods, by bringing your lunch to work /school with you and of course eating ‘real food’. Resist the temptation to eat foods that are masquerading as the real deal.
Above all the Fifth and final strategy is to make the full investment in your health by using resources such as dietitians and other trained health professionals who are experts in their fields. They can work with you to design a life strategy that will see you living your healthiest and happiest life possible. Remember, the Olympians didn’t do it alone, they had resources to draw on that helped them play their best game ever. You too can have such a life!
Your weekly coach,
Phyllis Reid Jarvis, RD, CDE