Do you know how to start living a healthy lifestyle? Do you know what the best healthy lifestyle practices are?
While nutrition and exercise are most definitely 2 elements needed to live a healthier lifestyle, I don’t believe it should be the first place you should focus on as a starting point.
Have you ever thought of focusing on your mind, first?
The mind. This is where you need to start to live a healthier lifestyle. Your mindset is everything. You need to be in the right state of mind and develop the right mindset to make healthy living a part of you. When healthy is your new normal, that’s when you can say it has indeed become a lifestyle.
And to make it a lifestyle, you need to fill your mind.
One of the best practices to live a healthy lifestyle is working on your mindset.
Are you ready to endure the challenges and obstacles that will come your way? You might be reading this having gone through a spell of eating well and working out, only to have dropped out a few weeks or months later. Well, that’s because you weren’t able to commit. It’s because you weren’t able to sustain the challenges that come your way, like social gatherings, travel, work, stress, work-life balance, and the list goes on.
See, beginning to live a healthy lifestyle is not easy. You have to put in your mind that it will be a long and bumpy journey. Don’t expect it to be easy. In this day and age, every day is different. There is so much that happens in one given day and this can cause us to deviate from eating well, exercising, sleeping well and simply committing to the lifestyle.
But, when you anticipate a non-linear journey, when you accept that it will be long, difficult and challenging, filled with ups and downs, then it will make you tackle the obstacles and challenges you face much easier. When you expect challenges, you can better overcome them. But when you expect it to be smooth sailing and then encounter your first obstacle, you won’t be very well equipped to overcome it.
That’s why I like to call this the 2 A’s: anticipate and accept. It’s such an important aspect in building a strong and resilient mind.
You also have to be patient. Please do not expect results to come quickly. Everything takes time. As a nutritionist in Dubai, this is one thing I highly emphasize to my clients. Be patient and enjoy the journey! Unfortunately, results take time. When you do see them, though, it’s the most rewarding feeling ever. So be patient to experience the feeling!
With being patient, you need to put in the work. Chase the lifestyle, don’t let it chase you. Put in the work and stay focused. Do the best you can to practice daily eating well, exercising, sleeping well, and staying hydrated. To make healthy living a lifestyle, means putting in the work every day of every week of every month. That’s what it means to make something a lifestyle.
I remember the turning point in my life back in 2009. I left Kuwait, my home country, and moved to the U.S… alone. I knew no one, and no one knew me. It was a completely different life and culture. It was scary, yet exciting. I always wanted to live outside of my comfort zone, and moving to the University of Maryland (UMD) for 4 years on my own was the best way to fulfill that.
Growing up in Kuwait, I never really encountered any athletes. I was always watching and playing sports, yet never saw an athlete up close. This all changed at UMD. Living on campus in a division 1 sports school was amazing, because I used to see so many athletes in the cafeteria, walking around campus, and some even in the same class as I.
I also used to see so many people running on the streets early in the morning. This was foreign to me because I had also seen no one running on the streets at 6am in Kuwait. The passion for fitness was also intriguing. The gyms were always packed, and people loved being outdoors engaging in some sort of physical activity.
All of this inspired and motivated me, and from freshman year onwards, I put a goal in my mind, which was to simply look and feel like an athlete. I wanted to have the same muscular build as the athletes I used to see on campus, and to be able to share their same athletic qualities such as speed, agility, and coordination. I had a vision to be athletic, and I felt more ready than ever to start making that change.
Seeing those runners and athletes on campus, I was sick and tired of wishing that I could be like them. While I knew I wouldn’t ever be exactly like them—as we’re all different, and there would be no way I’d attain the same athleticism they had—what I did know was that I could definitely gain the same drive and motivation as they exhibited, to take such care of themselves and feel and look amazing. If they could do it, why couldn’t I do it?
“I wish I could look like her.” “I wish I could train like him.” “I wish…. I wish.” People look a certain way, train in a certain way, and live a certain way for one reason only—because of a decision they chose to make. They became who they are by doing, not by contemplating, delaying, or postponing.
I realized I need to stop wishing, and start putting in the work.
This was the moment I looked within, and focused on improving my mindset to prepare me for the journey to come.
See, starting to live a healthier lifestyle is not only about healthy nutrition. It’s not about training, either. It’s a combination of both training and nutrition. However, even these two elements are not enough. Without the power of the mind, you won’t get anywhere.
It all starts in the mind.
Throughout my health journey, I discovered 5 pillars to living a healthier lifestyle. When I abided by these pillars, it helped shape who I am, and continually pushed me forward throughout my health journey.
It’s what inspired me to write a book, to share my story and inspire and motivate you to use these 5 pillars and apply them in your own life and experience the vast benefits that come with focusing on your mind first!
Fill Your Mind Before You Fill Your Plate, this book is about the 5 pillars that will help you live a healthier lifestyle. The 5 pillars are as follows, and in this order:
As you can see, mindset is the first pillar, because without the right mindset, the proceeding pillars would be difficult to implement.
So, when you are looking to lead a healthier lifestyle, start with your mind. Self-reflect, spend time alone, read books, listen to podcasts, or even work with a health coach to get you started and begin to reap the amazing benefits that come with living a healthier lifestyle!
Do you want to know how I was able to create and maintain living a healthy lifestyle? Check out my book, Fill Your Mind Before You Fill Your Plate, on Amazon! It’s available as a kindle and paperback.