A number of years ago I ran into a “popular” kid I went to high school with but hadn’t seen since. It had been over ten years since we had graduated from high school but I immediately began to feel the same feelings I did as a teenager: unconfident, inferior and uncool…just like I had ten years previous.
I’ve often thought about this experience and the power of our minds and our thoughts. I’m sure many can relate. As a teenager I never told anyone what I thought of myself because I was too embarrassed. But the reality is that I often viewed myself in a bad light. My self-talk was often negative, beating myself down, telling myself I wasn’t as cool, talented, confident or good looking as everyone else. And sadly, over ten years later, my high school identity (or who I saw myself as) resurfaced instantly…immediately impacting my behavior.
Unfortunately for most, this story doesn’t end with high school. We continue to feed ourselves negative thoughts that only bring sadness and hold us back from reaching our potential.
Each of us views and talks to ourselves a certain way; this is your personal identity. In the depths of your mind where no one else can hear you, what do you tell yourself? “I will never be beautiful.” “I just don’t have the willpower like other people do.” “I will always be fat.” “I’m not good at setting and accomplishing goals.” Often times these thoughts come from others, outside influences, but we then allow ourselves to believe them, and begin repeating them to ourselves over and over.
Like a script for our life, these destructive thoughts eventually become our reality. This is our personal identity—the person we see ourselves as.
Whatever your thoughts, they will ultimately determine who you are and who you become. If you think your thoughts don’t matter or that people won’t eventually discover what you’ve been thinking, think again. It’s simply impossible to hide your thoughts, for they are your life script. Thoughts turn into actions, which turn into habits, which determine your life.
If you have always viewed yourself as lazy, ugly, fat or unmotivated, choose today to be someone different. Choose today to be proactive, beautiful, healthy and motivated. You and only you hold the power to become whoever you want to be. And it starts with your thoughts and the way you view yourself, your identity.
If you don’t mentally believe first, you will never physically become. Choose to write a new script. Choose a new identity and read it to yourself daily, in your mind and out loud. Remember that identity is destiny!
There is no one size fits all approach to overcoming these challenges. But at LifestyleHealth12 we have tried to gather the best research together on this topic and combine it with information and tools to help you reach your goals, whatever they may be. Click on the link below if you would like more information.
-Rich Millar, Founder of LifestyleHealth12
No matter what you like to do, find something active you enjoy and do it consistently. Remember, exercise is anything you enjoy that gets your heart rate and breathing up. Literally anything. So find an activity you enjoy doing and start exercising, your way. Here are some suggestions:
You may recall from our earlier post, that your internal sleep clock is strongly influenced by our exposure to light.
You can let your internal clock know it’s almost time for bed by avoiding bright lights one hour before you plan on sleeping. Try to mimic what’s happening outside. Begin turning off or dimming lights. Avoid bright light that comes from electronic devices (it stimulates your brain, keeping you awake). If you still want to use an electronic device be sure to dim the screen. And remember, the more consistent you are the better. Click HERE for more sleep tips.
Your success in life and health starts with being true to yourself. You do this by making and keeping commitments, first to yourself and then to others. Every day you make commitments or promises to yourself, “I’m going to get up at 7,” “I’m going to walk 15 minutes this morning,” “I’m going to eat a healthy lunch.” And your success is ultimately determined by your ability to make and keep these commitments to yourself.
If you have struggled reaching yours goals, you likely don’t follow through with commitments to yourself and others. Take a minute and write down the commitments you made this past week and whether you followed through or not. Choose today to be different. Choose today to make and keep commitments to yourself and others. Be realistic, start small, and only commit to things you know you will actually do. By doing so you WILL be successful.
Want help getting started? Check out our program HERE.
When it comes to produce, fresh right off the branch or vine is always the best. But if produce is out of season as it is for so many right now, frozen produce is actually a great alternative.
Because of the way produce is processed and frozen, minimal nutrients are actually lost in the process. And unlike fresh produce, as long as the produce remains frozen the nutrients are locked in and remain constant. This makes frozen produce sometimes more nutritious than what you may find in the produce section of the grocery store. Just make sure there is no added sugar and you're good to go! For more Nutrition tips click HERE!
Many think of exercise as just a way to burn calories (or lose weight), but that isn’t even the main reason we need exercise. Think of burning calories as a bonus. The real reason we need exercise everyday is because every cell, blood vessel, joint and muscle in our body just doesn’t work as well if we’re not pushing them to get stronger and consistently getting our heart rate and breathing up. Regular exercise not only fights disease, acts as a stress reliever and an anti-depressant, it also boosts your immune system and makes you smarter. Your body simply can’t afford to not exercise every day!
Exercise benefits everyone from children to the elderly as well as those who already have a chronic condition or disability, are at risk of developing a chronic disease or are currently healthy. And for those who haven’t been exercising regularly, studies show that this group has the most to gain from establishing a regular exercise routine. But before you start a new exercise program, consult with your physician.
For more Exercise Tips click HERE.
Your internal clock tells your body when to sleep by releasing melatonin and is strongly influenced by your exposure to light. Your body releases melatonin so you are naturally active when it’s light and sleepy when it’s dark. For this reason, when and how much you expose yourself to light becomes an integral part of setting a proper sleeping pattern.
Following the sun’s patterns is the best and simplest way to do this and was a lot easier to do before electricity was invented. Today we are constantly exposed to bright light after dark, which makes it difficult for our internal clocks to know when to sleep. For these reasons, it’s important to expose yourself to bright light during the day, (preferably natural light), avoid bright lights at least one hour before bed, and sleep in a dark environment.
You can even use light to help alter your sleep schedule. If you are having a hard time going to bed at night, start your day with more light exposure (if possible natural light). Then end your day by dimming the lights in your house and avoiding light from electronics like TVs, computers and smart phones at least one hour before bed.
For more Sleep Tips click HERE.
As parents you have the greatest influence, for better or worse, on your kids' health habits. First and foremost they will follow your example. If you are practicing poor sleep, exercise, nutrition or other health habits they are more likely to follow.
New research out this past week highlights how important it is to get kids on the right track before the age of five. What the researchers found was that the weight of a child at age of five was a great predictor for what weight they would be at a teenager and consequently as an adult. This makes the habits set before age five vitally important.
You have the responsibility as the parent to provide the proper instruction, environment, means and timing for your child’s health. And the best way you can do that is to lead by example because more often than not they will follow your lead. Commit today to helping your kids achieve the health they deserve.
For more information on improving your health habits, go HERE.
Many think since juice is “natural” it is healthy. But a cup of juice can have as much or more calories than a cup of soda, is absorbed quickly (spiking your blood sugar levels…this is bad!) and has often been stripped of the fiber and other nutrients.
It is always better to eat the fruit or vegetable instead of drinking the juice. Actually chewing and digesting food slows down the digestion and absorption process allowing for more stable insulin and hormone levels.
Additionally, liquid calories go down fast, can carry a lot of calories, but fail to fill you up. If you would still prefer to not eat the food, try blending instead of juicing.
Want more Nutrition tips? Check out our program HERE
Talking about nutrient content of Fruits and Vegetables and the different options. It can be misleading to think fresh produce (at the store for example) is always the best choice. Let me know what questions you have.
About the Author
LifestyleHealth12 was developed by Rich Millar (MPH, CPT) who received his Bachelor’s Degree in Dietetics and his Master’s Degree in Public Health and has over 15 years of experience in nutrition consulting, personal training, health coaching, employee wellness, and Health Care Administration.