To me, the old adage about youth being wasted on the young is more evident to me now that I’ve entered my mid-40s. I sailed through my teens and 20s never worrying about healthy eating or daily exercise, but now, being firmly planted in middle age, I’m left to wonder whether there is am antidote that can help us stay healthy and fit?
All I’ve found so far is simply a commitment to eating healthy and staying active. You have to agree that though this is pretty darn obvious, it is oh so hard to live by. I have made improvements, tweaks and changes to this commitment for many years already and – at times – with a wavering degree of dedication.
However, over the last six months, I’ve stayed firm on eating right and working out, and for now, I’m solidly dedicated to the process. Why? Because I feel better, healthier, stronger and happier when I follow these simple rules:
- I removed gluten from my diet. I don’t have a gluten allergy, but my favorite indulgences include gluten (pretzels, bread, pizza, beer, cookies, cake) so by permanently removing flour-rich products from my diet, I’ve removed an ocean of temptations!
- I buy fresh vegetables and serve them both at lunch and dinner. In fact, 2/3 of my plate is covered with fresh vegetables – they are filling, nutritious and delicious.
- I’ve never been much of a fruit-eater, but I’ve made a pledge to eat one fruit per day. This has led me to fruits I never before considered like mangos, peaches and pineapple. They are filling and tasty and way better for my body than a bag of pretzels. I make fruit medleys by mixing several fruits together; our family favorite is blackberries, blueberries and strawberries as a snack when we watch television.
- I make smoothies with yogurt and frozen fruit instead of having a bowl of ice cream.
- I exercise five days per week. Please note, I will never win a fitness contest: I’m neither fast nor strong, but I’m dedicated. I plan out each day, and decide how I can fit in an hour at the gym. Sometimes I can get it in first thing in the morning (my favorite), but you can sometimes see me at the gym at 7 o’clock at night steadfastly on that treadmill.
I didn’t say these steps are easy, nor may they be the right steps for you. But make a wellness list that works with your life and I think you too will find yourself happier, stronger and healthier. At least I’ve found this to be true for me!