The first step to any successful change is our mindset. Our actions are fueled by what motivates us, how we perceive ideas, and what we find priority. First let’s talk about the way we see food. Food is more than an essential piece of life. Food is the way we fuel our day, show love, reward, apologize, get past a tough moment, heal, and live! Food is not the enemy. We have control over what we eat. We can make a change and choose better for ourselves. I remember what changed my perspective on food. My husband sweetly brought me breakfast to work one day. It was Burger King biscuits and gravy. It was the most disgusting-looking food I was ever about to put in my mouth. The thought “What am I thinking? Are you really going to eat this?!” hit me like a ton of bricks. That moment I realized that I have been settling for less than my body deserves and it wouldn’t even taste good. Some foods we eat taste good at the time, but come back to haunt us later. Whether it is a bad stomach ache, lbs gained, weird feelings, bloat, or other issues it never leaves us truly happy and fulfilled. Something to consider when choosing food, is how you will feel after you eat it. Will you be glad you made the choice to eat it? If so, go ahead and enjoy. If not maybe it is time to consider another option.

I pointed out before that cooking is the best option. That scares people sometimes. Especially the crazy busy parent who doesn’t have time to shower, let alone cook or exercise. It doesn’t have to be a hassle to fix dinner. You may even find you have a flare for it. The time it takes you to run through the drive thru and grab a bite and take it home or where you are heading, you could have had a home-cooked meal instead. Just ask Rachel Ray. She is seriously one of the busiest people in the business and she cooks almost every meal. When she is sick she at least pulls a pizza bread together. I am not saying you have to be Rachel Ray, but you can find time to cook if you practice. Most weekday meals can be made in 30 minutes. I will be posting some recipes for you weekly. Plus, you are more likely to help your children develop positive habits for the future and even right now if you share your meal at the table. You will savor your food more and eat less if you enjoy it over a good conversation. We may also find that we have more energy, because we are not crashing from all the excess sugar in fast food products. Eating well will also help keep our moods more stable. Something extreme diets do not offer. If you are nervous about skills in the kitchen, look at my tips and practice cooking. I will be adding more over time.

The second and final perspective we may need to change is how we see ourselves. Believe it or not, you really are worth putting time and energy into. Seeing yourself as a person who has a purpose in life is key. In order to fulfill your purposes in life, you have to be healthy. I am not saying you should become self-centered. However, when you need to make a decision for yourself choose the best! Someone once said you cannot love others until you love yourself. I never agreed until recently. If we do not take care of ourselves how will we be in good health enough to take care of others? Also, once you learn how to better care for yourself, you can apply that knowledge when helping those you love. Remember to take time for yourself. Sometimes those with children find this particularly difficult. Aside from the guilt many feel for taking time for themselves, there are changing schedules, chores to be done, activities to do, etc. Squeezing some exercise time does not have to be impossible with children. If you have an infant, hold the baby as weight for squats and other exercises where you can have a good hold on your baby. Toddlers will enjoy watching you exercise and may even join in. If you toddler gets so involved you can’t move, save exercise for his or her nap time or after they have gone down for the night. When your children see you taking time and making good decisions they will understand that these things are important. This helps to prepare your children to make similar decisions for themselves later. If you are a busy person who barely even gets to see their significant other, make a date out of exercise or just do something active on your outings. Get creative. It also makes for great friend bonding time to do a similar program and keeps you accountable!

Valuing your health and choosing the best for yourself does not have to be a hassle. First of all you are worth the effort and time it takes to be healthy. You will feel better once you choose better. Start simple and grow from there. Small changes will help make for a lifetime of good choices for you and maybe even for others you care about. Balance in life has to include your wellbeing. When things are balanced, life is good! So go ahead and be a little snobby!


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