9 January 2020

Maintaining Wellness; How Do I Get Back On Track?

I've been asking myself this question for the past few months...but even more so after the holidays!! Maybe you're asking the same questions, "How do I get back on track? How do I lose these ten pounds I seem to have gained over the holidays? What can I do to get more energy? How do I get a good night's sleep? How can I wake up energized and feeling refreshed?" 

If like me, you've been derailed in your journey to wellness, hopefully sharing what I'm doing will help you too. 
How I'm getting back on track with good habits for healthy living


I  recently had this meme come up on FB,
Getting back on track in the new year

Maybe that's why I stopped making resolutions years ago! 

Still, like most people, I do look at the new year as an opportunity for a fresh start. I also know that getting off to a good start is just a small part of successfully reaching my goals. I'd love to be able to say I made great progress after my last post but unfortunately my Journey To Wellness took a bit of a detour to decluttering and downsizing territory! 

So, how DO I get back on track? What steps can I take to get back to healthy living? I'm come up with 4 steps to getting back on track.


First...

1. Assess where I'm at. Review the steps to healthy living that I've taken in the past. Where did I go off track?  What good health habits have I maintained? What areas need improvement? 

We all have different health issues, so yours may not be the same as mine. The impetus for me making some changes was learning 2 1/2 years ago that I have an autoimmune disease called Oral Lichen Planus. I also knew at that time that I had high cholesterol and was borderline diabetic...all very concerning issues and very good reasons to begin this journey.

Although our health needs may be different, the key to getting back on track is the same...we need to analyze where we got off track in order to get back on.

In this post, 5 Steps To Living Well, I listed five areas that I knew had made a difference in my health. In order to get back on track, I looked at these 5 things to see where I was doing well, and where I'd gone off the rails.

Intermittent Fasting 

I started intermittent fasting a couple of years ago. The method I've used is keeping my meals to a 6-8 hour eating window, breaking my fast between 11am and noon, and not eating after 5-6 pm. I've never been a big breakfast eater, so waiting until 11 am or noon to break my fast is not that hard for me, but I don't always manage to avoid evening snacks...especially over the holidays! 

Getting back on track with intermittent fasting

Is intermittent fasting something that might help you jump start your wellness journey in the new year? The method I use is just one way to do intermittent fasting. There are many resources online, with various methods to fit your needs and lifestyle.
I'll be posting more about the benefits of intermittent fasting in the future.





Reducing Stress 

Surprisingly, I seem to be doing best with this. I don't know that I've made any huge changes in the past year, but I really haven't felt overly stressed. Our move to a new home 6 months ago made for a busy time, but I didn't find it stressful. I'm extremely happy with this move and the fact that downsizing relieved a lot of financial burdens has probably helped reduce stress as well.

Reducing stress is always going to result in improvements to both physical health and mental health. But of course, easier said than done. If this is an area of concern, try to find something that works for you. I know for me, spending more time in God's word and in prayer is the best medicine!

Nutritional Supplements 

I had started taking a complete supplement pack about 2 1/2 years ago. This included a good multivitamin/mineral, Omegas, digestive enzymes, probiotics, CoQ10, K2-D2, plus other supplements for heart, brain, joint and vision help and more. Within a few months, I could feel the difference; I was sleeping better, had more energy, and was losing weight. My bloodwork confirmed the improvements. But about a year ago, I cut back a little on these supplements, taking a smaller pack and skipping days here and there. I think I had started to take my newfound health for granted! As with most things, once I got out of the habit of taking my supplements faithfully morning and evening, it was hard to pick that habit back up...even when I could feel the difference!

For most of us, our diet does not supply all the nutrients we need for optimal health. Finding a good supplement combo and taking them consistently, I believe is a must.

Food Choices 

This is the biggest cause of derailment for most of us! My OLP determines some of my food choices, so I've done fairly well at avoiding foods that cause a flare-up..except over the holidays. It's hard to resist some of the spicier foods and dips!

My food choices, in general, have not been the best. I've been eating more bread and sweets...well chocolate! These are two foods that I know I have to avoid completely, as I very easily become addicted again. Just like a smoker who quits then takes that one cigarette and they're hooked again, that is how I am with chocolate. There's no just having a little nibble cause I'll end up eating the entire thing, even if it's a family size bar!

Weight loss wasn't a priority for me when I started this journey; I just wanted to get healthy and feel good. But once I started taking supplements, I was pretty excited when the weight started to come off. Unfortunately, this past year, it's slowly been coming back, and I just didn't bother weighing myself. Let me tell you, if I needed a jump start to getting back on track with my weight loss, stepping on the scale was a huge kick in the butt! Isn't it crazy how quickly that weight can creep back up when we aren't paying attention?! 

Clearly, I need to get back to good, healthy eating. I posted here about My Diet, but one food in particular that I found helpful, not just for my OLP, but for general health is overnight oats. I used to hate oatmeal as a kid, so even though I kept hearing about them, I was hesitant to give them a try. The thought of cold oatmeal wasn't particularly appealing, so I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed them when I finally took the plunge. For months they were a staple in my diet, and I really don't know why I stopped eating them, but this is one food I'm definitely making a regular part of my diet again.

Getting back on track with good nutrition
In case you're interested, I'll be posting soon about the benefits of this simple food. There are plenty of recipes for overnight oats, but my favourite is:
1/2 cup of oats 
Milk- enough to cover oats
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 a chopped apple 
2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce.
These are approximate...I don't actually measure!


 Something I don't think I mentioned in my other post is the need to drink an adequate amount of water. I have a hard time with this...I just don't seem to get thirsty unless I'm working hard or it's a hot day. It isn't until I get a headache that I realize I'm dehydrated. Sometimes I keep a full jug of water out on the counter just so I see it and I'm reminded to drink!

Of course, what works for me is probably going to be different than for you...the point is to come up with a meal plan that you can stick to...no crash diets, no fads...just good sensible eating that takes into consideration any dietary limitations you may have.

Physical Activity 

What can I say?... I didn't just derail, I also fell off the walking path! I had been doing very well with the Walk at Home Videos, then I hurt my back while packing up moving boxes. Several weeks of chiropractor visits put things back in place, but by that time we had moved and were busy with work around our new home, and I just never got started again. 
Getting back on track with physical activity


But it's not all bad news. My husband and I got started walking around our new community and I do plan to do more of that come spring, but right now, I'm a bit of a couch potato again!

How about you? Is this an area where you feel you can never quite get where you want to be? Maybe we can commiserate together!




So there is my analysis of my situation. The next step...

2. Focus on one area for quick results and success 


Don't try to do it all at once. I'm an all or nothing type of person! But that really hasn't worked so well for me in the past, so perhaps this method will get better results. I need to choose one area that I know I can be successful. Seeing some changes or improvements to how I feel is a great incentive to keep on going.

For me, that's getting back to taking supplements consistently. I know I'll have more energy, sleep better and just feel better all around. That also seems to carry over into food choices. I've found in the past that supplements reduce cravings for 
sugar and lessen my appetite, so they can also be a quick start to weight loss.

Perhaps for you, the best choice is to get more active....maybe you want to start walking or go to
the gym. That would be my last choice because I'd be setting myself up for failure. While I know getting active is important, it's just not the best place for me to start. But, as I said, we're all different!

The next step...

3. Determination 

Plain and simple...I wish there was some quick fix, but the truth is, it's just going to take some old fashioned perseverance...and realizing that even though I've taken a side track, I can still reach my destination. 

I don't know if you have the same problem I do, but I usually find starting something is the easy part. Where I struggle is maintaining momentum over a long haul. It's so easy to get distracted with the busy-ness of life, and before I know it, 6 months have passed and I'm off on that old familiar line that leads to nowhere. Too often, this verse describes me...

Proverbs 25:28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

1 Corinthians 9:27 says, "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."

If I have no self-control, I'm going to constantly be ruled by my emotions and my appetites. To have rule over my spirit is to deny myself and to not give in to temptation, whether that is an overindulgence in food, or being prone to laziness. The key, of course, is to be consistent in God's word and in prayer; not trying to do this in my own strength, but looking to God and his word for wisdom, guidance and conviction of sin.

John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Keeping verses such as these close by or memorizing the ones that convict me are helpful reminders.
Getting back on track with Scripture

And the final step is not just how to get back on track, but how to stay on track...

4. Accountability

Getting back on track is not easy...that's why I'm talking about it here. Accountability, even if just to myself and this post is a great motivator, but accountability to others is even more helpful. One area I'll be keeping closer track of this year is my weight, and I've decided to post my progress. How's that for accountability?!

If you've made a decision to get back on track and you've set some goals, and you'd like some accountability I'd love to hear about it. You can comment here, or contact me through the form on the sidebar, or even through our FB page.

I hope you've found some help here, or at least can take comfort in knowing you aren't the only one who is starting 2020 getting back on track. Start Well, Persevere, Finish Well!

Read the series: My Wellness Journey

Follow us on Facebook: Living Our Lives Well

For women who would like some encouragement or accountability for your own journey, we have a support group: the Christian Ladies Network


You may be interested in this series: Downsizing & Decluttering

8 comments:

  1. I'm trying to reduce stress and increase physical activity, too. I think our quality of living can increase if we make small changes like these.

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    1. Yes, one small change at a time makes a difference!

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  2. I’m on holidays still, and only recently did I think how good working is for me! I know, I’m crazy!!! But I realise that structure and routine is really good for me. At holiday time I get off track and then find myself thinking what you’ve been thinking... I will be heading back to work in February, and i can now honestly say, I will be grateful to. I see how the Lord uses it for my good in an entirely new way now. This is a great post Deb, full of wisdom and the light many of us need to get back on track. Bless you my friend xx

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Chrissie! Yes I agree, I'm finding structure and routine make a huge difference for me as well.

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  3. I'm trying to increase my cardio on a daily basis. I'd like to get back to an hour a day.

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  4. I am also focusing on getting healthy this year! I've never tried intermitten fasting. Doesn't sound as drastic as complete fasting. I also am trying to supplement with well rounded nutrients. I've been getting mine from doTerra. A little more expensive but I love them. Thank you for the morning oatmeal recipe. I've never tried making that but want to start. TY again... :)

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome! I love my overnight oats! I get our supplement packs online..way better quality than regular brands.

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