Jody and her family getting active together. Photography courtesy of Thomas Fricke.
Purge your shelves and fridge
Get rid of anything that you might eat in a moment of weakness. If it is not good for you at your best, get rid of it. I would also suggest doing it with a friend who also wants to share your new lifestyle change as you can push each other. Keep each other accountable and throw out all those empty calories.
Plan your meals
I hate planning out my meals a week in advance, but it really helps us stay on track. I know from past experiences that when I don’t plan, I tend to get something quick which does not always translate into a healthy meal. However, if I have my meal ideas ready, I can prepare make sure to eat something that's good for me. There are many options out there to help you with this planning. Also, I suggest posting your meal plan for your family to see. If your family can see what they are having, then they'll know what they have to look forward to at dinnertime.
Be prepared for cravings
I am not going to lie, the first week on the healthy meal plan was not fun. But it helps to prepare for it. Stock your pantry with nutritious snacks, try eating fruit when you're craving sugar and have a variety of nuts to satisfy your appetite. This is great for those pick-me-ups and for when the craving monster rears his ugly head.
Remember why you're doing it
During this lifestyle change you have to keep in mind why you are doing what you are doing. For me it was my kids. I want to be able to keep up with them, and stay healthy to see them and their children. Another thing that helped was reflecting on what my life could look like as I age. I don’t want to be cooped up in a nursing home simply waiting and not being able to do anything. I want to live life. That was my "why", and when times get hard, I will remember my why.
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