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NOT Another Workout-Diet-Weight Loss Recipe

You can rest easy: I'm not going to drone on about how you should work out, eat right, watch your weight, etc. Leading a healthful life is so much more than just that. Being healthy and well is also a state of mind. No, even says so!

Health—soundness of body or mind; freedom from disease or ailment; vigor; vitality

Wellness—the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort; an approach to healthcare that emphasizes preventing illness and prolonging life, as opposed to emphasizing treating diseases.

So for all intents and purposes, you can see that state of mind has as much to do with being well as your body does. Have you ever felt guilty for eating some sugary delectable? Or have you been quick to blame your busy schedule or being out of shape for your not going to the gym? Have you ever weight-shamed another person (even if it was just in your head)? This also means you can nix your plans to "start being more healthy next Monday" if your head is not really in the game. The truth of the matter is, your thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes toward health and wellness are what really determines how you will (or will not) act.

What is your personal definition of health? Wellness?

For me, my personal good health and wellness includes being able to enjoy a steak seared to perfection with a glass of red wine in a pair of yoga pants without a single thought of the stresses of daily life. The key for me isn't just the steak or the wine; it's the stress-free part. And, yes, yoga pants do lend to a feeling of happiness, personally. But I digress. Feeling stressed is often what hinders many of us from being able to clear our mind of clutter, and with it, the ability to move forward.

"I would go to the gym more often if I weren't so busy at work."

"I don't have enough time after the kids' activities to cook a healthy meal."

"I just have so much going on in my life right now."

Consider this: what is stopping you from being more committed to your health/wellness goals?

You may be limiting yourself to your own stereotypical beliefs, or someone else’s. Which is why I'm going to give you 3 stressful behaviors to benchpress out of your existence:

Thinking that everything "should" be easy. You've heard that anything worth having is worth fighting for. The word "should" is very subjective, very judgmental. Don't place this constraint on yourself. You are a summary not of what you have done, but of every obstacle you have overcome. Challenges are unique learning experiences. Here is where you will develop your greatest strengths.

Everything must be perfect. Why are you seeking perfection? If someone offered you a $100 bill just for being you, would it matter if it was a newly minted bill, fresh and crisp? What if it was a dirty, torn, crumpled $100 bill from 1985? The point is, either way, it is still worth $100. Do not create conditions to your success that will prevent you from appreciating the achievement. Also, the quest for perfection can lead to paralysis by analysis--the overwhelming habit of indecision (which is more often rooted in fear of failure, making mistakes, or letting others down). Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.

Living life in absolutes. This is a form of negative thinking. How often does "always" and "never" creep into a critical inner dialogue? "I never win. This is what always happens." You get the point. Thinking in absolute terms is a definitive way of painting yourself into a corner and creating conflict in your life where perhaps there wasn't any. More positive thoughts are more constructive, and as you build that energy up, you will find more opportunities than challenges.

Now, you know enough to be dangerous! Whether you throw on some sneakers and go for a walk tonight, or you sit down and read "The Ultimate Happiness Prescription" by Deepak Chopra, begin by taking action this week in creating an abundance in health and wellness by your definition!

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