You name the diet, I have most likely tried it. I have attempted every fad diet, cleanse, and latest exercise trend. That was my mistake. I was looking for a quick fix to “fix” my health and my body. But what works for optimal health is a lifestyle change. I learned to change my daily routine in order to improve my health. I traded sugar-enhanced juices for water, incorporated the gym into my routine and made other healthy adjustments.
I had the pleasure of attending a press preview for the Broadway show “After Midnight” starring Fantasia Barrino, Dule Hill, Adriane Lenox, and Musical director Wynton Marsalis. I sat down with Fantasia and we talked health. We began with the obvious. The Grammy winner lost a total of 50 pounds after giving birth to her son Dallas Xavier in 2011. “I started out walking,” Fantasia began, “I actually liked just getting out and moving. I tricked my body and I got used to it.”
Exercise that stimulates the cardiovascular system (heart and blood vessels) is important for our health and well-being. When we consider cardio workouts, we can sometime jump to the extreme visualizing long-distance running and hard-core sporting events, psyching ourselves out before we take our first step. Running marathons and other high-impact workouts, however, are not necessary for long-term health and weight loss. There are simple exercises, such as speed walking, that get the heart pumping, improving your energy and health.
Fantasia went on to share a bit out her upbringing in North Carolina. “I’m from the south and we like good food, but we tend to like food that’s not particularly good for us.” But, she said, “I’ve cut out fried food and instead of salt I use Mrs. Dash. I use healthy alternatives.”
In Fantasias family, many of the women have ailments, including her grandmother who suffered a heart attack. Yet it was the younger women in the family with declining health that alarmed her. I remember going back home and finding out my 25 and 30 year-old cousins had high blood pressure!” This encouraged Fantasia to change her lifestyle without fad diets or gimmicks. She simply changed her daily routine, and we commend her for it!
If you are interested in making positive lifestyle changes and boosting your health and wellness without fad diets or extreme exercise plans, check out these pointers to get you on your way:
- TAKE IT EASY: Gradually introduce new lifestyle changes into your routine so it will not be such a jolt to the system. And incorporate it into your daily life. Try walking to the store instead of hopping in the car.
- KNOW YOURSELF: Know your body and your limitations. You would not attempt that triathlon 3 days after starting exercising. Start off slow and build up over time
- CROWD OUT: Find replacements for unhealthy treats so you will not feel deprived. Trade one thing for another. For example trade in your soda for water or a green juice. Try replacing white bread with a whole grain alternative.
- FIND YOUR TRIBE: Surround yourself with like-minded people who motivate you to stay healthy. Positive energy from others not only encourages us but keeps us on track.
- STEP BY STEP: Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. It takes time to see the results of the changes we make. Enjoy the process! And cherish your bod each step of the way, for it was created with love and heals through love.