The Secret to Happiness!

The secret to happiness is…..

….to LIVE life with purpose and gratitude.

When I think back to life a few years ago, I never really understood how to live life with gratitude or with purpose.  I took for granted that I had my health and forgot how to have joy in the little things.

I remember this moment.  I wanted to disappear into the crowd and I definitely did NOT want my picture taken. You can see it in my face.  PUT THE CAMERA DOWN…

This probably sounds corny or cliche, but we owe it to our kids, our partners, to our loved ones, and most importantly to ourselves to take care of our bodies.  By taking care of our bodies, in turn we are taking care of our mind too!  There is nothing better for your mind, body, and soul than to exercise and be proud of yourself for your accomplishments.  I was once a hater of all things active, so it’s definitely a learned behaviour.

What happens when I say the word “DIET”.  What do you think of?  The word “Diet” has horrible connotations attached to it.  To me diets are about will power, restriction, self-control, deprivation, etc.

Living a HEALTHY lifestyle is NOT a diet.   It’s a way of life that celebrates living the best life possible.

It’s about balance, being proud of your accomplishments, pushing yourself forward, celebrating your healthy body and all it can do, enjoying whole food packed with vitamins and nutrients and feeling the boundless amounts of energy that comes from eating that type of food.  It’s about feeling in control (this one is HUGE for me) and most importantly, feeling gratitude for your life.   LIFE IS GOOD.

When people ask me how I lost the weight, I often get the same reaction after I tell them it was through healthy eating and exercise.  Groans and eye-rolls…because we are trained to believe that it can’t be done or sustained because it’s a diet.  We are so used to hopping on the diet bandwagon and giving it all we got for a bit, only to realize that we can’t sustain it and then feel like a failure when the weight comes back on.  It’s a terrible cycle and it leaves a person feeling defeated.  I’ve been there, and it sucks!

I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be that way.  It really doesn’t!  If you think you can’t do it…you are absolutely wrong.   There is such freedom when you find a lifestyle that works for you and it can be sustained.

So where does one start?!

Start with little manageable changes and keep going!  Cut out processed, high-fat, high-sodium foods.  Eat the way nature intended…foods as close to their natural state as possible: whole grains, lean protein, veggies & fruits. ALWAYS eat breakfast.  Pack small healthy snacks (around 100 calories) so you never go hungry.  Eat smaller meals.  Plan your meals ahead. Walk instead of ride.  Take the stairs.  Dance, move, run, swim, cycle, jump, LIVE!

Read this: Dr. Phil’s “The Ultimate Weight Solution

Even if you’re not a Dr. Phil fan, this book is great because it touches on all the elements that go hand in hand with losing the weight and keeping it off.  It’s not about the food.  It really isn’t.  There are many reasons for obesity, but for me it was so much more than just the food.

Find support!  I found a great group of women all going through the same trials I was (thank you “Living FIT/JTTH” girls! I love you & I’m so thankful for you)

I’ll support you! Leave me a comment or e-mail me at hopaluk (at) shaw (dot) ca

I remember this wonderful moment too:  I received my goal weight key-chain from my weight loss support group!

By living a healthy lifestyle, you will tap into a side of you that you may not have known existed.  I can’t begin to tell you the freedom and zest for life I found when I realized that I didn’t have to be “the big girl” for the rest of my life; however, it’s not about the size you are or how much you weigh. It’s about honouring yourself and living the best life possible.