This guest blog post is by Michele Weinstein, a nutrition blogger and AHA volunteer.
Need help staying motivated? Forget perfection and start small. We’re bombarded daily with inspirational quotes and messages about living our best. But that’s not enough — we have to do more to stay motivated.
I know from experience: I almost died because of a 10-year struggle with anorexia. Despite graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in biology and nutrition — at the top of my class — and despite reading inspirational quotes daily, I still struggled getting from point A to point B.
So I get it. Whether it’s trying to eat healthier or exercise more, it can be a struggle. But it’s not impossible. I got there, and so can you.
Perhaps these tips can help you change your life and make it better than it was yesterday:
Figure out what you want, take a step back and find several ways you can get there.Once you figure that part out, break it down into small steps. Once you break it down, start today and do as much as you can. For me, that meant adding small increments of calories every day.
Want to exercise more? Start with parking farther away from wherever you’re going and walking wherever you can. Then, wake up 5-10 minutes early or spend 5-10 minutes at night doing an at-home workout. The next week, add more into your routine.
Want to add variety in your meals? First, go to Instagram, Pinterest, or blogs, and/or read a magazine. Find meals that look good, and don’t just save them — try one a week.
Want to include more fruit? You don’t need to eat six servings of fruit in a day to start. Add fruit to salads, oatmeal, frozen yogurt and more.
Find motivational quotes and content online and save them to your phone.Quotes aren’t going to make you change your lifestyle, but sometimes they help. You can also look on Instagram and listen to podcasts to keep you motivated on tough days.
Find the right support.There will be tough days in which you’ll just want to give up and give in. Don’t. Instead, turn to social media or talk to supportive family or friends. Sometimes the right support group makes all the difference in the end.
Be patient with yourself.You will make mistakes. Sometimes days don’t go the way you want them to. Life is unpredictable and that’s why it’s so important to think of a “mess-up” as a part of life. Have compassion for yourself. And the next day, do better. Don’t let one little mistake get in the way of your goals.
Still difficult? Change your mentality.While quotes and support are important, it’s often a matter of changing your mentality. Think of what you want in 10 years and what it will take to get there. And if you aren’t taking the steps today, think of what you may be regretting. I like saying: Why not and do it anyway.
These five things helped me throughout my struggle with anorexia. I hope they help you.
Forget about perfection. Do your best today, and every day do better than you ever thought you could.
Michele Weinstein has a bachelor’s degree in biology and nutrition from the University of Vermont. Her coursework included biochemistry of human disease, nutrition in the life cycle, organic chemistry, molecular endocrinology, comparative physiology, food and culture, functional foods, and health and disparities.
Initially, Weinstein planned to go into medicine. But she found that she could help many more people through blogging, using her education and personal experiences.
In her blog, A Fit and Fabulous Michele, she shares her life after a 10-year struggle with anorexia and growing up with family members with Type 1 diabetes and many food allergies.
Weinstein believes being healthy and happy is a balance of food, fashion, fitness and home decor. She also believes that we’re all different and what works for one person won’t necessarily work for another. So she shows how to adapt nutrition and lifestyle information to your needs.