Create a Vision for a Healthier Tomorrow

January 5, 2015

What’s all the fuss about? Losing weight and getting healthy is easy! Just burn more calories than you take in, eat your fruits and vegetables, and drink plenty of water. What is so hard about that?

If only it were that simple; I would be out of a job and the term “obesity” wouldn’t be on public health officials’ radar. Yet, here in Mississippi, obesity in children and adults is a leading health concern and contributes to the state’s major chronic disease killers: heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.

Any health professional will tell you their job is to educate, equip, and encourage people to live a healthy lifestyle. As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I have experienced that even with the best nutrition education; I often fail miserably at getting people to make lasting changes to their diet. By now, most American adults are educated above their level of obedience when it comes to health and wellness. Sure some of the conflicting information is confusing, but ask any 5th grader and they can tell you apple slices are a healthier choice than French Fries.

What’s the deal? For those with adequate access to grocery stores and financial resources, their issue with food has nothing to do with the food on their plate. That is why about one quarter of the vegetables consumed in America is fries. That’s not one quarter of potatoes, that’s one quarter of all vegetables in total! Americans now eat an average of four servings of French fries every week.

Endurance runners, like me, know that the marathon is conquered with the mind and the feet are just along for the journey. That goes for all of life’s biggest obstacles; the mind is the most powerful muscle in the body. If you are a chronic dieter, then consider bypassing the next fad diet and focus on conquering the mind to not just win the battle but gain victory over the food war.

Every day we wake up and face a million and one choices. Without much effort we allow the snarky voice in our head to dictate what we wear, who we smile at, and what we eat. Over the next month we will explore how with a little awareness and practical solutions, you can achieve freedom from dieting and reclaim a positive relationship with food and physical activity, if you really want to.

Alice came to a fork in the road.
‘Which road do I take?‘ she asked.
Where do you want to go? responded the Cat.
‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered.
‘Then,’ said the Cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.”

There are many nuggets of empowering messages in Alice in Wonderland, but this one rings so true- you will never get to where you want to go if you have no idea where there is. Or, another way of saying it is – you can achieve anything you want out of life as long as you know what it is you really want.

That is why the first behavior strategy we are going to do right off the bat is a vision board. No eye rolls please, a vision boar is a simple (childlike) exercise that has a powerful visualization affect that activates the universal law of attraction. This isn’t new science, it’s been around since the Stone Age, for one reason- it works. No joke, if you don’t believe me, I dare you to try it. A simple vision board can begin to help you manifest your health and wellness (or any) dreams into reality.

What is it? A vision board is a simple visual representation or collage of the things that you want to have, be, or do in your life. It can be pictures, quotes, scratch ideas, hand drawings, or whatever catches your attention that represents a goal, dream, or wish. You can use a poster board, notebook, napkin, or even a hidden Pinterest board. The point and purpose of vision board is to put your vision of success directly in front of you, for you to think about it, envision it, find it, cut it out, or pin it to a specific place. By selecting pictures and writing that charges your emotions with feelings of passion, you will begin to manifest those things into your life- pinky promise.

Obviously, you can have a vision board for a broad spectrum of things in life, but here we are focusing on your vision for your health and wellness. I suggest an 8×10 card stock to start (or Pinterest) and locate what “healthy” looks like for you. Only one rule: you can NOT focus on specific body images or body parts. Who doesn’t want J-Lo’s booty or Jennifer Aniston’s abs? But, that isn’t what this is for; this is for real life “healthy” and what that means to YOU.

Cut out (or pin) healthy meals, families exercising together, a certain marathon or 5k race you want to accomplish, or maybe its words like stronger, faster, well rested, and nourished. Places you want to run, bike, swim, or mountain climb at. Or, skills you want to develop – healthy cooking, yoga, or skating. This is not complicated; it’s empowering and setting the stage to significantly change your entire well-being in 2015.  Who is all in with me?

Tweet me or Facebook me and share your vision!  Feel free to also share within the MSWB community to help provide accountability!

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