You may be killing it at work, but is work killing you? Incorporate these three simple changes into your regular schedule to feel healthy, be happy and still maintain your rock-star status at the office.
1. Start small — very small.
Are you a marathon runner? Are you a healthy eater? Do you regularly exercise? Do you feel like you’re in shape? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then you can’t expect to suddenly be able to run five miles a day and go vegan. Ease your way into a healthy lifestyle by making small — yet beneficial — changes to your daily routine. They can be as minute as eating at least one piece of fruit a day, or choosing to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Work your way up to going to a gym class or on a light jog three times a week.
Remind yourself that going from zero to 100 never works. You might start out spending two-plus hours at the gym and eliminating carbs, but by day three, you’ll be miserable, back on the couch, devouring a loaf of bread.
2. Don’t diet.
You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again: Diets do not work. They are not only unsustainable, but they are also associated with a substantial amount of unnecessary shame. When you diet and “cheat,” you feel guilty, which makes you feel like you’ve failed and, consequently, worse about yourself. The trick is to think big picture and change your goals. Instead of thinking, “I want to lose weight,” think, “I want to feel good.” Believe the notion that everything is truly okay in moderation (because it is). Change your idea of success from not eating any cookies to eating just a cookie, or from not eating any cheese to not eating the entire block (trust me, I know how that can happen).
2. Convenience is everything.
Make it easy to be healthy and energized. Choose a fitness facility that is close to home or work so that you’re not traveling long distances too early in the morning (when you’re still waking up) or too late at night (when you’re exhausted from the workday). The quicker you can get there, the likelier you are to stick to your fitness goals.
When it comes to snacking, pack healthy options you can munch on throughout the day. Not having nutritious alternatives leads to last-minute decisions when you’re hungry, which leads to the vending machine, which leads to unhealthy choices. Instead, try hummus and carrots, almonds or homemade granola bars.