I’m the kind of person who loves a challenge, so when John decided that it was time to change our lifestyle, I was pretty excited to jump right in!
He had been doing some research on geriatrics and the environment and had found studies that showed people who lived the longest, with the best health, lived in regions far away from industrially tainted air, farmed their own food without chemicals, and had pure, clean water to drink. They had plenty of exercise built in to their daily tasks and there was a strong sense of community and family support. These people were not fraught with the same chronic diseases that people living in a typical western culture have.
If we compare that kind of lifestyle to the one most of us lead – no wonder so many of us are popping all kinds of prescription and over the counter medications to get through the day! I used to be a Tums chewing, Zantac and Advil grabbing, busy person until the effects of the new lifestyle kicked in. Feeling so much better was my motivation to stick with the change.
John and I changed all our routines – diet, exercise, and even the products we had in the house. The result has been: we have more energy, fewer trips to the medicine cabinet for Advil and Zantac for me, better toned bodies and lighter weight for both of us. I go through every day feeling keenly sharp and more productive.
Although I saw the change as a big adventure, a lifestyle change can be easier said than done, that’s for sure. And John knows that not all people see changing lifestyle as an exciting adventure; often times, more like an uphill battle. And then there’s the question – where do you begin? I asked John to tell us which is more important to start with, diet or exercise:
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John emphasizes that the medical studies say: the more changes you make, the more likely you are to maintain the changes in the long run, which is the goal when you’re changing your lifestyle. But you don’t have to take gigantic steps all at once. Just remember that every change you make will make a difference to your quality of life as you age.
The secret to getting ahead is getting started. If you start with the mindset that change feels like punishment, you won’t change. My blog posts will give you tools to make changing your routines easy and fun, and the facebook group will give you a place to get more ideas on how to incorporate change, support, accountability, and recipes! But before all else, you need the motivation to want to start, but also the motivation to keep it going.
So think about what would motivate you to want to change your lifestyle. If you could add extra years – good, healthy years – onto your life, how would you want to spend them?