Baby Steps to a Healthy Lifestyle

The second I lift my McDonald’s large Diet Coke into eye view for the teachers and fellow mothers in the carpool line to see — glares.

Michelle, still sweaty from Hot Pilates, looks at me like I just held poison to my lips.

Mrs. Becky, who has “vegan 🌱” in her Facebook bio, views the Golden Arches as the gateway to hell.

And all I can think to myself is, You’re just lucky it’s DIET!

I cannot seem to keep up with the health trends these days. Apparently, almond milk (which I once thought was the healthy alternative to milk) is filled with “gums and oils,” intermittent fasting is a polarized debate, and what the hell is 75 hard?

If you think I have time to be checking the ingredients at the grocery store for “gums and oils,” you are highly mistaken. If I am fortunate enough to have time to go to the grocery store that day, you bet I am in and out of there in 30 minutes.

And if I have one open hour of time in my day, the last thing I want to do is hop on a treadmill.

I want to take care of myself and my husband reminds me weekly that I should be, but sometimes the health and wellness world seems like a beast I need much more time to tackle.

Then January came along and with it the dreaded “What’s your New Year’s resolution?” questions.

Julie asked me if I would do a “miracle mile” with her once a day. Outside. In Winter.

Linda asked me if I would get a membership at CycleBar with her. If there’s any bar I’m going to that cycles, it is the Thirsty Peddler.

This year I had my own proposal to them: “Could you help me find easy steps towards health and wellness.”

How humbling it is to ask your friends for help — us moms suck at that.

Hand in hand, my friends are walking me through the baby steps towards health and wellness. And while they may look small, they make a big impact, not only physically, but mentally and relationally as well.

Beside my own embarrassment, I am sharing them with you all (so you don’t have to ask the humbling question).

10 Baby Steps Towards Health and Wellness:

  • Drink half your body weight in ounces a day. This will boost your metabolism, aid digestion, and clear your skin!
  • Go for a walk. Not only will this help you maintain a healthy weight, but it will increase your energy levels and improve your mood. Take your kids, dogs, or phone a friend!
  • Swap sugar for honey! This is delicious in coffee, tea, and baked goods and helps with allergies!
  • Book those doctor appointments you have been putting off. Get your yearly checkup, mammogram, dentist, and therapy on your calendar.
  • While you’re at it, get time with your friends on your calendar as well. Social support is important for physical and mental health and actually boosts the effects of already-healthy behaviors such as exercise.
  • Have healthy grab-n-go snacks. How easy is it to grab some packaged junk when you’re in a rush? Instead, have a supply of bananas, apples, protein bars, nuts, etc.
  • Set a 30-min buffer after you wake up and before you go to bed for “no screen time.” This can help you start and end your day less stressed and improves your mood.
  • Get enough sleep. There is a strong correlation between your quality of sleep and immune system. While this may seem like the easiest, it is often the hardest.
  • Have a “damp” January - or any month. Don’t put the pressure on yourself to cut off alcohol completely, but instead, pay attention to how much alcohol and sugar you intake and cut back. Mom Water is a great option, with 0 sugar, 0 carbs, and 4.5% alcohol 😉
  • Give yourself some grace. Don’t beat yourself up for indulging in your “simple pleasure” of the day (whether that be Diet Coke, alcohol, or a cookie) but maybe make sure you get an extra glass of water in before. This grace you give to yourself will also help others do the same. Hey, maybe Grace would be a great Mom Water name!

We’re in this together, gals!