Column 52 – New Year, New You in Babysteps by the FlyLady, Marla Cilley

With each New Year we resolve to eat less, move more and take better care of ourselves. We have all made these resolutions and end up with broken spirits because we have set ourselves up for failure once again. I would like to look at our expectations and come up with a way to do all these things in simple BabySteps that can change our lives.

We don’t need a new year to decide to take care of ourselves. What do we mean when we decide to “Take Care of Ourselves”? It all boils down to a lifestyle change for many of us. Now we could go cold turkey and go away for a month to some elaborate spa where they fix our meals for us, put us on an exercise regimen, run medical tests and pamper us or we can learn from them and do it ourselves.

If you went away to one of these retreats for a month what would be the first thing they would do to you? We would have to sign a waiver, get a physical and blood work. Why do you think they would make you sign a waiver? This is to relinquish them from any liability that could result from you killing over from a heart attack. This in itself should be a wake up call for most of us. Our lifestyles are contributing to the increase of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes in our country. With this in mind it is up to each one of us to take charge of our bodies and our minds and go get a physical along with the blood work. We should do this before we start any new lifestyle changes. This is our barometer to help guide us. Do not procrastinate about this. Make your appointment today because this is the first step to the rest of your life. Talk to your doctor about taking these BabySteps to change your life. Ask for help and as long as you are getting blood work done get them to run a full panel thyroid screen.

At the spa you will probably be forced to go cold turkey when it comes to smoking, alcohol, and caffiene. So how can we limit these things for us while we are enjoying our Home Spa? Let’s look realistically at how much we are doing these things during a day, week or a month. For some people money can be a motivating factor for others they just need to decide that moderation is the key. So instead of 5 cups of coffee a day; just have one. Then replace the coffee with a bottle of water. With dinner have water and one glass of wine instead of a bottle. Smoking is very a very hard habit to break so look at when your body is craving a cigarette and when it is just a simple habit to light up. You will be able to tell the difference. Be nice to yourself and don’t punish yourself by taking everything away cold turkey. You know how fad diets work. You feel deprived and then just throw the diet out the window and devour all you can get your hands on. During the process we are going to learn to nurture ourselves at the same time we are making the lifestyle changes. This way you do not have to feel like you are being tortured.

We can turn our homes into nurturing spas with just a few little additions to our grocery lists. Spas have good wholesome snacks just waiting for you to enjoy them. They require you to eat several times during the day. We don’t normally do this because we are too busy to eat. The main reason we don’t eat good wholesome foods is because there are not any in the refrigerator. So add whole fruits, cut up veggies, nuts, cottage cheese cups, yogurt, and salad fixins to your weekly grocery list. Remind yourself to eat between meals. Imagine that; you have permission to snack.

At a spa you never see anyone without a water bottle. There are water coolers everywhere and little reminders to drink up. I am not talking about over doing here; just getting eight cups of water a day. If you eat 3 meals a day and 3 snacks a day then drink a small glass with each then you have had 6 glasses of water. Now add one when you get up while you are getting dressed and then another one before bed. You have done it; 8 glasses in a sixteen hour day. That is only one glass every couple of hours. Set your timer if you have to so you will remember to drink your water.

Now for the hard part of being at a spa! They are going to force you to get into shape. We have been couch potatoes for a very long time and we have given them permission to help us. Well let’s give ourselves this same permission. You may need to ask a friend to help you. It is much easier if you have someone that you are accountable to. Not moving is not an option, the Spa trainer is not going to accept any excuse for your inactivity; Moving can be as simple as walking around your yard or on a treadmill. Start by adding a fifteen minute walk to your morning routine. Then gradually you will be incorporating other babysteps to your daily walk through life. Little things like parking farther from the front door at the grocery store or taking the stairs.  Before you know it you will be playing in the yard with the children or taking the dog for a romp having a great time incorporating loving movement into your every day life. When you make it fun it will continue to bless your heart.

A spa has lots of ways to pamper you; Starting with your bedroom. The beds are nice and inviting. They encourage you to go to bed at a decent hour by having a curfew. When was the last time you went to bed before 11:00 pm. There are fresh sheets on your bed and plump pillows to curl up with a good book for a few minutes of leisure time. Getting your rest is one of the keys to helping our bodies renew themselves and heal. There have been studies that correlate obesity to not enough sleep. Let’s go to bed and quit making our bodies beg for sleep. Our bodies need good food, water, loving movement and rest to function properly.

We also need to reward ourselves for the simple life changes we are making. At our home spa we can do things like manicure, pedicure, bubble baths, facials and other little things to help us feel good about the babysteps we making part of our routines. These little rewards help you to feel good about you and teach you to FLY (Finally Love Yourself) and isn’t that what blessing your heart is all about. We deserve to live happy, healthy productive lives. Enjoy your spa!

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