§ We came to this world to LIVE OUT LOUD.
3 Keys to Feeling Good in Your Body
How good do you feel in your body, mind and spirit?
Is your body strong, flexible and full of energy?
Feeling good in my body, mind and spirit has been the #1 motivating factor for all that I have done in my life – for quitting my high flying yet soul numbing job in international finance, embarking on a 25-year personal growth journey, coaching and teaching for a living, choosing to have a family and traveling the world.
I just wanted to feel good.
And at the end of the day, I think we all just want to feel good.
What I have learned over the years is that feeling good in my body, mind and spirit is a practice and an art form that takes dedication, a bit of discipline and regular routines.
Since this is a big topic, I thought I would focus on feeling good in your body this week.
I shared my green smoothie recipe with a friend this past week and she said, “But what else do you eat every day? I don’t know what to eat to lose some weight and feel healthy.”
This made me realize that I take for granted that everyone eats the way I do. And moves their body. And generally, takes care of themselves.
I’m no nutrition expert or fitness guru, yet over the years I have worked out a routine that leaves me feeling great in my body and comfortable with my weight and energy levels.
For me, feeling good in my body comes down to 3 things:
1. What I put in my mouth
I try to eat healthy about 80% of the time. That means mostly a plant based, healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts) diet with some fish and seafood thrown in. Every once in a while, I will eat some chicken or red meat, but not much. I try to limit my dairy intake to really great cheese and gelato. I try to avoid wheat based products, like bread, pasta, white rice and baked goods and I try to stay away from sugar.
Here’s the thing: I’m not militant about any of it (Except soft drinks. I’m militant about not drinking them or letting my kids drink them). I don’t believe in diets or deprivation. I believe in eating healthy 80% of the time and allowing myself to enjoy foods that aren’t so great for me the other 20%.
When I was in France this past summer, I enjoyed baguettes, pain au chocolat, almond croissants, macaroons and more than my share of cheese. And I’m ok with that. I just listen to my body. It usually enjoys a little bit of what’s not so good for me and then balks if I eat too much.
When I pay attention to how my body feels, it lets me know when I’m passing from “Yum, this is so delicious!” to “Ugh, I feel gross”.
And have you noticed how many times I used the word “enjoy”? It’s because I firmly believe that if I’m going to eat something, I need to savor it and enjoy it fully. No guilt.
2. How I move my body
I am by no means an exercise fanatic but I do move my body every day. It takes me less than an hour and it’s non-negotiable for me.
I used to go to the gym but now that I have moved to a city that I’m excited to explore, I generally go for a 30-minute power walk outdoors (as I catch up on phone calls or inspirational recordings) and then walk up 10 flights of stairs to my apartment several times every single day.
I then do about 5/10 minutes of ab work to strengthen my back as well as my abs and lift weights for my upper body for another 5 minutes to stay strong.
I wrap it all up with about 10 minutes of yoga and stretching to stay flexible and ward off any aches and pains.
It’s pretty low impact and it keeps me in shape.
3. How much rest I get
This is my Achilles’ Heel. I know that I need a full 8 to 9 hours of sleep every night and I’m so bad at getting it. I’m pretty disciplined about everything else that I do but when it comes to getting to bed early, I am terrible.
Here’s the issue: I have three kids and our days begin at 6 am. So, if I want to get enough sleep, I need to be asleep by 10 pm. It never happens!
First of all, I’m a night owl and get a second wind at around 9 pm. I also absolutely love that quiet time after all of the kids are asleep and I am free to do anything I want – read, watch a TV show, research something online.
Can you relate?
So, here’s what I do: I give myself until 10:30 to 11 pm to get to bed, knowing that I will only get about 6-1/2 to 7 hours of sleep during the week and then, I catch up on the weekends. I sleep 9 to 10 hours on both Saturday and Sunday whenever possible.
It’s not ideal according to the sleep experts who advocate a regular sleep schedule even on the weekends but it works for me! I feel good and well rested most of the time and rarely need coffee or other stimulants to feel awake and energized.
So, what about you? What do you need to feel great in your body? What would it take to give it to yourself?
You know I love hearing from you so please leave a comment below and connect.