I started this weight loss journey one and a half years ago. In that time I've gone through several life challenges, the most challenging being this fall when I lost my mother to cancer within a matter of six weeks of her diagnosis. I know a lot of people would have given up at that point, but I saw this as an opportunity to push myself, keep going and know that my end result would have made her so proud.
You're going to come across many challenges in your health journey. There are tempting foods, days you won't want to exercise, reality shows you "need" to watch, and sports and music events for your kids. Keep going. When I get distracted I go back to my basics and start from scratch.
1. Sleep - I used to skimp on sleep and stay up until the wee hours of the morning and expect to still function normally. It doesn't happen that way folks. Your body needs rest to get healthy. Put your smartphone down, close the computer screen and try going to bed a half hour early, then push it to an hour.
2. Water - I used to drink several (large) cups of soda a day. I stopped that habit when I started my journey. I'll still, on occasion, have a soda when out with friends, but that's after I get my daily water in. I feel better, my skin looks better and I'm not as hungry when I've had enough. Add some fruit (oranges, lemons, strawberries) or a nice cucumber or mint for variety.
3. Fruits and vegetables - I make sure to get at least four servings of each in, each day. I'm less likely to eat ‘junk' when I do this. Good whole food fills you up faster than junk food any day.
4. Protein - I'm eating a vegan diet, so for me this means beans, tofu and other plant based proteins. I do eat eggs on occasion (always local and/or cage free/organic) so I get protein there too. Protein keeps you full longer. Mix a basic protein with your vegetables for lunch and you won't get the stomach rumbles around 2 o'clock.
5. MOVE - There's a 5-year-old in our house, so not moving isn't an option. Take a walk and point out the joy of nature, get on your bikes and take a trip around the block. Head to the local playground or lake (well, if the weather here in the Midwest ever warms up enough), or even a fun dance video game is a great way to get everyone moving. I hope some of my basics will help you in your own journey. Trust me, I know it's challenging, but the end result is worth it.