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Wellness Wednesday: How To Make Living Healthy A Priority

by Jennifer Hall
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(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

All this week Black Girls Run! is registering groups to participate in the Black Girls RUN!Sweat With Your Sole Conference and Race Weekend this weekend in Charlotte.

Created to combat the prevalence of obesity in the African-American community, Black Girls Run! encourages African-American women to make fitness and healthy living a priority.

In today’s world reminders of the importance of living a healthy lifestyle are everywhere. Commercials interrupt our favorite programming overcome with products that are “low fat,” “fat free,” or “gluten free.” Gym memberships are at an all-time high and health food stores are popping up everywhere with fascinating items ripe with “antioxidants” and “omega-3 fatty acids.”

Even though many of us are well-versed in on the importance of putting our health first, what is in our head and what goes in our mouth can be two very different things.

Unfortunately, our worlds often cycle a fleeting clock where work, family obligations, church, and friends are paramount. Where we come in last place and our health—and everything associated with it, is a subordinate to our greater priorities.

Your well-being should be your first priority. Without your health you can find yourself out of work, and unable to help your family, church, or friends.

We must learn to expand our lifestyle to include our health. Learning to balance your life can take time, but it is achievable for each and every person.

Here are a few tips to help you make living healthy a tangible priority in your life.

1.) Realize that Denial is Not Your Friend. It is so easy to live ignorantly, but with truth comes responsibility. The first step when reorganizing your life to incorporate a new priority is to accept that there is a change that needs to be made. Once you see the truth in yourself—whether it’s “I could stand to lose a few pounds” or “Smoking is making my skin look like leather”—you then have a choice to take responsibility or do nothing—live in denial. It’s that simple. Ask yourself: Do I choose to honor my life or not?

2.) Re-adjust Your Focus. If you’re feeling unmotivated about the prospect of working out or eating healthy, don’t make that your focus. Focus on the beautiful dress that you’re going to wear for your man or your new man, the energy you’ll have when playing with your kids, or how wonderful it will be to hear your doctor give you a clean bill of health at your next appointment. Focus on the beauty in living the life that you dream of.

3.) Set Your Goals. Setting goals is a great way to get started. Like re-adjusting your focus it encourages you to visualize and concentrate on the positivity of losing weight. Define your objectives clearly on paper. Write out the steps for how you plan to accomplish them. Post your goals where you can see them and actively participate in checking off your objectives as you reach them. Break large goals down into smaller goals to keep you motivated.

4.) Make the Time. You’ve heard it, or even said it over and over, “I don’t have time.” In truth there is time for everything that you make a priority. Develop a daily schedule to help you put aside the time. The hardest part of following a new schedule is getting started. Once you’ve done it for about two to three weeks you’ll begin to see your new schedule transition into a new lifestyle!

5.) Go Home! I am so guilty of this. Working late not only interferes with much needed down time, but it also interferes with wise choices like heading to the gym or cooking a healthy meal at home—how many times have you opted for fast food on the way home after a late night at the office. Sometimes you have to stay late, but if you find yourself constantly “burning the midnight oil” it may be time to re-evaluate your time management skills, your workload, or even your job. Your career should add to your life, not take away from it.

6.) Plan Ahead. Living healthy is a choice that relies on consistency. It doesn’t happen by chance. Plan your meals in advance. If you know you’re going to be away from home for a while, pack nutritious snacks like carrots, Greek yogurt, or fruit. This will save you from binging on fast food or calorie packed candy bars while out and about. Exercise is just as important as eating well, so plan out your gym days. Account for the time and You must take responsibility for your present condition and understand that you are not a victim of your past but claim the power to shape your future. No matter what may have held you back (late-night snacking, cocktails after work, no time to exercise, depression, emotional eating, fatigue, poor eating habits or sugar addiction) you still have the power today to change the choices you make for your future. If you want a different outcome then you must accept that what you’ve been doing up until now is not working, so you must make a change. The only person that can change your life is you.

These points will help you prioritize your health. Remember your journey begins with a single step, so step out with SOLE!

For more information on Black Girls Run!

-Jennifer Hall, CBS Charlotte

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