We put many barriers in front of ourselves. This often leads to us being stagnant and not doing what we should be doing to become healthier.

Exercise: We need more! The most common excuse is fatigue at the end of the day. At a time when we most need to move to de-stress, we prefer to sit and do nothing. Even going downstairs to the treadmill feels like a chore. Simplify! Do a little bit. If weather permits, just do a 10 minute walk. If you don’t have equipment, do 10 squats and 10 push-ups (off a table if you are unable to do a regular push up); that’s it, that’s all. Something. Done regularly you will feel the benefits of increased evening energy rather than the fatigue that sets in when we do nothing at all.

Meals: I am no cook, but there are simple fresh meals that can be arranged in just a few minutes. I think all you need is a simple salad or other vegetable, and some sort of protein. I’m not against frozen meats that can be zapped in the microwave. We could quibble about microwaving and its effects on nutrients, but I’m more concerned that the more we make meals too labour intensive, the more likely we are to give up and order out. The added sauces and other unknowns in take-out are certainly not healthier than a simple protein and vegetable supper made in a few minutes.

Sleep: We prolong our evenings. Why? Why stay up perusing the internet when lights could be turned down earlier, and you could read a good book till you are ready to go to bed. We need to get our circadian rhythms back. We have messed up our circadian patterns to such a degree that we mimic those that are on alternating night and day shifts, and this certainly makes weight loss harder.

Stress: All of us need to work on this. No matter what works; exercise, mediation, we need to learn how to stop ruminating about the events of the day. Nothing is resolved. Journaling about the day and what you need to change or improve can help. This increases awareness and mindfulness and you would be less likely to be existing with that low grade tension that you could have ‘done’, ‘said’, or ‘accomplished more’.

Morning routine: Don’t rush. Have a simple morning routine. Get up 10 minutes earlier and make a tea or coffee, and sit quietly (outside if possible), and write down those few things you would like to get done for the day. Stretch!

All of these things begin to lead to a balance in our lives. Take charge. Most of us become reactive to the events of the day and this leads to stress eating. A morning routine, some little movement, a few minutes of deep breathing and simple easy meals will begin to put you in charge of you; more importantly you will find yourself making better food choices rather than mindlessly grabbing whatever seems easy.

This is your life, your health. Take charge, but don’t over complicate everything.

Simplify will be the word for this week. No matter how busy and hectic life seems, we can do these small things which will ground us.

You can do it. Keep learning. Keep trying things that might work for you, and never ever give up trying to achieve a healthy you.

Dr. Doug