April 30, 2016

Getting Healthy: The One Step at a Time Method

Getting Healthy One step at a time

We’ve all had those moments when we feel super depleted. Whether it’s from indulging in way too many gluten free cupcakes or experiencing the overwhelm of an insane workload and an equally insane social calendar.

Cue the wellness rock bottom. The bad habits just aren’t doing it for us anymore and there’s no question it’s time for a change.

I’ve personally been here many times in my life. Where I’ve gone weeks denying what my body really needs, being naive about the bad choices, and feeling all kinds of horrible as a result. What follows this realization is some version of “I need to take control of everything, get my stuff together, and have a major health overhaul.”

I start to do things like clean my apartment from top to bottom. Throw out all of the junk food. Force myself to go to sleep at 10pm. Tell my trainer Amanda we need to have some extra sessions. Maybe even put in a call to my bookkeeper. It’s an SOS situation and I need to get my life in order, like yesterday!

This is what most people feel at the start of the New Year, right? We’re listening to all of these new ways to jumpstart the year, undo all of the bad choices we made over the holidays, and start fresh.

Well, my loves, we all know how that goes.  Those major overhauls tend not to stick!

Here are three areas of my life where I learned to stop overhauling and start taking baby steps.

1. Moving My Body. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten a fire under me to join a gym, hire a trainer, start obsessively watching Youtube workouts, or convince a buddy to go for walks with me daily. While it felt good when I would actually get those things done and make it through a workout, what inevitably always happened was a month long spike of movement followed by no movement for 6 months. Sound familiar? I would put all of this pressure on myself to lose 20 lbs in 2 months and get exhausted before I even lost a pound.

As I’ve gotten older, what I’ve realized is that I don’t want a quick fix. I want a body that I love, and that means taking care of it everyday and also having compassion for it. I got to a place last year where I was ready to get super honest with myself about the fact that I needed help in this area of my life. I was also very clear that for me moving intentionally 2x per week was a win considering that my psoriatic arthritis can be pretty debilitating. It was in that moment that I hired my trainer, Amanda Rose Walsh because I was finally ready to create a new habit. I’ve been working with her consistently for almost a year now and I love my body more than I ever have. I feel fit and strong, and not worried about my weight because I know I’m taking care of myself.

2. Having Healthy Finances. First of all, I had no idea healthy finances was even a thing. For my entire life, my parents have always set a positive example for me when it came to money. My father is a CFO at a telecommunications company and my mom is quite simply a financial badass in our house (trust me when I say I get my ability to make deals from her). After I got divorced, my mom sat me down and mapped out all of my alimony because I was used to spending a tremendous amount of money and I needed that money to last in order to pay my bills.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I was completely delusional when it came to my finances and what it really takes to make, save, and spend money in a healthy way. It wasn’t until I was in business for a year that I really got it. I started to see that every time I got a project or new job I thought it would be “the thing,” and that all of my money troubles would disappear. Only to find that between taxes, expenses, and just living in Manhattan, my seemingly big paycheck disappeared before I had the chance to cash in. I kept wanting to make a change in this area, but continuously found myself in the same position with lots of expenses and not enough money to pay them.

Finally, I reached a moment where I completely surrendered to the fact that I’m not meant to be an expert in everything. The fact that I didn’t know how to manage my finances while running my own business, didn’t make me bad or incompetent or anything of that nature. It made me human. So I decided to hire a bookkeeper and as a result I’ve made more money than ever before and been more on top of my spending than I ever knew was possible. Who knew I was spending that much money at Juice Press? I sure didn’t.

3. Eating with Intention. Over the years, I have been prescribed many different diets. Everything from the nightshade-free diet to the overall elimination diet to the paleo diet and so on. When I stuck to them, most did actually make a difference. How would they not? The biggest issue has always been that I’ll eat healthy for a specific period of time only to bounce back with more cravings soon after. I went 6 years without eating any white sugar, white flour, or white rice in my early 20s and when I finally stopped that regimen, I had enough candy bars to make up for lost time.

Now, I know what makes my body feel good. I know that I have a lot of inflammation in my body because of psoriasis, and I know there are things that I eat that can either aggravate or calm it. Instead of telling myself all of the things that I have to avoid, I focus on the fact that I want to keep my body happy and not constantly dieting. Everytime I put something in my mouth, it’s an opportunity to love my body and that shift came at the beginning of this year when I was just tired of feeling held back by all of the rules.

So if you’re someone who has been feeling overwhelmed by all of the things you need to healthify in your life, just take it one step and one day at a time. You don’t have to do it all at once. Be sure to focus on how you want to feel with the end result so that you can make decisions from that place.

Now I want to hear from you. Please join the conversation in the comments below!

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  • Eric Carrell

    I really like this one, Nitika!

    Finances is a big one for me at the moment. It really seems like when you have it under control, a lot of other things follow.

    • Nitika

      Thank you so much Eric! And yes, I totally get how that feels when it comes to finances. Hopefully you find some relief in that area soon! Lots of love xx

  • Brooke

    Hi! I resonate with this a whole lot. I’m either on the wagon or off of it when it comes to all three of these areas. As I’ve gotten into my mid-thirties, I’m finally discovering what it means to have a lifelong habit! I thought lifelong meant I’d have to burn myself out all the time (which is what I did I my twenties). It doesn’t. Daily activity is the key to success. I love that you suggest thinking about how you want to feel and making decisions based on that….not just setting a fire ablaze for the short term. This way, you make empowered decisions that don’t truly have rules….you get to listen to the most empowered entity of all—yourself! Your words have always filled me with inspiration and hope. Sending you love from down south!!

    • Nitika

      Oh I am so thrilled that this article hit home for you Brooke! It took me until my 30’s to get what it means to have a life-long habit as well so I totally get that. At least you know now!! Keep up the great work + lots of love xx

  • Sara

    I can’t wait to show my 13 year old daughter your website. She has severe psoriasis too. I’m hoping she won’t get the arthritis part. Anyway, I am more curious about your diet that you follow. Do you speak more about that in another blog post? Have you found gluten free to be helpful? Thanks.

    • Nitika

      Hi Sara!

      Thank you so much for this comment, it means the world and I am grateful that you want to share my story with your brave daughter!! I think I need to do a post about what I eat for sure. I am going to go live on Instagram soon (and hopefully save the video to IGTV) and share about it because it’s definitely a complicated topic and one I get asked about a LOT. My recommendation is for her to see an integrative doctor who believes in healing the gut as the root cause for psoriasis. I eat an AIP diet, Auto-Immune Paleo diet. It can feel really restrictive but has helped tremendously. I hope that helps!! Sending you and your daughter so much love xx

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