I've done a lot of things to my body over the past 3 decades that I've been alive, and I have to be very honest: Not all of those things have been helpful or healthy. In fact, some were downright harmful.
But just like everything else, you learn from your mistakes and turn them around by deciding to make better choices.
Here are 25 of those choices that have made the biggest difference in my life:
1. Giving myself at least an hour to slow down before I go to bed. Slower breath = a calmer heart = easier, deeper and longer sleep.
2. Having 2 glasses of cold, lemon-infused water and a hot cup of jasmine tea first thing in the morning. Lubricates my system and gives me the energizing jolt I need to get my engine going.
3. Kicked my soda habit for good, and started drinking green tea instead. Bye-bye sneaky weight gain!
4. Walked away from the toxic relationships in my life. Lifted a huge weight off my shoulders and allowed me to reclaim the time and energy I needed to take care of me.
5. Gave up giving a f**k about what other people think of my body. I'll decide how I want to look and feel in it, thank you very much.
6. Swapped my heels for flats. Got my bounce back.
7. Admitting that if I had things my way, I'd just be too damn lazy to exercise. So I make my workout goals as easy as possible to reach: Leave it to someone else to kick my butt or sweat on my own for just 10 minutes a day, and walk as much as I can. Got stairs? Bring em' on!
8. Putting more vegetables and protein on my plate as often as I can.
9. Swapped fruit juice with a green drink or cacao-infused cashew and almond milk to help keep me energized throughout the day.
10. Accepting that I love bread, pasta and pastries more than they love me. My carb binges are few and far between these days, but when they do happen, the bloating, cravings and general uneasiness in my gut quickly remind me why we shouldn't get too close, too often. But...I love carbs too much to give them up, so it's all about the portions.
11. Eating an apple before my main meal when I'm hungry. Takes the edge off and keeps me from stuffing my face with anything and everything in front of me.
12. Learning how to feel the pain and then let it go instead of eating my way through it.
13. Making it a habit to fill my soul, not my stomach, when I'm feeling bored or restless.
14. Taking better care of my skin. When you have a happy, healthy canvas, you won't need as much paint.
15. Recognizing that sometimes, all you need is a salted egg croissant.
16. Buying myself a beautiful pair of designer jeans...or two, because they make my butt and legs look ah-ma-zing.
17. Started wearing Kat Von D's Everlasting Liquid Lipstick. It's amazing how a swipe of rich, smudge-proof color on the lips can help a girl feel more powerful.
18. Cleared out my wardrobe of everything I didn't love to wear (and subsequently never did) but always felt too guilty to give away.
19. I became harder to reach so that I could have more calm and less anxiety in my life. If something (or someone) makes me unhappy, brings negativity into my life, or takes me away from the people and things that I love, I'm out.
20. Stopped trying to be perfect. Because perfect doesn't exist.
21. Started focusing on how I wanted to feel instead of how I wanted to look. Everything else started to fall into place once I zeroed in on feeling good from the inside.
22. Gave myself permission to feel worthy of love and happiness.
23. Started taking CrossFit classes. The mind feels stronger and heavy things feel lighter.
24. Learned how to weed out the takers from the givers. Makes giving a more joyful and illuminating experience.
25. Stopped comparing myself to women I see on magazine covers. Having worked in the publishing industry for over 10 years, I've seen firsthand the manipulation that's done to photos of women (and men) to make them seem flawless. What you see on (and between) magazine covers is NOT real.
Are you ready to stop yo-yo dieting, and start feeling free and at ease in your own skin? Hit that reset button by signing up for Michele's FREE Lose 4 Pounds in 4 Weeks Without Going On A Diet online course.
This article originally appeared on michelelian.com
Photo credit: Pixabay