Monday, January 26, 2015

Training the Brain!

I have been reminded lately as I’m getting back into the swing of things that the brain is a muscle just like all the others in the body. And just like training muscles takes time and effort to get them to where we want them to be, so does training the brain. The good news is, once the brain is trained, it seems so much easier to maintain or at least for the most part. I know I’m not perfect when it comes to this, and it is a struggle from time to time, but I have myself headed in the right direction and that’s all that counts. 

I like to think about it this way. If you were headed off to school to either become a doctor or a teacher, you’d have to learn different skills to be successful at what you were trying to accomplish. If you’d never been exposed to that type of education, it would be a new territory of learning. Once you got the education though and started on your way, you’d never forget what you learned and in the end, would become very successful at being that doctor/teacher. 
Our brains are the same way when it comes to educating them on what’s best for our bodies. The best thing about it is we were all made individually with special care, so training our brains is a very individual thing. Sure we can get ideas, help, and support from those around us, but in the end, we’ve got to be the one who's running the ship. We are the advocate for our bodies. What works for one person may not work for the next, so learning to train the brain is crucial, especially when you’re trying to lose weight and take on healthy. 
Lately for me, I feel like my brain needs a refresher. I know what to do. I know what works for me. I know how to get it done. It’s a matter of practicing my skills. Just like anything else in life, if we stop doing something we’ve trained our brains to do, even if we know it well, we tend to get a little rusty. That’s why doctors/teachers are required to do different re-certifications along the way during their career, to make sure they still have their brain trained in the right materials. I feel health is no different. If you're going to be successful in creating the best YOU, you need to have a good trained brain. 
Here are a few things that have helped me along the way: 
Establish a routine – Make it a habit. Write it down if you need to for a while. 
Find foods you enjoy – What works for you is what you should eat. Not what your friends tell you you should and shouldn’t eat. Try new things. Branch out. There are so many yummy options.
Make exercise something you look forward too – This is a big one for me. I know I’ll have to exercise the rest of my life to maintain healthy, so I want it to be something I not only like, but love. 
Share and Tell – It makes it so much easier when the people who you are closest to, and in some cases, not closest to, know you are trying to change. It’s then not a secret but a lifestyle. They also provide a source of strength and accountability that is extremely helpful. 
Make it fun - Because being healthy is a lifelong adventure, making it fun and something you enjoy is crucial. If that means getting involved, meeting new people who are on the same journey etc, DO IT! It will mean something and you will be a strength to others just as they are to you. 

Like I mentioned earlier - Lately for me I feel like I am re-training my brain on some things. I tend to be hard on myself and need to remember that it was one day at a time that got me to where I am today. Not every day is going to be easy. Not every day was easy. In fact, maybe not every week. But when I look at the list of things above and the picture below, I am reminded that by small and simple things, great things are brought to pass.

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