By Marsha Fottler –
Mantras are a good thing. Essentially, they are little words or phrases usually associated with meditation. The sound of a mantra repeated many times in the right setting along with rhythmic breathing empties the mind to allow insight, awareness and serenity to take up the cleared space.
Mantras can also be helpful to people who need self encouragement and motivation to commit to a healthier lifestyle and isn’t that what the majority of us promise ourselves every New Year’s Day.
If you intend to lose weight, tone up your body or become more healthy through better eating habits, having a set of mantras that you say to yourself over and over in different situations can be a helpful device to turn intent into action.
Here are a few mantras to choose from depending upon your goal. Say them mentally to yourself as many times as you need to when you’re shopping, cooking, trying on clothes, deciding whether or not to drive to the gym, or standing in front of the mirror. Gently but persistently guide yourself. Say your mantras again and again until your helpful mantras become part of who you are. Make them up to suit your life situation or try any of these. The words in boldface are the mantras. The way to say them is: I will start simple or I’m starting simple. I will clear a pathway or just, clear the pathway, etc. You get the idea. Now, turn words into action.
Start Simple: Do as much as you can the first couple of weeks. Maybe it’s something as simple as giving up or cutting back on wine, beer or carbonated beverages. If you’re successful, move onto eliminating chips and other empty-nutrition snacks from your life. How about a little exercise next? Do as much as you can do, adding to your healthy routine every couple of weeks. The results you see and feel will keep you going to places you never dreamed you could. Start simple.
Clear Pathways: This means to remove from your pantry and cabinet shelves foods that are just empty calories, foods without nutrition. If they aren’t in the house you can’t eat them. Work on the freezer too. Clear a path that you can follow.
Shop the Perimeter: When grocery shopping say your mantra and then do it. Select foods from the perimeter of the store because that’s were the natural, fresh and wholesome items are such as fruits and vegetables. Processed, boxed and canned foods full of sugar and sodium tend to be in the center aisles. Shop the perimeter.
Pick Power Foods: These amazing foods give you energy and nutrition and have high health value. Some power foods are nuts, avocado, fresh fruits, leafy green vegetables, brown rice, lean beef, turkey, chicken, eggs, fat-free yogurt. Pick power foods.
Mindful Eating: Actually think about what you’re eating – portion size, nutritional value, taste, texture and aroma. The slower you eat, the more mindful you become. The first bite is always the best. Satisfaction decreases after three bites. Eat mindfully.
Keep Moving: Find some kind of exercise that you’ll do everyday as part of a routine – walking, swimming, an hour at the gym, walking up and down stairs at your workplace. Do ballet stretches while watching your favorite TV show. Optimally, you should walk or run 10,000 steps a day. Get a pedometer and keep track if it helps you to keep moving.
Work The Routine: if you do, the routine will work for you. Establish a ritual and pattern of shopping, cooking, exercising and eating. As you begin to feel and look healthier, you’ll think of the routine as your power source. Customize your routine to your lifestyle and realize that you can do it. Work your routine.
Friend Yourself: Recognize your accomplishes, realize that lapses and small failures occur and that’s ok. Be proud of your efforts, encourage yourself. Like yourself! It’s empowering and you deserve it.