Small Changes You Can Make For BIG Health and Fitness Results

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I was asked to participate in the #GiveASmile campaign, sponsored by Colgate and Walgreens. Although I have been compensated, all opinions are my own. When my weight went from 170 pounds to 120 pounds I started getting asked how I was able to lose the weight, and keep it off. Most people looked disappointed when I told them it was pretty straightforward; I ate less and moved more.

Our society has become obsessed with ‘lose weight quick’ schemes and diets. I went through my share of health fads before I finally realized what worked for me – committing to small changes that would lead to huge results.

I didn’t start eating 100% clean overnight. I didn’t start training for a marathon after not exercising for years. At first I just gave up liquid calories (think sodas, alcohol, sugary coffee drinks…) and fast food. Then I ate more vegetables and less carbs. I also joined a local gym and went a few times a week and just did the elliptical for 20-30 minutes and maybe some of the machines.

Gradually, over two years, I lost 50 pounds and I’ve been able to keep it off without any  issue thanks to a continued focus on small everyday choices versus getting overwhelmed with ‘all or nothing’ thinking.

GiveASmile

Fitness

Exercising does not have to be complicated, time intensive, or costly. My absolute favorite exercise is walking. Aside from a comfortable pair of shoes you really don’t have to invest anything in it, and you can do it virtually anywhere, anytime. Even if you only have 20 minutes after work to walk that’s enough to walk a mile. Imagine what would happen if you did that every day? You’d be walking 28 miles a month!

Getting motivated to workout can sometimes be a challenge, so I like to make it as easy as possible. I’ll usually layout my workout clothes the night before, or if I’m meeting friends super early for a run I’ll even sleep in my workout outfit! I promise that if the thought of exercising seems like too much just focus on getting dressed. Once you’ve laced up don’t think about ‘having’ to workout for 20-30 minutes, just tell yourself you’ll walk outside for 5 minutes and then if you want to stop at least you can say you tried.

I can almost guarantee once you are outside you’ll want to keep walking. Getting in a routine of exercising regularly doesn’t happen overnight. It is a series of choices you make every day when you decide to wake up early to go to a gym class, or meet up with friends at lunch to walk. Don’t get overwhelmed thinking you have to start working out for an hour a day 6 days a week to see results. Just focus on today, and what you can do to move a little more.

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Oral Care

While not a topic frequently discussed in the realm of health and fitness this is an area of huge importance to me. Some of you may remember all the dental issues I’ve had over the years. It all started in 10th grade when I was in a bicycle accident that knocked my front two teeth out, chipped the two on the sides, and took a nice chunk out of my lip. It wasn’t until two years ago that I was able to invest in veneers (versus the temporary bonding I had on for 10+ years!)

So, to say I take oral care seriously is an understatement. I’ve used Colgate for years and was excited to try out the new Colgate Total® Daily Repair toothpaste.  I picked some up at Walgreens last week and love how clean it leaves my teeth feeling! Switching to Colgate Total is a super easy thing you can do that is the perfect example of small changes leading to big results. With continued use, it will actually help to remineralize weakened enamel, prevent cavities, and kill gingivitis-causing bacteria. So take care of those smiles and make Colgate Total® Daily Repair a part of your everyday routine!

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Nutrition

If there is junk food in the house you will eat it. That’s pretty much a scientific fact. The best advice I can give to anyone trying to clean up their diet is to not bring it in the house, and to keep healthy snacks on hand. I don’t have any more willpower around a box of cookies than the next person! I just try to keep my fridge stocked with lots of healthy options.

If I’m craving something sweet I’ll go with a strawberry cheesecake greek yogurt. If I’m in the mood for chocolate I’ll blend a chocolate protein shake with a frozen banana and some ice to make a ‘milkshake.’ If I want something crunchy I’ll grab some baby carrots and my favorite hummus.

Now that I’m pregnant it’s even harder to eat healthy, but every day I wake up with a simple goal. Eat one healthy meal. That’s it. Usually it’s a giant veggie filled salad for lunch or dinner. I don’t stress out about eating healthy 24/7. Don’t feel badly if you overate one night or polished off a carton of ice cream. Just wake up the next morning with the simple goal of eating one thing healthy that day. Pretty soon you’ll realize how good you feel and start eating more healthy meals during the day.

Little changes, huge results.

What is your favorite ‘small’ thing that you do regularly to stay healthy and fit? Help me #GiveASmile by sharing your best tips for healthy living below. Pass it along to family and friends and encourage them to #GiveASmile as well!