healthy lifestyle

Creating a Healthy Lifestyle and Sticking to it

Creating a healthy lifestyle takes determination

As a driver, you already know that you face an uphill battle when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. It’s more challenging to find and buy groceries you can keep on the truck, and cooking is even more difficult. These struggles make it easy to give into the temptation of fast food or greasy truck stop selections. Making the decision to be healthy is a huge change, but you have to commit to it. You can be healthy on the road, but you need to form new habits. Instead of caving for fast food every day because of convenience, you could have a fridge stuffed with nutrient-rich foods, you could be utilizing your down time for exercise, and you could be avoiding bad eating habits. You’re capable of achieving a healthy lifestyle and well aware that it takes time and patience. But, that is always easier said than done. Have you ever told yourself “this is it, I’m going to feel great, look great, and live a healthy lifestyle”? You may have bought a crockpot to cook healthy meals, every time you stopped you took a few laps around your truck, and when it was applicable, you did a solid 20-minute workout. Maybe this lasted a month, maybe three, then you slipped back into old habits.

If you have ever made the conscious decision to change a habit, then you’re well aware that it takes a lot of ambition, self-discipline, and persistence to accomplish your objective goal. At the beginning you create a plan, you’re full of energy, positive vibrations, and have a strong mental outlook that anything is possible. You go in with a 102 percent effort to reach your goal, and during those first few days, you feel that nothing is standing in your way. Eventually, you hit some sort gratification, (this is when you’re pleased with how far you’ve come) maybe you’ve lost the 10 pounds that you wanted, or maybe your heart rate was down. Whatever the case may be, you’ve reached a minor goal, but have not yet achieved the healthy lifestyle you’ve sought after. You’re proud, so you reward yourself with a day off from exercise, which easily turns into 2, 3, or 4 days without any healthy movement. Our brain is a funny thing. Once you give into temptation, your mind will convince you that it’s ok to do again and again.

One of the most important aspects to remember is that you won’t be perfect.

You’re never going to achieve a healthy lifestyle until you change something in your daily routine. It’s the habits you create day-in-and-day-out that add up to a much larger picture. The old adage claimed that you could build a new, lasting habit in just 21 days. However, new research shows it can actually take you anywhere from 2 months to 8 months to implement a healthy habit into your lifestyle. One of the most important aspects to remember is that you won’t be perfect. If your goal is to workout for 20 minutes every day before you take off with your first load, you have to understand that you will miss days. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Try to implement other things on those days that will still keep you active. For example, park a little further away from your stop, walk during your 30-minute break, or do a few push-ups before bed. If you keep pushing forward and finding ways to implement exercise, even on the days you don’t hit your goal, eventually, working out for 20 minutes before you start your day will become a habit for you.

We must also mention that living a healthy lifestyle and losing 10 pounds are two different goals. You can lose 10 pounds in a million different ways, and many of those ways short term solutions. We mentioned gratification earlier. One major problem with setting a goal to lose a certain number of pounds is that once you hit the number, you feel gratified. You get a feeling of euphoria from accomplishing your goal. You reward yourself with all of the things you couldn’t have or do, and eventually, you start falling back into old habits. A couple of weeks later, you step on the scale and realize that the weight you worked so hard to lose is back, and you convince yourself it’s impossible to be healthy on the road. However, if you set the goal of living a healthier lifestyle, you can start by forming new, healthier habits on a smaller scale. For example, one goal you can set is to drink 1 gallon of water during your day. Focus on that, and soon you will feel like you can’t go without drinking that much water. Then you can move on to the next. You will notice that once you start choosing to implement healthier options into your day and build those habits, you will begin losing weight and feeling better. You will be healthier. You won’t hit the highs and lows of gratification, because instead of a finite number to achieve, you will be striving for a complete lifestyle change.

Being healthy is achievable, even when it seems the odds are stacked against you. When you set a goal, think about what you really want. You’re never going to be perfect, and you will have days where you give into the temptation, but creating new healthy habits will help you make better and healthier decisions more often.

Photo Credit: Robert Van Hoy