This post is post two in My Wellness Journey. Your can read post one here.
October of last year, we did it. We made the change. We adopted the 80/20 rule, and our lives have been different ever since.
The 80/20 rule is a popular concept that boils down to meaning that what you do 80% of the time is the type of lifestyle you have, while what you do 20% of the time has fairly little impact on your overall health. For example, if you eat well 80% of the time, what you do that other 20% isn’t going to have a big impact on your body. Obviously this is within moderation and doesn’t mean that if you eat a whole pizza four meals a week (which is roughly what 20% translates to), it’s not going to effect your waistline. Think of the 80% as your “lifestyle” meals (17 meals) and the 20% as your “splurge” meals (4 meals).
This rule can apply to any area of your life, and we really embraced it across the board in dealing with wellness. One of the fantastic things about the 80/20 rule is burnout prevention. Food moderation isn’t that hard, because you know you can still eat those foods you love. For my husband & I, we slowly adopted this rule into our lifestyle, starting with exercise. We started by working out five days a week in October, and in January we got our fitness bands (more on that below). With a daily step goal of in the range of approximately 10,000 steps a day, we quickly discovered that we walk much less than 10,000 steps a day. However, these bands really motivated us to hit that goal and we found ourselves striving to reach it even on many holidays and birthdays.
Next, we took a look at our diet. As I mentioned in the prequel to this post, our diet had been changing for the past few months, but at this point we began evaluating how many “splurge” meals we were eating a week. At this point, we were probably living more of a 70/30 lifestyle, and we found that splurging that much was just too much for us to drop the pounds we wanted to lose. By reducing our “splurge allowance”, if you will, by just a couple meals, it really made a difference in our waistlines.
Lastly, just a couple months ago, once we were settled into the routine of eating well & making exercise a routine event for us, we started a challenge. I had gone to the Young Living convention (as I had become passionate enough about the Essential Oils I mentioned in the last post to become a distributor) in August, and while I was there it hit me like a lightbulb that this company that had helped me along my road to wellness had so many other wellness lifestyle products that I could use to support me in getting to the fitness level I wanted to achieve. So, after putting together some protocols and doing some research, my husband and I started a challenge a couple months ago to help support our healthy weight management goals.
It’s amazing to look back over this past year and realize I’ve lost 20 pounds. That’s amazing. Up until this September, I wasn’t doing anything intentionally focused on really dropping the pounds, yet I was slowly losing weight as a result of lifestyle changes. We’ve had ups and downs (especially when I ended up going on three trips, two of them international, within two month’s time), but that’s what has been so beautiful about this. It’s LIFESTYLE, so unusual things, like traveling that much, only have a short-term effect, while lifestyle dictates the long-term.
In closing, I want to share a few things with you that might help you decide to adapt the 80/20 lifestyle, if you aren’t already living it. These are aspects I’ve embraced and really love about this lifestyle:
- Eating healthy meals 80% of the time still means you are giving yourself four meals a week to eat whatever you want. For me, this was really encouraging to know I wasn’t going to burnout because I could never eat cheese again. I simply limit my cheese intake to those four meals a week (I REALLY like cheese, so if I eat cheese, there’s probably going to be a lot of it, so I only eat it with my “splurge” meals).
- Living by the 80/20 rule can help you shed the pounds without really working on it- it’s just a fruit of the lifestyle change! For me, that ended up being 20 pounds in a year! I feel better and I haven’t been killing myself all year to get here.
- Living an 80/20 lifestyle can impact your life in more than just one positive way. I still eat splurge foods (just look at my recipe for Ham & Cheese Soup– it’s indulgent all the way), but I’ve also learned to be happy with eating healthier meals (of which this meal has become one of our favorites). I’m more content and more balanced in several different areas of my life, because the 80/20 rule teaches moderation.
On a final note, if you are someone who needs to work out a bit more (or if you have sedentary jobs, like we do, in which you are sitting a huge majority of the time), I really encourage you to check out getting a fitness band. After a lot of research, we decided to go with the Garmin Vivosmart, but several friends of ours have the Fitbit. Bottom line- there is a lot of research that has gone into the fact that getting 10,000 steps a day is great for your health (check out this article for more info). You can even set your phone up to monitor how many steps you are getting, if you happen to carry it on you all day. “Getting our steps” has been something that has kept us moving all year long, whether that translates to a workout at the gym or walking around the neighborhood for thirty minutes a day (all of them equal exercise!). I would recommend taking on something simple, like steps, to anyone seeking to make some healthy lifestyle changes. As a fun bonus, all the kids we know think our bands are the best things ever.
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