After having her first baby, doctors discovered she had an obstructed colon. As someone who was conscientious about her diet, she was shocked by the news.
“I felt cocky about what I was eating, but it was artificial everything,” she said. “I was slowly killing myself.”
After declining a radical procedure, Sargent researched foods that would heal her body.
“Within a year, I was healthy,” she said.
Many people in Utah have experiences similar to Shannon’s. As one of the healthiest states in several rankings, Utah is home to many who have found healing through food and exercise.
At a recent luncheon hosted by Silver Fern, some of the area’s leading health-conscious social media influencers offered tips for making the change to better health.
Here are four ways you can get started:
1. Find a support group.
Many of us understand the importance of making healthy changes, but we feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to start. Fitness trainer, and nutritionist Lindsey Mathews understands those feelings.
“You have to work at it to make fitness goals and change your life,” Mathews said. “But it can be way more enjoyable and fulfilling than you would ever think.”
She advises people to find a community and just enjoy doing it.
2. Customize a plan to fit your needs.
Have you ever felt out of sync with the fitness community? It seems the moment you discover Pilates, people have moved to Crossfit. Before you relegate yourself to the corner reserved for fitness nerds, Anne Craig, fitness trainer, and nutritionist, reminds us to ignore the trends and adopt a routine we enjoy.
“We are all different, and our bodies have different needs,” Craig said.
Fitness isn’t meant to be trendy — it just needs to be something we can stick with and make a part of our permanent lifestyle.
3. Have a positive attitude.
Fitness trainers, health experts, fitness coaches and nutritionists agree that change can only happen when we believe in ourselves and commit to making a full effort.
“We all build a list of excuses on why we can’t get to the gym or eat healthy,” said health expert Tiffany Brande. “We all have busy lifestyles.”
But taking the first step and knowing you can do this is an impactful introduction to real change.
“What rings true for me is that people are more capable than they think they are,” Megan Smith, trainer, and fitness coach, said. “We should love eating healthy and working out not because of how it makes us look, but how it makes us feel. It’s truly become my medicine.”
The example you share with those you love is an important contribution to introducing a healthy lifestyle for them, too.
4. Love yourself.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle is the greatest gift you can give yourself and the people who depend on you. Remember, making a lifestyle change takes time, and progress should be measured in small accomplishments each day.
“It isn’t about the scale,” Sadie Jane Sabin, fitness and health advocate, said. “It’s about how you feel about yourself. We are powerful and continue to evolve.”
As someone who was physically active most of her life, Erika Peterson felt herself become obsessed with the changes in her body that mirrored the changing needs of her family life.
“My mother was obsessed with her own weight, and I’d always said I wouldn’t do that,” Peterson said. “But I recognized I needed to eat healthy and figure out what that actually meant.”
When her baby had colic a few years ago, she was advised to rid her diet of dairy and processed foods. Gradually, she created healthier versions of the food she loves.
“My family and friends were digging it,” she said.
And so are her more than 60,000 Instagram followers with whom she shares delicious and healthy recipes and fitness tips.
“I loved what it did for my self-confidence,” Peterson said. “I love opening people’s eyes that eating healthy can be nutritious, delicious and fun. And we can all do it together and build each other up.”