The top 3 resolutions women make for the New Year are to exercise more, eat better, and lose weight. When all three are done together, you have the formula for an effective lifestyle change. Unfortunately, very few people stick to their declarations to manage their health. Fitness expert Cierra Craig’s experience with a fluctuating diet is what led her to making the switch to a healthier lifestyle. After participating in a 90-day fitness challenge, she was able to explore the importance managing her mind, body, and spirit in order to maintain a healthy life.
Like most women, Cierra was in a transitional place in life that forced her to address her issues with dieting. “I was tired of having low self esteem, being ashamed to look at my body in the mirror, having low energy, practicing bad eating habits and not having the confidence I wanted in my clothes,” she explains. “Who would’ve known a 90 day challenge would be the lifestyle change to push me past my limits. Once I got past that conditioned state of doing the bare minimum, I began to stretch past my comfort zone. Not only was I trying to look good, I wanted to be healthier too. Once my mind was clear, my body began to feel good, I was energized and my confidence grew. I wanted to be aligned and connected by any means possible to reach my higher self.”
Shifting from a diet to a lifestyle change required a mental overhaul. It’s no longer about regulating what you put in your body, but paying close attention to what you feed your mind. Having a deep understanding of yourself, your relationship to food, your triggers, and healthy alternatives to the foods you consume is just the beginning of the journey. “Lifestyle change is long-term success. It’s staying ready so you never have to get ready! Making changes in your daily routine will help create healthy habits for your overall health. Incorporating daily physical activity to get the body moving and blood flowing is a good change to make.”
As you add fitness to your routine, and you take inventory on how you’re eating, you’ll start to notice a shift in your attitude. The results of your lifestyle change can serve as an instant confidence booster. Not only will you look good, you’ll feel good too! “Exercise increases our feel-good hormones called endorphins. They put us in happy moods and they also relieve stress.”
So what’s the main difference between a diet and a healthy lifestyle? A lot of things. “I encourage my clients to take the word “diet” out their vocabulary. This is short-term change for weight loss goals, which is achievable but will ultimately lead you back to old habits once the diet is over. Most women know how to diet, but don’t know how to maintain their body goals. This is why lifestyle change trumps diets.”
When considering a lifestyle change, remember to do everything in moderation. The goal it to limit sugary and salty foods, not negate them. “Choosing to eat meals with good fats, proteins and vegetables, while practicing moderation should be the goal – not focusing on food restrictions. Learn to listen to your body and its needs. And most important of all, find self care routines that serve you mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I always tell people all these habits work hand and hand for success.”
Cierra’s personal weight loss journey is what inspires her to educate women on living a healthier lifestyle. “This is what drives me. I was once that lost, low-confidence, self-destructive girl who thought there was no way out of being unhealthy or body-shaming. Now I help millennial women lose weight and repair their body image so they can boss up their self-confidence and build a dream relationship with the goddess within! I attract so many women who needs the support and I always show up to be the true leader I know I needed along my journey. I’m currently the brand ambassador of @wefitdc, an organization that provides health and wellness resources for people in underserved communities in the D.C. area.”
You can keep up with Cierra and her journey via her Instagram account.