On the day our son was born, I had no idea how my life would change. As I held him in my arms, I recall making promises to him that we would ensure he would live a very full, healthy, and happy life, and that we would be there with him to celebrate with him.
Ready to make a change
During the pregnancy, I gained about 15-20 lbs (6-9kgs) as I ate additional meals to accompany my wife’s food cravings. I realized that if I were to continue to overeat, not get adequate sleep, and not exercise regularly, I would never lose the weight and only continue to get larger. Coincidently, I signed up for my first marathon in 2011 and finally had the goal in mind to help me shake out of the unhealthy lifestyle that I had.
Know your Whys and set a goal
Usually, the first few months of regular running and exercise are the most difficult. Our
pre-existing habits, and daily schedules usually hold us back. We may also feel guilty about doing something for ourselves, since we’re often told to give everything to our family and work.
We’re rarely encouraged to “water” ourselves and experience personal growth.
However, any change in behavior requires a change in mental outlook – and that includes deliberate commitment and goal-setting. This can give you something to focus on, instead of the guilt or excuses for why you can’t do something.
As a professional running coach who has worked with runners of varying experience levels, one of the first and most important things I do is to know their Whys. This helps me understand their motivation and level of commitment. Afterwards, we set the goals and plan out the next few months with goal targets, then have weekly regular conversations regarding setbacks and achievements.
Transform needs to wants
I am often asked how to eat in order to lose weight, maintain performance, or become healthier. I always explain that the body knows what it needs, and over time it will transform those needs to wants. Ideally, your body begins to reject junk food, and shifts from late nights to sleeping and waking early.
Change your diet
After the birth of my son, I began to take steps to being healthier. However, even with years of training and running, I was not achieving the results that I wanted. I was plateauing.
Then I discovered eating healthy. My wife and I began choosing to eat organic food and (on occasion) eat plant-based meals. It was like discovering a hidden world of potential and self-improvement. We noticed our boys really loving organic milk. In fact, they drink 2-3 glasses of milk for each meal. They said it tasted better and creamier, so we were more than happy to buy more and know that they were getting more nutrients.
Choose to live your best life
We only have one life to live. We can make the right choices for ourselves that will benefit our family and set the tone for how we live our lives. Do we want to be strong and mobile in our old age? Do we want to eat fast food, or savor the smell and flavor of healthy, homecooked meals?
Changing any habit will take time, but with proper planning and commitment you can make the right decisions that will put you on the right track towards a healthier future.
About The Writer
Vicente Bunuan is a full-time husband and father, and part-time Running Coach at InVINCIble Running. He has been married for thirteen years, and has two boys aged 6 and 12. Born in the Philippines, he moved to the U.S. as a child, and had all formal schooling there. He attended Georgetown University and graduated with a B.A. in Sociology and Psychology. He has worked in both higher education and in the non-profit industry in the U.S., as well as in Training & Development, and Marketing corporate companies in the Philippines. He and wife are also active in their sons’ schools as batch parent coordinators.
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are his/her own, and does not state or reflect those of Wyeth Nutrition and its principals.