Fit & Fabulous From the Editor

This is How to Eat Clean, Get Active, and Stay Positive for 1 Year

All About Acceptance, Appreciation, and Achieving
Susan Vernicek
Written by Susan Vernicek

How would you like to add 3 simple changes in your life to make this year even better? I’ll intrigue you even more. You can start this anytime during the year, and know that in 12 months your life will be changed.

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How would you like to add 3 simple changes in your life to make this year even better? I’ll intrigue you even more. You can start this anytime during the year, and know that in 12 months your life will be changed.


We’re hearing you shout, “YES” as you read this because if you weren’t interested you wouldn’t have clicked on this article. Well done, you’ve completed the preliminary step, (saying YES) to the 3 steps listed below.

Note: There is no “healthy” quick fix and the sooner you accept that and know that slow and steady truly wins the race, this achievement will come quicker than you thought!

Clean Eating:

Here’s the trick to shifting your diet to a more balanced and clean routine.

Start small. Many of us go “all in” before really thinking through our goals and knowing what are the best steps to take. Jumping to extremes or going full force can make it harder for us to maintain.

We suggest you make a list of all the things you would like to work on, evolve, or change in your diet. Maybe it’s cutting out soda, swapping fried chips for baked lentil chips, eating fewer carbohydrates, adding more greens, or simply drinking more water.

After you make your list, pick the top 12 and use those as your guide, one for each month of the year. So each month you make one temporary change with a goal to make it a habit. By the end of the year, you will have made 12 improvements to your diet, how awesome is that?

A few examples:

February: Pay attention to what you drink. Make a conscious effort to choose water over soft drinks.

March: Drink a glass of water before breakfast, before lunch, and before dinner. Work on this daily for one month.

April: Mashed potato lover? Blend cauliflower with seasoning and some Greek Yogurt for a healthier option. Trust me, it’s so delicious!

I can honestly vouch for this because I do it! Some of my changes were: Cutting back from drinking a glass of orange juice every day to about 2-3 times a week. The other was choosing water with all meals unless I’m drinking red wine because I will never give that up. I cut back on eating mashed potatoes, and make cauliflower “mashed potatoes” instead. I cut out buying junk food by NOT GOING DOWN THAT AISLE. I’ve discovered that I don’t have the willpower to eat a cookie or two a day. I will eat the entire row of cookies dipped in milk; therefore, I don’t go down the aisle.

Again, each month make one temporary change with a goal to make it a habit.

Get Active:

How many times have you tried to get active, yet sometimes, you feel you may have failed? Same rules apply as in step 1. Start small and make it gradual. We also recommend focusing on your interests and find an accountability partner; a buddy to check in with weekly.

Start with getting active once a week for a month, then twice a week, then three times a week and so forth. Make sure you and your accountability partner check in with one another to ensure success.

I started this routine 4 months after I gave birth to my twins. I found a buddy to check in with and I joined the gym (which was the biggest step for me). I knew it would be a commitment if I joined the gym. I started with 3 times a week and now I’m at 4 times a week. Next goal is 5 times a week by the end of February.

Stay Positive:

The first two steps may not succeed unless you work to stay positive. Change is not always easy, but if you want things to be different in your life, then being open to change is a great start.

Find your gratitude in each day and in each experience because this will open up your mind to new ideas and make it easier to stay positive.

There are so many tools like (shameless plug here), Identity Magazine, books galore, and of course the famous Google for support.

Everything and anything you need to keep a positive outlook and stay motivated is right at your fingertips. It’s so easy to search for how to stay positive, how to eat clean, how to start being active, and anything else you are looking for—be resourceful.

Make this your year – you deserve it!

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The experts at NextAdvisor, an independent consumer advocacy resource, have created a graphic regarding the odds of the modern resolution, the most common stats and figures, and what holds many back from success.

If you’re wondering, no, I am not being paid to share this graphic. I loved this infographic and thought it would be perfect to include:

You will learn a little about:
• How often people exercise – percentages and consistency
• At what age do most people start exercising?
• Do people actually use diet and fitness apps and online services?
• Why do most diets fail?

Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life – Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.™ Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.

What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?

I have accepted to go my own pace in everything I do.  I won’t compare my path with anybody.  I’ve succeed much more at a slow and steady pace.  That’s how I came up with this solution to change.  Small changes over the course of a year are attainable for me. Multiple changes at a drastic pace, scare me!

What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?

I appreciate my patience and peace when it comes to changes in my life.

What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?

My most rewarding today is that I only have about 8 pounds to go until I get back to my pre-twin baby weight.  It’s taken 7 months so far and I’m feeling pretty darn good.

A goal I am working on is staying true to clean eating for my twins. I’ve been making their solids foods and keeping it clean—meaning free of any junk or added stuff. 

We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth—we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity?

I’m so not perfect with always staying on top of my changes, I have a down day or two, but overall I stick with this guide and it’s proven to work!

“I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!)

Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?

I love my ability to discover what works for me and come to peace.  I no longer stress about my weight or how I look. I take care of myself the best I can.

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About the author

Susan Vernicek

Susan Vernicek

Facts about Susan Vernicek:
• She’s happily married and a mother of twins.

• She’s tried almost every fad diet back in her quick-fix days, admits at age 34 it’s a struggle to work hard on overall balance and is focused on not giving into the unhealthy fads we see daily.

• She’s all natural with natural blonde hair, uneven breasts, a bigger nose, and full of curves that she learns to appreciate more and more each day.

• She had a career where part of her job was staring at herself 40 hours a week manipulating her very own face as well as others.

• She’s the youngest of 7, ranging from 30-50+, an Aunt, Great Aunt and even younger than some of her nieces and nephews!

• She’s traveled and seen over 8 countries and spent a summer in London finding her passion and embracing life.

• She created S&J Identity, Inc. AKA Identity Magazine, having no business background and at the age of 25.

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