Part of me doesn’t want to write this, because when it comes to healthy lifestyle people can be possessive and judgemental. Possessive as in my-way-is-the-best-way, and judgemental as in that-is-NOT-how-you-should-live-your-life-in-order-to-be-healthy.
So, before I start, please know that these are the things that work for me. If you are vegan, vegetarian, paleo, keto, flamingo or whoever the newest thing is, YOU DO YOU BOO BOO. I don’t think that there is one way that works for everyone. Actually studies are coming out saying that genetics have a lot to do with how your body handles certain diets and lifestyles. And since we all have different genetics, different things work for different people. So please know that this is what works best for my body, but it might not be the best for you. Additionally, this post is a overall summary of how I try to balance a healthy lifestyle. I will do other posts in the future that will have more specifics.
I had to figure out my WHY:
Just like I said when I blogged about getting up early, I think it’s so important to figure out WHY you want to focus on being healthy. And I’m not just talking about having a specific goal like having a bangin’ body for your wedding dress or cutting off a few minutes of your next half marathon. While those are good goals to have, they have an expiration date. Meaning that once the event is over, you (tend to) go back to the way your life was beforehand and you gain all the weight back or lose all the progress you made (or maybe that’s just me?). So, while your wedding pictures are beautiful or you set a new personal record, that’s not how your life looks now. I’m talking about a deep reason and a true motivation to be healthy. It might be because want to set an example to your kids. Perhaps you have a history of heart disease in your family and you want to beat the odds. Or maybe it’s to quiet the voices in your head that whisper to you that you could never be healthy or lose that extra 40 pounds you’ve been carrying around. Whatever it is, figure it out and embrace it. Write it down. Tell a friend. whatever you do, own it.
I hate crash diets:
When I talk about my diet I am talking about an overall way to eat. I am not talking about cutting out or limiting foods to lose weight. Those types of diets have never worked for me because I have a hard time not gaining it all back (plus some!). Crash diets are not the way to success. A LIFESTYLE is what I try to focus on. Which can be hard, people. I am not denying that. But changing how I live my everyday life has helped me more than any diet ever has. Please note, I am not hating on food programs that TEACH you how to change your lifestyle. Things like Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig are absolutely phenomenal because they change the way you live your life and help you get to a new normal. My main point is that cutting back to 800 calories a day to fit into that dress I wore in college will never help me in the long run.
I meal prep:
I meal prep each week and I make foods that I ENJOY eating. Yes, this takes time and intentionality, but having meals ready to go makes it approximately 1000x easier to not go through the Chick-Fil-A drive through when I’m hungry.
It’s crucial to prepare foods that I actually like to eat, otherwise I won’t stick to my plan. I could prepare a kale salad to have every day for lunch, but you bet your bottom dollar that I’m going to eat everything BUT that kale salad when lunchtime rolls around because I hate kale. This took experimenting with different recipes to figure out what works for me.
Now hear me out, I despise meal prepping with all of my soul. I understand how it’s so much easier to try and wing it each day, but that has always led me right to the drive through at the closest fast food restaurant. To help with this, I usually I make a big batch of something and have it every day for lunch (lunch is the main meal I prep each week). Doing that might not be your style, so maybe you need to spend more time prepping your meals each week. Like I’ve said several times, do what works for YOU. I’m going to be doing a post soon that will go into more detail about how I meal plan and prep and what I make each week.
Does eating whole foods fuel your body in the best possible way? Yes. One hundred percent. Do I eat cookies and chips on occasion? YES. Cutting out sweets and junk food entirely is impossible for me to keep up. I don’t want to live a life that doesn’t include warm chocolate chip cookies and caramel lattes. I will never stick to anything that tells me that I have to cut out a specific food group entirely. Maybe you can do the keto diet and cut out carbs or be vegetarian and cut out meat (if this is you – GOOD FOR YOU, I truly applause people who can do this!), but I can’t do extremes. All I will think about is what I’m not allowed to eat. BUT, I can’t use that as an excuse to eat junk food whenever I want.
I think something that is KEY to this is to avoid trigger foods. For instance, I C.A.N.N.O.T. only eat a few Doritos. I just can’t. So, I don’t buy them. You won’t find a bag of them in my pantry because I will eat the entire thing in a single day. I actually avoid having snacks in my house in general because I WILL eat them all. The first time I ever did this was tough. I would walk to my fridge or pantry and look for the snacks that I would always grab, and then I would sadly remember that they weren’t there. But after a few weeks of doing this I actually got used to it and broke the habit of eating those unhealthy snacks. However, sometimes the snack bug bites me so I try to always have 100 calorie bags of popcorn or the ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies available. That way I CAN grab a snack if I need to. But I don’t make it easy to go crazy.
I don’t flake on myself:
This one I am still working on. But really y’all. Despite how cheesy it sounds, treat yourself like you would treat your friend. Would you ever say, “Sorry, I can’t work out like we planned because I’m really into this show on Netflix”? Or, “Yeah, I know you said that you’re really working on eating healthier, but I’d rather get Taco Bell instead of eating at your house like we planned”?
The answer is no.
Listen, I am always quick to cancel on myself. I am the queen of breaking the promise I made to myself last night when I said I would work out tomorrow. BUT, this starts to add up. When my brain gets used to the habit of always flaking on my promises it starts to automatically assume that I am unreliable – and it will make me give up before I start. Keep the promises you make to yourself. You are worth it.
I could keep going, and I will be doing more posts on this in the future. But that’s a quick peek into what I do to stay healthy each day. I don’t do it perfectly, but I give myself GRACE.
Happy Friday, friends! I hope you have a great weekend.
Leave a comment and let me know any healthy tips that you have, I am always looking for more!