Because one French fry won’t make us fat. One slip up won’t make us fat. One bad meal or one bad day does not guarantee that we undo everything we are working hard towards.
I love food. I also love living a healthy and active lifestyle. It has taken me years to realize that food is fuel and that when I show my body love, I am feeding it healthy food.
This goes along with my blog post from last Friday You Are Your Only Limit. In that post, I spoke about how we need to reset our mindset into thinking that we need to “diet” and we need to cut cold turkey on the foods we shouldn’t be eating. These practices do not work most of the time, and while some people may have succeeded in this practice, I guarantee you it is not the popular way. In order for these new methods to stick, we need to do a lifestyle change.
Making changes slowly but surely in our diet will help us succeed. Start interchanging snacks and the liquids you consume throughout the day.
Our biggest failures are when we come up with this ENORMOUS HUGE plan for ourselves and immediately tell ourselves that we have to be PERFECT. That mindset DOES NOT WORK AND WILL NEVER WORK FOR YOU.
Here is an example of this type of plan that is not fool proof:
*Imagine that it is Friday afternoon and you didn’t eat that great this week, drank a lot of calorie filled drinks, and didn’t work out at all*
Saying to yourself “Starting MONDAY, I’m going to eat nothing but home cooked meals, meal prep Sunday night. Work out five days next week. Give up pop, give up candy, give up fast food and I’m going to purge all of my snacks from my house”
Monday comes around and you have meals prepped for the entire week, and you are good to go to start your day! You come home from work or start your day with a workout and you do really well! I mean, you can’t miss Day 1!
Now imagine day 4 rolls around so it’s probably Thursday. Body is sore, don’t feel like working out. You are tired. You don’t feel like cooking food and just want to go home and be lazy. This ends up being the end to your “plan” because here comes Friday and now here comes the weekend. You of course don’t participate in anything healthy on the weekends because you were so good for those three days last week so it’s okay to indulge.
And then, the cycle begins again. It’s Monday again and you are here to drink all the water and eat all the greens! But the weekend comes around again and your busy life takes hold and you go to all the restaurants!
I’m here to tell you that you need to BREAK THE CYCLE. You can’t keep doing that to yourself and your body. It is a vicious cycle that not only takes its toll on your body, but also your mindset. We keep setting ourselves up for failure with these big elaborate – supposed-to-be permanent plans that it just doesn’t work out.
If you want to start eating healthier, you need to start slow. You are in this for the long haul (aka the REST OF YOUR LIFE) because hey guess what, we aren’t getting younger every year! You need to take care of your body, and the earlier the better.
Here are some KEY tips for lifestyle changes:
*That pop/soda you drink at lunch every day? Switch that out with water and if you can’t stand water, get some fruity flavoring packets to mix in with your water (no sugar of course!)
*Plan your week – What do you have going on all week? Do you work shifts or do you work a regular schedule? What about extracurricular activities? What’s going on during the weekend? When can you get a workout in?! Plan your workouts and your meals. If you HAVE to go out to eat, what is on the menu that is still delicious but healthy?
*Going out to eat? Skip the apps and skip the booze if you can. I know that for me personally, if it is the weekend and I am going out to eat, I tend to also then go out for drinks after dinner so why do I need to have booze both places? I really don’t and I really shouldn’t be spending all this extra money. Appetizers are good and all, but again, I will probably get a late night snack if it’s a late night. Think ahead before you plan your night out and plan and prepare. Stick to the plan!
*WAKE UP EARLY if you have to. I mean, I’m not going to sit here and tell you to wake up at 5:30 am everyday BUT if that is where the success comes in, you might need to do that. I know that on Fridays, those are the days that tend to be the busiest in the evenings after work. I got used to waking up before work to get my workout in so that no matter what I did Friday night, I felt less guilty.
*Plan for your cravings! OMG who doesn’t have cravings? I have one just about everyday and no, I have never been pregnant. Intense cravings for sugar, or chocolate or pop or fast food etc….. I know myself enough that I KNOW I will plan for these cravings. What can I get that has less calories, a little bit healthier and of course satisfy my craving?? This is probably the most important tip I am going to give you! I know I will have days where I want ALL THE CHOCOLATE so we keep one big plain chocolate bar in the house. I have one little piece if I must. If I need a 2nd, I HAVE A SECOND one. But there is no way I need to eat the whole bar, and to be honest I don’t really need to eat it. When your body is eating healthy all day, your body tends to crave bad food less IF YOU ARE DOING IT RIGHT and not starving yourself. My husband is an AVID Reese’s peanut butter cup eater. AVID (as a lot of us are!) Rather than having Reese’s on hand everyday, he will eat a spoonful of peanut butter (all natural) and get organic chocolate syrup to sprinkle on. Craving solved!!
*Stop waiting until Monday! Why are we waiting until Monday? Why are we waiting at all? As soon as you think that you want to start eating healthy, do so at your next meal if you can. Sure, you might need to go grocery shopping and whatnot but why do we all have this in our minds of “starting on Monday?!” Start ASAP – start on a Tuesday or a Friday! Stop letting those days get you further and further away from what you truly desire!
As I proclaimed in the title of this post, it is okay to have a French fry! So what do I mean by that? It’s okay to have bumps in the road because again, this is a LIFESTYLE change. You can’t be perfect forever right? Obviously, I don’t mean a literal French fry, but it is important to understand that it is okay to indulge and have one of those things we crave, but only if it comes to the point where we can stop it. It is important to have the mindset that if you have a slip up, or a bad meal that we get right back on track again! Don’t wait to finish the week out or the weekend out – just get back on track.
The idea we need to starve ourselves from everything that is bad and unhealthy is just completely absurd. To give up so many things right away that you are used to eating is setting yourself up to fail. I want you to feel empowered in your choices and less guilt in your choices. Oh well if you didn’t work out one day or maybe you did but only for a short time, you aren’t going to gain all of your weight back in a day. Think about this; how long did it take you to get to the point of where you’re at now? It was not overnight – I guarantee that.
So once you make your lifestyle change to being a little bit healthier, remember that if you have these little cravings for bad food, it is more than okay to have one meal to cheat or one snack to cheat. It is a slow process with many ups and downs!
If you think you are wanting to make a lifestyle change, or you are on a health journey and you need a little bit more accountability, I would love for you to join my Facebook group! We celebrate victories, run little challenges and provide you with motivation! Some of us share some yummy recipes too! Join us here! —> Laugh Always Fitness Group I would love to have some new people join!
Thanks for reading!
Until next time,