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,
As the summer months approach (especially for us Midwestern people!) we tend to all of a sudden want to look better, lose weight, and show off a bunch of skin in these warmer months.
The ideas and marketing are everywhere! “Drop 10 pounds for summer!” “Bikini season!” “Bikini abs in 30 days!” Why is that mindset in place? Why do we only want to lose weight when it’s warm out? Why don’t we work on our bodies year round? In my opinion, we should be healthy year round right? Isn’t that something called yo-yo dieting?
Most of us scramble around the spring time trying to all of a sudden eat healthier (which may be starving ourselves) and working out like crazy. These sudden changes in behaviors will NEVER stick. You HAVE to start a routine if you want any real changes!
So why do we fall off the wagon when it comes to health and fitness? Most of us do the same routine year in and year out. Summer/Warmer weather approaches and we rush to drop the pounds. What are our EXCUSES? Let’s take a good hard look in the mirror, what is seriously stopping us from achieving what we want?
There it is! Right in the mirror in front of us! IT IS US! We are stopping ourselves; we are our biggest challenges. It is ALL a mental game! I know with myself it is a BIG mental game when it comes to stress eating, being lazy or not getting up in time to work out in the morning. There is NOTHING ELSE STANDING IN OUR WAY! It is only us.
How do we change this mental game? Well, how bad do you want to be in shape? How bad do you want to drop those pounds? I mean, don’t you get frustrated when it comes to losing weight EVERY YEAR?! It is SO much harder to drop weight and it seems so easy to gain it! It is all a mental game so here are some tips to keep you from falling off that wagon again!
So here are five tips to keep you on track all year long and break that mentality of cycle dieting!
1.) PLAN PLAN PLAN
We all have crazy lives, I totally understand. I LIKE to be busy, which might make me crazy! However, I have been a horrible planner and I always run out of time. What I have started to do is take advantage of my down time and really write down things I need to do. Maybe it’s an adult thing to do! Write out your week, plan your meals, your workouts and write out everything you have going on this week. Where can you find time to workout? Where do you have an extra ten minutes? Do you think you need to start getting up a little earlier? Or maybe after the kids go to sleep, do something for you? Whatever it is, you can plan it. You can plan your workouts, you can plan your meals and as long as you STICK to the plan, you will have success. I know that when I don’t plan, I eat bad, I grab fast food and I absolutely do not work out. Plan your work outfits the night before or lay out your exercise clothes so when 5:30 am rolls around, you don’t complain about trying to find clothes when you are barely awake! PLAN!
2.) STICK TO YOUR PLAN
I mean we can plan all we want, but what is the point of a plan when we don’t follow it? Let me put it to you this way, challenge yourself for five days to follow the plan. At the end of the week, how do you feel? Did your week go by fast? I know mine does when I follow a plan. Cooking at home and meal prepping typically saves you money too so how is that bank account of yours? Stick to your plan! I know that when I concentrate on a plan for a few days in a row, it then becomes harder to break. You are setting yourself up for a new routine!
3.) STOP DIETING
Yes – stop saying you are on a diet. Diets are temporary. To keep the weight off and have any type of long lasting effect, it needs to be a permanent change. Lifestyle change anyone? So when it comes to dieting, we typically do an immediate change to what we are eating and drinking on a daily basis. While some people can quit things “cold turkey”, this is usually not the case and it can be detrimental to our changes. When someone typically stop eating bad food all of a sudden, that craving doesn’t go away and leads to a binge further down the road. I’m telling you that you can have these bad foods, but you can’t eat them all the time. It is a lifestyle change and of course during a LIFESTYLE you will have some bumps along the road. Turn those cheat days into cheat meals, or cheat items. Don’t undo a week of progress in simply just a week’s time because you had a full cheat day or cheat weekend. Keep it going and don’t just suddenly make drastic changes. Start gradually with getting more water in your diet and changing out for healthier foods. Again, if you do this gradually and make permanent changes, you will be more successful!
4.) Eat For Fuel
What do I mean by this? You should eat to nourish your body. Your body can do some pretty amazing things right? Our bodies withstand a lot. We need to be showing our body love and be thankful for what it does for us on a daily basis. I mean it keeps us alive right? Why do we feed it bad things? Sure, those French fries make us comfortable at first when we crave it but the next morning are you feeling great? Don’t you feel a little sluggish? We need to eat things that our body and mind will benefit from. Eating better will put all of these other practices into place also. We will be more motivated to conquer our weight loss and health journeys!
5.) Find Your Why (and write it down!)
Why do you want to lose weight? Why do you want to workout? We all need to be honest with ourselves. It is okay to admit you are unhappy with how you look, how you feel, or how clothes fit you. No matter what size you are, it matters how you FEEL inside and out. What is your why? Find that reason deep down inside of you and write about it. If you have to, post it in your bathroom or write it somewhere that you look everyday. Remind yourself everyday WHY you want to start a healthy journey and become a healthier person.
I hope that these are helpful tips that you haven’t thought about yet. I know that when I truly plan and think about WHY I want to stay on my healthy journey, the fast food and the real sugary drinks don’t see to be craved as often. I crave feeling great and I know I can only reach that point by truly sticking to my plan. I am most successful when I plan and record and prepare for my week ahead.
Another thing that I have found beneficial to my fitness journey is yoga —> read about my journey here I Bend So I Don’t Break
What are some tips that have worked for you in your health journey? Sound off below!
Thanks for reading!
I have a few posts about yoga on here (I Bend So I Don’t Break), and how it has benefited me personally. I love yoga – I love everything that it does and has done for me. It has eliminated back pain, muscle pain, eased stress and make me sleep better!
My friend, Dr. Maritza Baez (Read her blog here!), has a fantastic article over on her page that she wrote. It is called TOP 5 REASONS FOR RECOMMENDING YOGA. I was inspired with her post to share with you what my top five reasons are and why you need to do yoga starting today! No matter what your resolution is – this is so beneficial in all aspects of your life! First things first before we get started, here are some essential items you need to get your yoga on!
Yoga Mat – this is a given! You need a non-slippery surface for all of your balances and poses. You can find cheap ones all over at Target and even Amazon! There are so many pretty ones too! Check these out!
Yoga block – this is a beneficial tool for people (like myself!) who are not that flexible (YET!). This helps us non-flexible people to stretch more and gives us additional support in several other yoga poses.
Yoga band – again, for us not flexible people this is a great tool to stretch with! You can take your legs to new lengths with these yoga bands!
Yoga mat towel – essential for those who sweat a lot (especially if you want to participate in hot yoga!) The yoga mat might be non-slippery but when you start dripping sweat, it gets pretty slippery!
Yoga socks – if you want some extra support to not slip, I suggest getting some socks with grips on them!
So now that we have our essentials – let me give you the reasons why you need to start yoga!
- Health benefits – there is NO shortage of health benefits in the practice of yoga. From immediately following a yoga class, to many, many years post-practice you can have any benefit from improved brain function to a lower risk of heart disease. Yoga can also act as a detox for your body (it’s actually great for hangovers!) and increased immunity. Weight management, lowers your blood pressure, and improves circulation and digestion – all within as little as 30 minutes a day!
- Self-love and self-acceptance – any yoga class I have ever taken has given me such a warm and happy feeling. I may need to force myself to do a class or practice for 30 minutes, but I always come out of it LOVING everything about it. I love how it makes me feel, time and time again. Unlike many forms for fitness, yoga is the only one to benefit your body and your mind equally. With regular practice, this state of mind becomes natural and you will become a much happier person all around!
- Muscle strength & Muscle Tone – Yoga helps define your muscles and strengthens within your body. With yoga, there isn’t a dominant side and all muscle groups are worked equally. Yoga targets your ENTIRE body and your muscles will grow all at once. This will help prevent injury and make lifting or day to day tasks much easier.
- Better breathing – it is all about your breathing in yoga. You want to focus on calmness and relaxation and training your breath. With focusing on your breathing, it soothes respiratory disorders and you have more control over your breathing.
- Reduces muscle pain – I can’t get excited for this enough or preach this benefit more than I already do. I had a piriformis muscle that was very tight because of running. I did hot yoga consecutively for a few weeks and before I knew it, it was completely gone. I mean this muscle injury was difficult to even sit still in a chair during work. Stretching through the muscle made me feel so much better. This year I have had a lower back issue where I have pulled my back a couple of times and I know when I pull it, I can turn to yoga specifically with poses to focus on strengthening and stretching out my back.
There is yoga for EVERYTHING – yoga for neck pain, yoga for hangovers, yoga for sickness, yoga for prenatal and so on. You are improving your mind and your body in so many ways.
I will be going on my first yoga retreat with a group of like-minded women in March to Guatemala! I am so excited to share every aspect of that trip on this blog!
I hope that I have convinced you to do more yoga (or start yoga) in your life – there is no end to the benefits that yoga provides!
Until next time,