Okay, so you want to make some changes and get healthier? You want to feel better and make some changes that last. Lemme just start off by saying, congrats! That’s so awesome and always gets me so excited! On one side I get so stoked and excited to hear someone say that they’re ready to make these changes. On the other hand, I’m usually immediately saddened by the kind of things I hear after that decision’s made...
What I Hear Most...
So many people think that you have to cut out everything you love, get extremely strict and limit yourself to a heavy diet of fish and asparagus for the rest of your life. NO! That sounds so HORRIBLE. And omg if for some reason you should stray from this diet, you have to “workout extra hard” or “work off that burger”. Also NO. Just NO!
Exercise is NOT a punishment.
First, I seriously want you to know that exercise is a gift, not a punishment. You should be using exercise to make you feel good, not because you feel guilty for eating a burrito. Exercise isn’t a punishment. It’s an incredible gift. And also, you don’t need to “punish” yourself for eating a burrito or burger or whatever your favorite food is.
I don’t know about you but life without a burger just sounds horrible. And a steady diet of fish and asparagus? No thanks! I LOVE food. I seriously love it and by no means do I give up foods that I love.
There's More to Life
You should be enjoying your life! Enjoy making memories with friends over pizza and wine. Enjoy your grandmother’s delicious homemade, secret-recipe chocolate chip cookies that she only makes once a year. Find that crazy, amazing looking dish you just saw on Instagram and it made your mouth water. Food is part of life and it’s not the enemy. Depriving yourself, feeling guilty for eating certain foods, or becoming obsessive on what you can and can’t eat on the other hand is. It's totally unhealthy and is actually a form of disordered eating.
Not to mention that the more you try to restrict yourself, the more your body will crave those exact foods that you're restricted. Eventually you won't be able to restrict any longer and it will turn into a full on binge rather than a balanced approach. Restriction is never maintainable and it's NOT healthy. Or fun!
Don’t get me wrong, I totally get it. This is what we’re programmed to believe we have to do when it comes to making healthy changes. It's even how I started out when I was making changes in my diet in the beginning. Like a lot of people, I thought it was what I had to do, BUT that was before I knew better.
I Still Eat Burgers & You Should Too
Just the other day, I received a direct message from someone complimenting one of my photos and saying that they know that it takes “lots of 2 a days in the gym and no in-n-out burger” to get my body the way it is. This mindset just makes me so sad. This isn’t the first message I’ve received like this either. Most people actually think that this is what you have to do to get in shape, or get healthy or make changes in your body.
While it does take work to maintain a healthy, fit body, it does NOT by any means require me to be in the gym for expended periods of time (definitely never more than once!) and it does NOT require me to steer clear of In-N-Out burger. I mean, In-N-Out isn’t my absolute favorite burger of choice, but that’s a different story. I do love me some burgers. Food in general really. I LOVE food and I know that I can still eat the foods I love while maintaining my body and health. It’s all about moderation and finding what works for you. You have to find that happy, healthy balance.
I want better for you
Restricting yourself, cutting out certain foods, or becoming calorie obsessed is definitely NOT a happy or a healthy balance in life and it’s definitely not a way that I want to live. And I don’t want you to live that way either! You can literally have your cake and eat it too. I mean..that’s really what everyone wants, right?
Now of course you do have to get in nutritious foods that fuel your body and provide the vitamins your body needs, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t throw in a burger every now and then. It’s all about balance. Find what works for you and make sure that it's both maintainable and pleasant. If it lacks either of the two, chances are it won't stick.
Here's to a happy, healthy week of balance!
Until next time,