I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said “I’m gonna start a _____ free diet” or “I’m cutting out carbs or sugar” and a week later I’m back to eating chocolate and popcorn regularly. Creating a healthy lifestyle always seemed too difficult for me (mostly because I find a lot of joy in eating yummy food haha) and so I always failed and never saw the results I was looking for. Until Quarantine. Yea… I’m just as shocked as you. Here’s what I did to create a healthier lifestyle:
Beginning with Education
I fully expected to sit on the couch and stuff my face with food because there was nothing better to do. But instead, I educated myself.
I read blog after blog about what certain food groups do to your body and how you should balance them. Let me say that a little louder. I learned how to BALANCE food, not cut out, not avoid, but a simple balance in what I eat.
After I educated myself, I made a goal. Not a goal on how many pounds to lose, but a goal of creating as much balance as I could to create a healthy lifestyle. The first lesson I had to learn though was really hard.
Creating More Intentionality
I had to learn how to eat and exercise intentionally. No more eating a bagel or breakfast, a quesadilla or lunch, and spaghetti for dinner (but wow that sounds so good). I allowed myself to eat whole wheat bread and eggs for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and pasta with chicken and vegetables for dinner.
To clarify the fact that I had carbs every meal wasn’t necessarily the problem. The problem was that it was only carbs and they weren’t doing much to fuel my body. I can eat a whole wheat bagel with eggs and avocado. That is ok because I’m eating healthier carbs that create fuel for my body while adding in some protein and a superfood to balance out the meal.
This is what I mean by intentionally eating: I know how the food I am eating benefits my body and consciously aim to eat more food that positively impacts my body rather than do nothing or negatively impact my body.
The same thing goes for working out! Doing 20 squats and running for 10 minutes isn’t going to do much in reaching the goals you set for yourself. Understanding what muscle groups are being exercised in a certain activity is crucial to reaching goals. The more you know how your workout the more you will see results! Workout with intention and workout with a plan!
Creating More Sustainability
The second lesson I had to learn in creating a more balanced lifestyle was simply not to go all in. Um… Ginger… isn’t that the point? Going all in so that your entire life is balanced? That’s a great point! Yes, the point is to create balance throughout your life. But what is even more important is creating a balance that will last. Sustainability is key to a healthy life.
There is no point going to the trouble to educate yourself and create a plan to be healthier if you’re just going to stop in a few months because it’s too much. You should be creating attainable goals for yourself. For example, an unattainable goal would be: I am going to lift weights every day and run for 30 minutes in the morning. I promise you will eventually get burned out (unless you’re a gym junkie, in which case go you I wish I had your motivation!).
A more attainable goal might be: I am going to be active each day, even if it just a walk, and I will go some sort of cardio/weight training three times a week. The great thing about that goal is it isn’t too intense. Goals are made to be tough but attainable! Make it hard not impossible! AND make it something you can build on; once you easily hit three workouts a week move it up to four! Get excited about your growth instead of getting bogged down in not meeting a goal.
Creating More Positivity
The last lesson I learned was to create positivity in this plan for a healthier life. Meaning, love yourself even when you mess up. Maybe three times a week was just really hard to do last week and you only got in two workouts. That’s ok! Don’t shame yourself! The same thing goes for food. Last night I had multiple brownies when I told myself I would limit myself to one. That ok! (they were really delicious btw). The point of all this is to create a happier and healthier life. You definitely aren’t happier if you shame yourself for making mistakes.
The important thing is to understand that it was a mistake and you should strive to do better next time. That might mean creating a different tactic. Taking the workout example: I was really busy and forgot to workout three times, so next week I will carve out time on my calendar and write it down so I don’t forget. Or the brownies: I will eat my brownie slower next time, so I don’t feel the need to grab another one.
To sum it up the key to a balanced lifestyle is intentionality, sustainability, and positivity! Educate yourself, prepare yourself, and love yourself. This isn’t meant to be impossible, it won’t be easy (it requires a lot of being present in the moment and considering your action), but it is doable. And I can tell you these simple changes have made me feel and look the way I have always wanted to!
If you want any ideas for healthy but yummy recipes check out my post on how to create a healthier (and cheaper!) peppermint mocha creamer!
I’d love to hear what you have done to create a healthier lifestyle recently! Leave a comment below!
**Disclaimer: I am not a certified health professional/dietician/ nutritionist. I am simply a girl sharing my experience.***
Until next time,