“Healthy is an outfit that looks different on everybody.”
Being healthy, in shape, fit, attractive, glowing, muscular, and ripped has seem to take over today’s society, and what “health” truly means to everyone.
Now, instead of going to the gym because we love lifting, running, etc. we go because we need to burn a certain amount of calories.
Now, instead of eating a salad because that is what we are craving, we are eating it because we think it will make us lose 10 pounds right before spring break.
Now, instead of choosing working out over rest because we are simply tired, we are choosing working out in fear of gaining a pound or two on our rest day.
Now, instead of making healthy decisions moment by moment in hopes to create a more confident, and healthy version of ourselves long term (mentally and physically), we are sporadic with our healthy decisions because we are trying to achieve something that is not truly US.
You see, in today’s culture, we have thousands of images of what “being healthy” means. We have have books on how to completely cut out carbs. We have fitspos telling us that if you just do cardio for an hour a day and eat 1200 calories or less you can look like “this” *insert picture of super ripped fitspo*. We have blogs constantly going viral on how “so and so lost 30 pounds in 10 days by cutting out water and eating eggs.” Granted, these are all just examples, but I am sure you have seen this type of advertising in some way, shape, or form.
Everyone these days is claiming they have the fix to get you “fit”, and most of the time they have picture to show that it “works” but truly, that is not the case. There is not one recipe that every person on this earth can follow to become the healthiest, most beautiful, glowing, and happy version of themselves.
There is just simply not. There will never be a workout routine that fits every single persons desires, goals, and lifestyle, because we are all different. We all have different interests, different hobbies, and different things that set our souls on fire. And that is why I want to teach about a diet and workout routine that will work for literally anyone, and that diet is calling choosing a lifestyle that you can stick to.
Now, I know what you are probably thinking… I did lose a lot of weight though when I was following that guide from ___. Or even I did keep all that weight off when I was keto. But truly, the question is not whether or not it was successful, but rather the question is, were you happy when you were doing that diet/workout routine? Were you happy restricting yourself? Did you enjoy doing cardio every day for 1 hour a day? Did you find yourself craving certain food that it was all you could think about? Granted, some people enjoy those types of lifestyle, and kudos to them, but for me, I know I love to have enjoy a few tacos every now and then. I know I love the feeling of not feeling guilty when I don’t workout. I know I love lifting weights and doing back flips much more than I love killing myself on the stair master. Yes, I do cardio sometimes. Yes, I say no to ice cream sometimes. And yes, I do eat clean a majority of the time. But the difference is, I have zero guilt now when I do treat myself. And I have zero guilt when I take a rest day from the gym, like I am currently am while writing this.
The key is, you need to choose what type of healthy lifestyle fits your personality and your goals. I believe everyone can embody healthy changes and incorporate them into their lifestyle without feeling their mental health go down the drain. “Healthy” doesn’t look the same for every single person, and that is why your motives behind what healthy habit you are attempting to embody is crucial.
Example – Are you trying to lose weight because you are at a very unhealthy stage in your life, or just simply because you hate your body and want to look like so and so?
I used to be that person. I used to hate my body SO much, to the point where I skipped the last 2 hours of school everyday to run. It was not healthy, but I thought I looked bad because to me, being “in shape” was being super super skinny. I restricted, I ran, and I did it all over again. But now, I feel better than ever… I have more energy. I have a more clear path on what works for me, and overall, I feel happier. I have come to realize that I am not fat. I just had a bad outlook on workouts, healthy living, and diets. The extra 5-10 pounds on my body that I could “lose” is not fat, it’s the late night nachos my boyfriend and I ate the other night. It’s the pint of ice cream I love to eat while we watch a movie together. It’s my life. It is not “fat” it is my memories. Yes, it can be taken overboard but I believe a healthy balance is crucial to a happy life, mentally and physically. Some people want to lose a few pounds, and some people simply want to maintain. Neither is wrong, but check your motives behind the goal.
You aren’t fat, you just are trying to be someone else’s best version of themselves instead of the best version of yourself. It’s not wrong for you to love biking, but you just think that in order to be “In shape” you have to do a certain workout. Let me get one thing straight: fitness social media is a blessing and a curse. It can either really boost you up or tear your down. However, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE SOCIAL MEDIA. I love posting my workouts, sharing recipes that I have crafted, and overall, gaining a larger perspective on different types of healthy lifestyles. However, I don’t feel the need to share because what I am doing is right or wrong, but rather in hopes that someone can realize being “healthy” is different for everyone. I don’t share my perspectives, learnings, and findings because that is what I believe people have to do in order to become healthier, but rather to help them realize there are so many different options, ideas, and routines to embody to make a healthy living fun for you. Heck, half of the time my workout videos have backflips in them – literally. But, healthy living is different for everyone person. And I believe social media can be changed into a POWER TOOL instead of a COMPARISON TOOL if we look at different workouts as a break from our “normal routine” instead of what we HAVE to do to be healthy. We need to change our outlook on fitness social media accounts from this is right and that is wrong to wow, that’s a cool idea, maybe I can incorporate it into something I love!… You get the point.
And that’s it. It really isn’t that complicated, but our society makes it complicated. However, embodying a diet and workout routine that is catered to you will not only make you reach results faster because you enjoy it, but it will make your “fitness journey” into a healthy lifestyle. It will take you from yo-yo dieting, crash dieting, losing 30 pounds, just to gain it back, etc. to feeling good in your skin and loving every second of it. And in all honesty, it probably won’t even feel like a diet because you’re going to be enjoying the things you love with no restrictions.
Here are a few tips that I would love to give to you that will help you maintain a healthy balance, while still loving life and enjoying a well-round living:
Find The Workout That Makes You Love Yourself More, Not Shame Yourself More
Sometimes, workouts can either be motivating or discouraging. You can either leave feeling on top of the world, or like you did not accomplish one single thing. Granted, you are not always going to feel 100% after a workout, and you are not always going to feel the same drive or excitement. But you can always love yourself. You can always understand that you did enough for the day. And you can always leave feeling thankful. Thankful for the journey of health, thankful for the opportunity to clear your mind, and thankful for yet another experience of “learning to love yourself more”. Therefore, listen to your body. If yoga sounds great, than go clear your mind and find your inner self. If you had a rough day, than go lift heavy weights. And if you just want to sweat, go get that cardio in. NO workout is the wrong workout. Find what is going to boost your confidence for that moment, week, or month, and tackle it.
Give Yourself a “Reward” Every Now And Then
Whether you have a fitness goal, or financial goal, it is important to reward yourself every now and then. Not only does it give you a pat on the back for all of your hard work, but it gives you something to work towards. For example, I LOVE MEXICAN FOOD. However, if I ate it every single day I would feel gross, and probably gain 30 pounds. Therefore, I give myself the gift of a cheat meal every single week if I am eating healthy and working out. It makes me look forward to the weekend and gives me motivation for the workouts I am aiming to complete.
Eat Less, More Frequently
If you are anything like me, you might want to speed up your metabolism and lose a few LBS. You also might want to feel full and energized for a longer period of time. And one of the best things that I have learned is to eat THE SAME AMOUNT OF FOOD I ALREADY AM, just in smaller portions more frequently. You will then stop giving in to your grumbling stomach, and curb your appetite by having several small meals throughout the day instead of three large ones. This way, you’ll avoid that horrible, nauseous feeling you get after you’ve eaten too much.
Do NOT Count Your Calories, Just Focus on Portions
Counting your calories is not only mentally unhealthy, but it is all time-consuming. Do not get me wrong, I definitely think we should pay attention to what we are eating, but we should focus more on portion control. Try not to get so caught up in calories that you completely restrict yourself, because that is so unhealthy. Rather, just be aware, and try to “eye” everything. Your body will tell you when enough is enough.
Switch It Up, A Lot, All The Time, Non-stop!
The main reason I have began to LOVE working out, and have shifted towards working out 6, 7, sometimes even 8 times a week comes down to one word: switch. I am constantly switching what muscles I am working, how I am working out, and even where I am working out. Granted, I have my go-to of MVP and doing function training but I like to go to the gym and do sprints, cycling, HIIT circuits, or power lift. Switching it up will cause you to want to keep pushing even more, and not get sick of the gym or the same routine.
Be Proud Of Where You Are At!
We all have to start somewhere, and none of us are not going to have the same results, so be proud of where you are at. We cannot possibly all function the same because our bodies simply to do not answer the same to every food, workout, or lifestyle we try to embrace. The first step to actually starting a “balanced healthy” lifestyle is to just be proud of yourself. If you are not proud, you are not going to push yourself to change. And you already are amazing. So except where you are at, know that you are amazing, and attack your goals.
Now go out there, and figure out what your “healthy” looks like. Fall in love with a workout that makes you feel powerful. Fall in love with a way of eating that makes you feel happy, yet still alive for those special moments like birthdays and anniversaries. Fall in love with taking care of yourself. If there is one thing that I have learned in these past 4 years, 2 of them trying to be “fit” and 2 of them finding “my healthy,” it’s that you only have one life and one body, so treat it with love, and craft it to be something that you are proud of, mentally and physically.
With all that I am,