I want to be healthy but… At the end of the day, a LOT of people like the idea of being healthy. But that’s what it is for some people, just an idea. Why is it so hard to be so-called “healthy”? For starters, BEING HEALTHY ISN'T A DESTINATION OR AN END GOAL, it is a lifestyle where there’s always room to improve, grow, change, and all around be better.
MINDSET is a major key to being healthy. First is realizing that it's A GRADUAL LIFESTYLE CHANGE AND NOT SOMETHING THAT JUST HAPPENS OVERNIGHT. I got serious about my eating habits and lifting weights in July of 2014. Here I am 3 ½ years later STILL learning about my body, finding moderation and balance, and trying to improve. It's obvious that a lifestyle change will take time, but once you accept that it WILL take time, effort, and patience, everyday becomes an opportunity to be better. The learning and improving aspect never stops, but if you look at it in a positive light – constantly learning is the beauty of a lifestyle change. Failure is inevitable, but since there isn’t necessarily an end goal, the room for growth is absolutely endless. Drink more water, try out a new exercise, do something out of your comfort zone, swap tea for soda, try a different style of working out, choose grilled chicken instead of fried. Make one small change each week. If you take it one day at a time and try to make each day better than the last, changes will come easier than you think.
So why are these small changes so hard? EXCUSES. The ever-so-popular "I’ll start Monday", too busy, too much work, the holidays, eating healthy doesn’t taste good, too expensive, takes too long to cook, healthy food doesn’t make me happy. Not only are these excuses, but most of these are misconceptions. Eating healthy actually can taste good for a reasonable price. There are recipes out there to make healthier fried chicken and healthier pancakes for example (both tested and approved by my boyfriend). It’s surprising how much food you can prep if you set aside 2-3 hours a week to meal prep. Once your meals are prepped, it’s as easy as reaching into the fridge, grabbing a container and either heating it up or packing it for work.
It all comes down to HOW BAD YOU WANT TO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH. WHY do you want to eat better or start exercising more? If your reasoning is simply to look good, chances are you’ll fall off the bandwagon if you don’t see instant results. But if your reasoning is to be able to walk around town without shortness of breath, get off high blood pressure or diabetic medications, lose 2 pant sizes, run a 5k…more often than not, you’ll make choices that push you closer to your goal. LASTING changes take time. The stronger and more specific your “why” is, the more likely you will be to take advantage of everyday, work towards your goals, and slowly change your life.
Being too busy or procrastinating on being healthier is an excuse. A very common and overused excuse. By procrastinating, you're literally saying that you’re too busy or too careless to prioritize your body and your health. Can you think of one person who seems to juggle countless responsibilities with ease and wonder how do they do it? IT'S ALL ABOUT PRIORITIZING. If it is important to you, you will make time for it. Think about your favorite TV show, getting your hair done, meeting some friends for happy hour – these things are important to some people, so despite how busy their day may be, they’ll find a way to squeeze it in.
A major motivator of mine to meal prep and workout as I do isn’t because I want to look good, but I want to live a long and healthy life. I want to be a positive example for my family and future children. I want to be able to run around and play outside with my kids. I don’t want my body or a preventable medical condition holding me back from enjoying my life to the fullest. 6 of the top 10 leading causes of death in 2013 could have been prevented with diet and exercise. Small changes each day or each week could end up amounting to a longer life in the end. That could mean less money spent on medical bills and more time spent doing what makes you happy. Most excuses simply stem from mindset. If your priorities and mindset are in line, that’s when lifestyle changes occur.