"I'm going to cut out every unhealthy food in my diet and workout two hours per day. No more soda, no candy bars, no coffee creamer, no desserts, and no beer! Only fruits, vegetables, water, and the treadmill!"
....5 days later you find them drinking a Mountain Dew while stuffing their face with a Twix candy bar.
It is easy to get caught up in the planning stages of our new "diet" or writing down our new exercise program we plan to start the next day. What starts as excitement and determination typically ends up like the person above; a binge of Mountain Dew and Twix.
Why is this?
I've found that people go overboard when attempting to become "healthy." They try and cut out everything unhealthy in their life, most of which they probably enjoy eating/doing. While I admire their ambition, it typically doesn't end up working out in their favor.
"Everything is okay in moderation."
Being fit and healthy is a lifestyle. It isn't something you decide to do for eight weeks and then stop. If someone attempting to turn over a new leaf and become healthier can understand this concept, they're much more likely to be successful at it. Instead of cutting out cookies completely, limit yourself to one or two per week. MODERATION is the key word here.
Obviously, "everything" is not okay in moderation. In no way am I condoning illegal things, or things that may hurt our bodies, but guilty pleasures such as a candy bar, a glass or wine, or a piece of pizza. These are the things I mean when I say "everything" is okay in moderation.
A great example of this is this past weekend when I was visiting my family in Michigan. Every time our family gets together, we like to EAT. I'd put my family up against any other family when it comes to being the most fit, but also when it comes to EATING. Whether it be going out to Olive Garden for dinner, or ordering pizzas to watch the football game, we make sure no one goes hungry.
Now, as you can see, this might cause a problem for someone like myself who is trying to be "healthy." Pizza, never-ending pasta dishes, and ice cream aren't what you would call health food. Should I have declined to eat out at Olive Garden? Make a chicken breast and rice for dinner when everyone else is eating pizza watching the game? Say "no thanks" to eating cake and ice cream in celebration of my Grandfather's birthday? All of this just so I can stick to my proper nutrition?
Here are some questions you need to think about if you ever find yourself in this situation:
- Which is more important- enjoying quality time with my family eating pizza, or sticking to my nutrition habits?
- Will this one day of not abiding to my nutrition make me "unhealthy?"
- Am I so caught up on my nutrition that I can't enjoy a dinner out with my family knowing it isn't the most
I've mentioned before that in order to be lean, you must be different. That still holds true. I'm also saying that you need to enjoy life. If you know your overall lifestyle is "healthy," one day of eating hot dogs at the ballpark, or pizza while watching college football, will not make you fat and unhealthy. (Just don't eat 8 hot dogs or the whole pizza- that's not considered "moderation!")
Food gives us energy, but it also gives us a reason to get together and spend time with the ones we care about. Breaking bread with family and friends is one of my favorite things to do. I didn't follow my exercise and nutrition habits very well this past weekend, but I had a blast with my family, which makes it all worth it.
Make it happen.