Health has been a priority of mine since I turned 18. Growing up, I was never the athletic type whatsoever. I dreaded running the mile. I looked forward to art or music class, not gym class. I never really thought about healthy eating or what that meant. Fast food was a regular thing for me during junior high and high school. I did, however, grow up eating fresh foods and home cooked meals. My parents never really bought cereals loaded with sugar or twinkies. They taught us the value of a home cooked meal and even though I didn’t appreciate it or understand it back then, I definitely do now.
Something clicked when I turned 18. I don’t know if it was because I was becoming more aware of the fact that I was no longer a young girl or the fact that my health was starting to matter to me, but something made me realize I had to change my life for the better. I had started running and little by little I was starting to build up my endurance. I also started noticing my clothes starting to fit differently and I felt great. It started to become an addiction. An addiction to a lifestyle I could actually get used to!
Soon after, I started to research and read about healthy eating almost everyday. I started to read food blogs and worked out consistently. Throughout the years, I became the educator in my family. I was the one teaching my family what to eat or what substitutes to use to make their meals healthier. I’ve also had many, many ups and downs. In fact, I still have battles with myself. However, I know that the changes I’ve made over the years have led me to be the best and healthiest version of myself today. It’s not about deprivation or burning yourself out. It’s about finding a good balance between maintaining a healthy lifestyle, while still having a little bit of fun!
I thought I’d shared 10 ways that are achievable to maintain (or start!) your way to a healthier, better life! (p.s. by no means am I an expert, these are all things I’ve learned throughout these last 12 years and what has made a difference in my own life.)
1. Move as much as you can, whenever you can. Take at least a 30 minute walk everyday for your lunch break. Walk the stairs. Walk to the train station. Move away from your desk at least once an hour. Just move as much as you can throughout the day. A little bit goes a long way!
2. Drink PLENTY of water. I mean a lot. Water is your best friend and what keeps things moving and gives you life.
3. Get rid of the diet pop. Coming from someone who was addicted to diet coke, it can be done. Start making changes by drinking sparkling water like La Croix. Now that is a drink you can become addicted to with zero additives or sugar!
4. Stick to clean, whole foods as much as possible. You’ll feel better. Processed foods will make you feel lethargic and less energetic.
5. Bring your lunch to work most days. Preparing a lunch can be tough because we’re all busy, but not knowing what’s in your lunch may add up over time.
6. Make time for rest days. This is so important. I’m all about working out when you feel great and have the energy to do so. But if you’re burnt out, sick, or had a few hours of sleep, resting is the best thing to do for your body and mind.
7. Don’t be so hard on yourself. I still have to remind myself of this. We all make mistakes. What you do is a choice and the fact that you’re making small changes is something to be proud of everyday.
8. Allow occasional indulgences. I’m talking about having a glass of wine if you want it or eating the cookie. I do not believe in cutting out foods completely (unless you have a serious autoimmune disease or other illness.) From my own experience, cutting out foods for a long period of time for dieting purposes will only make you want it even more which will then make you feel like you’re losing control.
9. Make yourself a priority. In the end, your health is all you have.
10. Remember the why. Working out and eating healthy can be tough sometimes. I understand. Just remember why you’re doing it. Is it for that dress you’ve been wanting to fit in? Skinny jeans? Wedding? Special event? For YOU? Remembering the reason for why you’re making healthier choices will help you stick with it in the long run.
What are some ways you maintain a healthy lifestyle? I’d love to hear what you do to make healthy choices every day in the comments!
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