Some of you have been asking, where have I been, am I still writing blogs? It’s been a while since my last one, and there is a reason for that.
To tell you the truth, I’ve just been trying to find that all-important balance.
Since finishing my personal training course 5 weeks ago, I’ve been struggling to develop a consistent workout routine between working full-time shift work, eating healthy, prepping meals, housework, getting my final written PT assessment done, get enough sleep, writing blog posts, as well as maintain a social life and even more importantly find some downtime.
It’s definitely a lot, and I still haven’t completely mastered the balance between living a healthy lifestyle and still enjoying life. But I think that is something a lot of people can relate to. It’s also likely the reason that so many people “fall off the bandwagon” and never get back on track again.
Looking after your body; exercising and eating healthy nutritious food, this shouldn’t be viewed as an all or nothing approach.
You don’t have to completely restrict yourself from enjoying life. It isn’t necessary to cut out your favourite foods or stop eating food groups altogether. You don’t need to limit your social gatherings.
You do need to find a balance though. And you need to find what works for you and your lifestyle. Sounds simple in theory, but how do you put this in practice?
#1 It’s not all or nothing
I’m sure everyone has done this at some point in their life, and I will raise my hand and say I was a repeat offender of this.
It’s Sunday night, you’ve probably overindulged a little too much over the weekend and you’re not feeling that great about yourself. So you decide come Monday, you’re going to completely overhaul your pantry of all things unhealthy, throw yourself into a new hardcore exercise program, drink green smoothies and eat “clean”.
Sounds great to begin with, but come Thursday you’re probably tired, sore, and craving everything in sight. And then you crack and you eat a square of chocolate, which quickly accidentally-on-purpose becomes the entire bar. Now you’ve broken your diet and it’s the weekend so you may as well start fresh on Monday.
Sounds familiar to anyone? Let me be the person to say that this yo-yo dieting is not the way. I see this unhealthy mentally all the time, and I was a victim of it as well. The idea that I couldn’t treat myself without breaking my diet, and have to start all over again is absurd. It’s so important to break out of this unhealthy pattern. You might get quick results from the shock you put on your body, but it’s not long lasting.
That’s the difference between a diet and a lifestyle. A lifestyle is maintainable, enjoyable and unrestrictive. Sometimes I still accidentally-on-purpose eat a whole block of chocolate but it’s not over for me. I just keep going on with my day/week/month as normal. It has no impact on me because my next meal will probably be something much more healthy and nutritious.
I encourage everyone to make a healthier change to their lifestyle but just don’t go overboard so quickly. Start by making small changes in your diet.
- Aim for one healthy meal a day, then aim for two.
- Swap your unhealthy snacks for healthy ones.
- Swap soft drinks and juices for water
- Limit your sugar intake – if you put sugar in your coffee, then try weaning yourself of it or switch to a sweetener such as stevia
- Add an extra veggie to your dinner or lunch
- Increase your water intake
- Get experimental in the kitchen – think how you can make your favourite meal a little healthier? Can you add more veggies? Can you swap or take out ingredients?
If you make small changes week by week, you will notice a change in your taste buds, habits, cravings. It will become a choice to eat healthier. This is the key to long-lasting lifestyle changes.
#2 Decide what is important, and what can wait
In order to live a healthier lifestyle, you do need to make small sacrifices or comprises to the life you are living. Things need to change if YOU want to change.
You need to decide what’s important and prioritise your time according to this. Your dishes, laundry or the tv show you are binge watching, will still be there after your gym class. Your friends will still be your friends if you choose to meet up for coffee rather than dessert.
We take on so many responsibilities that there will always be something that needs doing.
It doesn’t matter how busy you are, every single person has the same number of hours in the day. Having no time is not a valid reason, it is simply an excuse. It’s how you manage your time. You need to put yourself first, prioritise yourself and your health. Once you set your priorities in order, you will find the time.
*And if you still can’t find the time, then feel free to contact me and I will personally find the time for you.
#3 Don’t give up when life gets tough
Life isn’t always going to be smooth sailing, and when things get tough we tend to fall back into old patterns of what is comfortable to us. I would believe that when someone is facing a challenge, one of the first things to go is their diet. It can be so easy to use whatever stress is happening as an excuse to give up completely.
Emotional eating is my killer. Still to this day I struggle with it. Particularly when I am stressed or upset, I look too unhealthy food for comfort (usually ice-cream or pizza; or both (woops)). And I still have days where I question everything I know and wonder if it’s worth it.
You have to take responsibility for this and be aware of when you feel yourself returning to old habits so you can stop yourself from making the wrong choices again. The moment I acknowledged my weakness is the moment I felt I had more control over it. I often have to ask myself if I’m actually hungry or if I want to eat the entire pantry because of something that happened that day.
Like I said, I’m still trying to find that perfect balance of fit and fun. I’m still trying to be the healthiest and best version of myself. Sometimes this isn’t the case, but I just have to remind myself that I’m still learning and growing every day. It’s not always going to be easy, but it is worth it.
If you’re struggling to commit to a healthy lifestyle, know you are not alone, we all struggle at some point. We will always be faced with challenges, but moving towards a healthier lifestyle has given me an outlet, a better perspective, and a much more positive and fulfilling life. I am a better person because I decided to take care of myself and my health.
Remember I’m always just a message away if you want more tips, help or just someone to chat too.
Jessie Michelle x