It’s a month before Christmas…and everybody knows that calorie don’t count and being healthy on Christmas day doesn’t really apply. (If it does to you how can you sit at the table with all of that yummy food on display without wishing to eat it all! You have amazing willpower haha.) In all seriousness though i wanted to write a post about something that i feel quite strongly about…Committing to a healthy lifestyle without giving yourself such a hard time with super strict rules to stick to/diets. Healthy eating and having a healthy lifestyle is talked about everywhere and i understand that everyone has their own opinions and preferences on this subject but i thought i would share mine in hope that it may help some people see healthy lifestyles in a new light and not so much of a rulebook. I am not saying that my opinion is the only right way to make healthy choices so please do not let this offend you if your opinions are different, however to those of you who want to check out my idea of a healthy lifestyle then keep reading 🙂 When it comes down to healthy eating for me it’s all about balance. I am half way through the year of being 21 i am starting to learn more about the importance of a healthy lifestyle. I love to read alot of health and wellness magazines and research similar things in my free time so although i’m no expert or professional i think i could say that i have picked up a little bit of knowledge on this along the way. I know at 21 i am still young but i have developed into an adult and my body has changed just like everyone’s does from when we were teenagers. It’s been this year mainly that i have really taken notice of the changes to being an adult ‘lifestyle wise’ and i have started to understand how important it is to get real about living a healthy lifestyle of nourishing food, exercise and just overall healthier habits. (This is solely for me and the way i feel about myself and how i want to live my life, but like i said before everyone has their own preference and choice.) Recently i have slowly been adding new habits into my life that will help me on my way to achieving a healthy lifestyle choice and i can feel the good benefits that this way of living has given me already. But i also am a huge lover of food, and i realize that to only eat unrefined, unprocessed foods for the rest of my life is totally unrealistic no matter how great they may make feel. If i did that i would miss my many ice creams when i’m on holiday, that yummy slice of chocolate birthday cake when everybody else is celebrating, the super yummy christmas dinner with all the trimmings and the delicious boxing day ham buffets, and don’t even get me started on the tasty burgers and hot dogs straight off the BBQ in the summertime. I know i would start to feel very sad having to say no to all of those yummy indulges, and even when eating healthy is enjoyable with so much to discover who can honestly say that they’ll never take a single indulgent bite ever again?
This is the exact same for exercise…it’s a great feeling you get after completing a work-out, it’s a lovely experience going for long walks or runs outdoors and it’s also great to know whilst exercising how much your body is benefiting from it all but… i love my ‘lazy’ days too and i could never tell myself that i would never ever have a ‘lazy’ day ever again (After all i have to have one every week at least to function properly!) And setting rules and regulations around how much to exercise usually creates guilt especially when you struggle to stick to it and end up feeling like a failure. That’s why i am a firm believer that a healthy lifestyle is all about balance! (Like mentioned above.)
What’s the issue? …
When we set restrictions for what we eat 100% of the time and rules about when, how and where to exercise then it makes us feel caged up and we are carrying around feelings of guilt, punishment, shame and more negative emotions. These are just unnecessary for us to feel about food and exercise. Every ‘slip up’ from 100% eating clean or ‘giving into’ those small treats can make you loose faith in your healthy lifestyle choice completely and missed workout sessions or gym days start to become a burden to carry. Often when this happens you can have a recurring inner thought of; “Well i’ve eaten this chocolate bar so i might as well skip my workout session later” or even “I’ve eaten this chocolate bar so i might as well eat a few more.” The feeling is because you have so called ‘broken’ one of your rules then why not break some more? I am not a professional on this topic like i said at the start but i know this was my thought pattern from when i had a clean eating phase so it may be similar to how you feel sometimes. But i would love to share my opinion that is… What if when we commit to a healthy lifestyle we relax the rules instead in the first place. Instead of punishing ourselves with guilty thoughts if we go off the healthy track abit, what if we forgive ourselves and get rid of dwelling on the negative?
Throw away those restrictions and Find Balance
Committing to a healthy lifestyle and making new changes really does take time to get used to. I’m still going through the process as i write this post and can imagine i will always be learning new things from it and trying to incorporate things as best as i can into my life. But there will be days that i will be tired from a long day at work and want to just shove pizza and chips into the oven, days when; i eat more than my suggested portion size, watch a movie and have a pyjama day instead of doing exercise or going for a walk, snacking and eating some sweets or more crisps than usual. But in reality how can i punish myself for these moments when i may ‘slip up’… If i truly enjoy them then they can never be a regret to me. I have heard of this before and like to live with the 80/20 idea – eating healthy and workout 80% of the week and relax and indulge for the other 20%. This idea has allowed me to feed my body with goodness all week but also to treat myself and enjoy the other 20% with no guilt or regrets. It also has helped me to enjoy my 80% healthy days knowing the goodness that i am giving to myself and also enjoy the moments of the 20% indulgence. I find this the perfect balance as it doesn’t mess up your healthy lifestyle by over indulging and the majority of percentage is healthy but, it also helps you to stick at choosing a healthy lifestyle because you don’t have rule out your favourite things fully. I am not a pro at this 80/20 way of living but it’s little changes that will gradually work me up towards doing this everyday! I would love to know what you all think about this idea, maybe you already do it or maybe this has inspireed you to try it out…whichever it is i would love to know 🙂
I’ll leave you with this ‘food for thought’ (without the extra calories 🙂 )
A healthy lifestyle is a journey that will always have it’s brownie bumps in the road but it’s all about balance and if that balance stumbles sometimes (as life isn’t perfect) then it’s all about forgiving yourself and having the end goal of living a life that is enjoyable and fulfilling for you whilst giving your body the healthy lifestyle it deserves to live life to it’s fullest.
LOVE CHARLOTTE XO
UNTIL NEXT TIME BEYOU-TIFUL INSIDE & OUT XOXO