I’m loving all of the anti-fat talk promotion going on this week because it is a reminder to people that healthy isn’t a pant size, so as part of a sponsored post for Collective Bias, I want to remind you of my journey, and talk about how you can live a healthy lifestyle, even in an overloaded life.
There are people walking among us who are smaller than we are. They don’t eat enough, they don’t work out, they are malnourished, and they’ve perhaps had surgeries to do what you’ve done with hard work & exercise. Maybe they’ve never been overweight because they have medical issues you don’t know about. Or maybe they work as hard as you do to be that thin, and their body composition is just different than yours. The fact of the matter is that it really doesn’t matter.
Healthy isn’t a pant size.
Healthy is a lifestyle that includes more than just eating well. If you exercise and grab fast food on the way home, you’re missing one key ingredient to leading a healthy lifestyle. If you eat well but don’t exercise, you’re missing another key ingredient to leading a healthy lifestyle. If exercise and eating well devour your life and you have no time to socialize with family and friends, you’re missing yet another key ingredient to a healthy lifestyle. Having only two parts leaves one side completely vacant.
You must make time in your life for all three parts of this trinity in order to find that healthy balance. In this fast paced life that we lead, we often allow excuses get in the way of our success. “I don’t have time” is the most common, and least valid of these excuses. The fact is, you have to find the time. When you make health a priority, you do whatever you can to make and find the time for all three parts of a healthy lifestyle.
So how do I, a work-at-home-mom of 3 with a very high maintenance husband, manage to squeeze in a run & weight lifting routine 3 – 5 days a week in order to maintain a full, healthy lifestyle? It’s a lot easier than you may think.
1. Kick the Excuses to the curb.
The most common excuses for not working out are:
They all have two things in common. 1. They’re all lies. 2. They’re holding you back from living the healthiest life you can.
1. Yes you do. Do you have time to watch TV? Play games on your cell phone? Lay in bed and stare at the ceiling? Go out with your friends? Then you have time to exercise. Squeeze it in somewhere. As soon as you make it a priority in your life, the time will open right up.
2. Exercise is free. There are great videos on YouTube, running is free, walking is free, and after a small investment fee, resistance training is free, and squats & push-ups are free. Do you have money for eating out? Your vices? Going to a movie? Then you have money to work out. Plus, many gyms offer financial assistance for people based on need. Drop your pride to the floor and make it give you 100, because financial need shouldn’t be standing in your way from being healthy, no matter what your bank account looks like.
3. No you won’t. You’ll find another excuse when (next life event) occurs. There’s no better time than NOW to start being healthy.
4. Jogging strollers can be purchased for super cheap from consignment stores or garage sale websites. Children can be used as weight to build muscle. Kids can actually help you become active if you get up off of that park bench and chase them around. Throw a Balance Bar from Walmart in the back of the stroller & use that as your reward for completing a great run while pushing your heavy kiddos – you deserve it!
5. Forget support at home. I will support you! Follow me on Instagram and tag me every time you get busy. I’ll be your biggest cheerleader. Recruit some friends to be accountability partners, not people who will indulge you when you want to quit. Stop trying to find your motivation in other people. Become your own biggest motivator.
Don’t let excuses control your life. Take those excuses by the horns and blast them into a calorie-burning, muscle-building workout, squashing them one by one by one until exercise is a habit. No, exercise isn’t always fun. Sometimes lacing your shoes can be the worst part of your workout, and the feeling you have afterwards is unmatched. So stop making excuses and get to work.
2. Get Moving!
OH, you’re late for work? For a meeting? For LIFE? Stop driving around the parking lot looking for a place to park. Park in the back of the parking lot and hoof it! Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Turn music on and dance around your house while doing chores. Do lunges when vacuuming. Do calf raises while doing the dishes. Do squats and push-ups while watching TV. STOP being sedentary, it’s getting you nowhere fast. Eating a Balance Bar can help increase your energy and “fuel economy”. Make one part of your day and get goin’!
3. Snack Smart
Looking for a bag of chips? Eat some Endive & salsa. Want juicy candy? Eat a piece of fruit! Neeeeeeeeed a pastry? Grab for a Cookie Dough Balance Bar. Want a brownie? Reach for a Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Crunch Balance Bar. Balance bars provide 15g Protein, 23 vitamins & Minerals, they have a low glycemic index (24), and are an excellent source of antioxidants. Life is hectic, I know. Throw a Balance Bar in your purse or gym bag for super healthy snacking on the go that won’t turn into a mushy mess in your handbag. They taste fantastic and have a balanced proportion of protein, carbs, and dietary fat so that your body runs as efficiently as a well-oiled machine. They’re a great way to supplement your diet rather than grabbing a bag of chips from your office vending machine, and will carry you from the office, to the gym, and back home again. Snacking smart is one of the most difficult things to change, but when you make good, delicious choices on a consistent basis, it becomes habit. Make good habits!
4. Change Your Thought Process
Stop being your own worst enemy. Bust out of your normal routine and change the way that you think. As soon as a damaging thought enters your think-tank, tell it that it is a lie, and replace it with a new thought. I don’t know what your demons are, but here’s an example of mine: Old thought: “You don’t have time to exercise today and it’s not doing any good anyways. You’re not good enough and you’ll never be thin.Plus? You ate like crap last night.” New thought: I DO have time to exercise, I will go right NOW so that you can’t talk to me anymore and it is doing a world of good in ways I can’t see with my eyes. You are better than good enough, and your goal is health, not an unattainable body.Plus? a Balance Bar can provide you the necessary energy for a flamed up workout.”
5. Be Your Own Competition
Stop comparing yourself to the skinny girl pumping gas next to you, she had weight loss surgery this summer and doesn’t exercise. Stop laughing at the girl with muffin top at the mall, she ran a half marathon last weekend, eats cleaner than Mr. Clean, and has lost 50lbs with sweat equity. Don’t compare the distance you can run with that of your running partner’s, she’s not you and you’re not her. Be your own competition! Stop comparing yourself. You will never be anybody other than you, so strive to be a better you than you’ve ever been before. Buy a GPS tracker and clock your runs. Sign up for races. Nail that Zumba routine. Increase your weight. Track your own progress and give yourself an enormous pat on the back when you set a personal record.
6. Create a Reward System
When you drop a pant size, reward yourself with a new pair of shoes or a new purse. When you PR weight at your Crossfit Box, go get a manicure. Decide what makes you happy and make a list. Then set goals and once you reach those goals, reward yourself. Be careful not to reward yourself with things that can derail you from your healthy lifestyle. You want to try to choose things that will keep you on the straight and narrow.