Maintaining a Healthier You
In a world revolving around food.
Here are a few tools I use to help overcome challenges and temptations in our everyday lives.
Need vs. Want
The most important thing to remember while trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle is simply this:
“We do not live to eat, we eat to live.”
In todays society our lives very much revolve around food. Getting together with friends, family BBQ, celebrating an event or holiday, going out on the weekends, vacation, essentially everything we do on a daily basis has one main focus; Food. In many ways we stopped caring about the nutrition of the food we are consuming, and have become more interested in how it tastes and even makes us feel.
To be successful, it is important to differentiate between what our bodies need, and what our minds want. Now this does not mean you should never consume food that makes your heart soar and wonder what magnificent being created such a delicious entree or dessert that has ignited your every taste bud with ecstasy while you are thoughtlessly spooning unheard of portions into your mouth in an ignorant bliss of calories, sugars and fats that are going “straight to your a…” you know the saying. But like all things it is important to learn moderation, and by doing so you are allowed moments of pleasure, indulging in your favorite meal.
Dealing with critics
One would think that once you’ve made the choice to live a healthier lifestyle, eating the foods your health teacher or nutritionist showed you on the food pyramid, and exercising regularly…that most would applaud your decision to actively better your life and over all longevity.
But sadly, that is not always the case. Many experience quite the opposite. I personally have experienced this behavior and the best conclusions as to why someone we love dearly or consider a good friend would act in this manor is simply because many fear change. In some cases, some may even feel a sense of jealously or resentment from their own failures with their personal health and lack of will power.
It is important to be prepared to be looked at with puzzled looks, or even ridiculed when bringing your own meal to a party or event. Or to be grilled with questions as to why you can’t eat something on the menu. Now, not everyone is going to be hard on you, and some may just really be interested in your why and reasons behind your abnormal behavior.
The best tools to use in these situations is, patience and understanding. Not everyone is going to understand your decisions nor will they stand behind your lifestyle, but know this… In the long run you are doing this for yourself, for your loved ones, and maybe even setting an example for those around you. A kind response I use that many seem to accept is:
“I have one body, and I have decided I want to take care of it how I have been educated to do so. I will not get another, and because of this I have decided to put the proper fuel, and nutrition in it to live a long and healthy life. This is my choice and I appreciate your concern. The way you take care of your body is none of my business, let me take care of mine how I see fit.”
Always have a Plan B
Life has a fun way of throwing us into situations that are less than ideal.
- You woke up late so you didn’t have time to make breakfast.
- You forgot all your food at home because you had other things on your mind.
- You had to work late, and did not go to work prepared with extra food.
Life does not always go as planned so when plan A fails, it is important to have a plan B. When we have a set meal plan, and we know what we are going to eat that day, the structure and the assurance of knowing helps us stay on track. But what do we do on those days where we simply did not prepare. Here are a few tools you can utilize to stay relatively close to your plan:
- Have an idea of what your food sources are. If you forget your breakfast, but know that your plan called for 1 c. of egg whites and 50 grams of oatmeal. You should now know that you need a protein source, and complex carbs. When you understand the fundamentals of your plan, you can try and replicate it. Most full menu restaurants have all the protein, carbs, and fats you need to stay on track, you just simply have to ask for them.
Some examples of chain restaurants I have ordered off menu include: Apple Bees, Ruby Tuesdays, Perkins, Denny’s, Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse…just to name a few. This is a great tool to sticking to your plan when you forget a meal, or even while on vacation.
2. Keep healthy snacks (coach or nutritionist approved) in your gym bag, purse, car, or desk.
- Rice cakes
- Protein bar
3. Know your surroundings and what local shops and grocery stores have to offer.
- Chipotle is usually a great go-to when in need of a healthy meal packed with the right protein, carb, and fat sources.
- Whole foods (and many other organic stores) have healthy buffets and healthy food options.
- If you are lucky enough to be around a Meal prep company (example: Power Plate Meals) or a health conscious restaurant like, Protein house, they will typically have a full menu with measured proportions exactly as you would have on your plan.
Can’t leave work? Don’t have the means to go anywhere? Guess what? Majority of businesses NOW DELIVER! This should leave you with almost no excuses…unless someone force fed you IN-and-OUT burger and threatened your life, that seems like a legit excuse.
Invest in you
Most importantly, know that your health is one of the most valuable things that you will ever have. Once you lose it, it gets even harder to get back. Love yourself, take care of your mind, rejuvenate your body, and as you do so, you will grow and become an even better version of yourself. When you decide to invest in you, you will realize that it is the best investment you will ever make.