Staying Healthy In a World of Fads

One of the hardest parts about being a woman, and about being a person in general, is dealing with all of the information that flies at us from every direction. In a world that prioritizes beauty and aesthetics (and this is nothing new) there is no shortage of different information coming our way. It’s overwhelming and can often lead people to having unrealistic expectations of themselves and of the programs we engage in.

I used to be one of these people. At 13 I was taking diet pills. I went vegan for years. I worked out because I wanted to burn off calories. It was a punishment. There was always some new super tea to try or some ab work out that J Lo got a bigger butt with or someone used to flatten their tummies. It’s an unhealthy world and while each of these things can seem harmless on their own, it can easily turn into a much bigger problem.

Now that I have recognized my tendencies, my training and eating philosophy has become very very simple.

Working out is not a punishment

Nothing makes me more sad then when I talk to someone at the gym and they say how much they hate being here. How they just do this because they have to. How they wish that they didn’t have to work out. While all of those cute t-shirts that proclaim how you “Run because you really like cake/wine/tacos” seems harmless and you bought it thinking it was funny, in the end, running and working out should never be a punishment.

Celebrate

I love my body. It’s not perfect. I have a belly and stretchmarks and some ill thought of tattoo’s I got when I was young, but in the end, my body has carried me from country to country. These legs have run me through marathons and carried me on hikes and bike rides and into oceans and over waves. Instead of punishing my body for what makes it human (Aching hips, body youthful choices, the fact that parts of my skin just aren’t movie star smooth), I chose to celebrate it by giving it attention, new challenges (Hello pole dancing classes) and nourishment.

Understand That Not Every Diet/ Training Plan Works for Everyone

For as many people as there are out there, there are just as many healthy living tips, new super food, work out or diet fade. And you know what? That woman putting butter in her coffee might be telling the truth. It might work for her. But that doesn’t mean that it’s going to work for everyone. Find the things that work for you. It can take some time and some experimenting but dont be quick to make something work for other people your one and only. I personally love matcha and tumeric ginger lattes. I love running and my body tolerates it well. When I do yoga, I love it. But I’m never going to look like some of the yogi’s I see. Find the things that work for you. And find the things that you enjoy because without that love and that passion you aren’t going to keep going very long.

Listen to Your Body

I know that we have all heard this before. But it is really hard to listen to your body when for most of our lives we have been taught to suppress hunger and other signs that our body needs something. It is going to take some practice and will probably be frustrating at first but paying attention to something as simple as the growling of your tummy is a good place to start. Dont push away hunger. If you feel shaky on that new diet you might be taking it to an extreme you aren’t ready for. Or it may not be right for you. I also pay attention to my skin, which is a pretty good sign to me of where I am at physically.

Priorities

I can say it again and again but sometimes it just doesn’t sink into the people that I talk to. You get out what you put in. And before you say that you don’t have time to be healthy, to cook, to work out, to get to that goal, remember that we all have the same amount of hours in a week. It doesn’t matter if you are a professional athlete, a high powered CEO or a mother of 3. We all have 168 hours in a week. Its what we decide to dedicate them too that matters. Maybe working out and being healthy isn’t your top priority right now. Maybe you have a two-year-old losing their minds around you. Maybe you are in college. Maybe you are working three jobs. Those are your priorities and that’s fine. But never ever say to another person “I wish I had that kind of time”.

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