Raise your hand if you’ve ever said you need to eat healthier and exercise to lose weight or change something else about the way you look.
Okay, I can’t type with one hand, but yeah me too.
This is true for my mother, my sister, my friends, every woman I know. Every woman I know has something about her body she doesn’t like and has tried to change with diet or exercise. I’m no exception.
We do what we can for a week, we eat healthy, we drag ourselves to the gym, we beat ourselves up when we can’t follow “the rules” and fall off that damn wagon, then we just continue with our lives until next time. While of course still blaming ourselves we’re not perfect and obviously unable to keep it all together.
Why doing it to lose those stupid 10 pounds in one month doesn’t work.
Losing weight, improving your skin, getting toned are not real reasons to eat healthier or to exercise every day. And unfortunately being healthy isn’t it either.
You know why?
Because there are “easier” options to achieve all of those things.
Why waste all that precious time and energy to achieve something, when you can do so without much effort and time invested?
It sounds easy enough to eat better for 3 weeks and drop 10 pounds. It’s not hard…but those 3 weeks, you’ve got to get through them, right?
You know what’s easier?
Not doing it.
The truth is, today, you can always look better or lose weight even if you don’t put in the effort or change anything about your lifestyle (at least for a brief moment). Here are some options:
- plastic surgery
- make up
- diet pills
- detox teas
- go to a massage instead of doing exercise
- body wraps
- starve yourself instead of eating in moderation
Shortcuts don’t bring lasting change, but we try anyway
I remember, when I was a kid, my mom and dad even got some ab thing that would electrocute your abdominals, so you get abs…The infomercial showed a happy couple sitting there watching TV while getting their abdominals electrocuted. Then they smiled and showed their ripped bodies.
My mom: “I seriously can’t think of a reason how this would not work???? We obviously HAVE TO buy it.”
She didn’t put it this way, but they really got this ridiculous thing. And surprise: None of us got abs. Yes, I was 9 and I also tried it.
Trust your feelings and go for them, not for numbers.
Now, if not for weight loss or changing the way you look, why else would you want to eat healthier, exercise and live a healthier life? Here’s a reason:
To change the way you feel and the way you live your life. Every. Single. Day.
Not just the way you feel in a dress 5 months from now. But how you feel today.
Appreciating the difference in how you feel is key to staying motivated.
So even if you don’t see changes right from the first day or week, you’ll feel different. Maybe nothing major, but if you pay attention, you’ll notice a difference. This difference in how you feel is key to staying motivated. Those feelings are going to pull you toward what you want. They will make you do what you have to do every day to get to your goal. And to stay there.
It’s frustrating when you’ve been putting in effort for a week and see just one sad pound go away. That’s why you’ve been working so hard?
If you instead shift your focus on the fact that you feel better? Different? Stronger? Lighter?
Or on the fact that you can walk a flight of stairs without being out of breath? If this lifestyle change helps you achieve other things you actually want? Outside of losing weight or becoming healhier? If it helps you do something you couldn’t do before? Is it worth it then?
Of course it is. It’s a no brainer right?
But it’s easy to get lost chasing numbers on the scale instead of doing things because it feels good and because life is better when you actually do them. Each day.
What about J.Lo?
Let’s take someone like J.Lo. Does she work out and eat healthy to look good? Probably.
But she also needs to be in shape to be able to dance for 1.5 hours during her shows.
She wouldn’t be able to dance for two hours if she was starving or if she just had two burgers, fries and a large coke.
And it would be a day and money wasted for her. Just because J.Lo said screw it, I’m letting myself go and had a cheat meal.
So beyond looking amazing for a 49 or even a 25-year old, she takes care of herself to be able to do everything she wants during her everyday life.
What About Us, Regular Humans?
You can of course say: “It’s easy for J.Lo, her job is to perform and be pretty. Mine is to sit on my butt all day long, type and scroll through stuff. I don’t even have time to smile. Or pee.”
The reality is, you don’t control a lot of things, but many things in your life are a matter of choice.
It’s your choice what you want to do with your free time before and after work.
If you want to have more energy in the morning, maybe not eating late and doing a short morning workout will work for you? (along with sleep, of course!)
To feel better in the evening – maybe instead of having pasta for lunch and snack the rest of the time (me) you can have a salad and go out for a walk on your lunch break.
It’s your choice whether you slouch when you sit or keep your core tight and shoulders down.
Decide what you want to do, how you want to feel. And then do the things that you know can make you feel this way.
Set a goal that doesn’t involve the way you look.
Maybe it’s to not crave a nap at 3pm? Maybe it’s to be able to hike to a mountain top? Or maybe it’s to be able to walk a little further by the end of the week? Maybe you want to be less stressed? Or to work faster?
Why I eat healthy and exercise everyday for at least 15 min in the morning
My current why is to think clearer and to feel stronger physically (and of course mentally!), so I can remain more focused at work, read more (and not fall asleep after 2 minutes) and so I get better at basketball and can lift my nephew for longer than a minute without breaking my back. (I’ve been playing basketball for the last 2-3 weeks and it’s awesome! If you don’t feel like the gym, fitness classes or doing home workouts – ball/team sports are the best!)
So these are the things I remind myself every time I’d want to eat something that’s not that great (and more of it!) or when I’d feel tempted to skip my workout in the morning and scroll through my phone instead.
This happens every day, multiple times a day.
But that thought, the immediate effect of my actions – it makes it so so much easier to make the right choice at the moment.
What makes me feel more clear-headed coke or juice? Juice.
What makes me feel stronger – scrolling or planks? Planks.
So I drink some water first and then do what I know is right and will help me with my other goals.
What is it for you?
Now here are some questions to ask yourself if you can’t seem to stay motivated to eat healthy and exercise:
Why do you want to eat healthier today?
How do you feel when you eat healthy?
How do you feel when you don’t?
Are you able to accomplish all the things you want to when you get your cheat meals?
What do you want to accomplish today and how is eating healthy and exercise going to support it?