It’s time to make a few lifestyle changes, but where do you start?
Taking your first strides towards health & wellness can be challenging. For starters, where do you even find the time? There always seems to be something standing in the way of eating healthy and exercising regularly.
You have work.
You have errands to run.
You have homework to do.
You have an event to attend.
The possibilities are endless, but none of these things serve as an excuse to live an unhealthy lifestyle. Balancing the demands of a busy schedule is not an easy thing to do, especially when we’re also trying to maintain our health. Sure, we can take vitamins or supplements to avoid illness or keep us energized, but even simple things like that are easily missed with the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
From work, school, extracurricular activities and simply making time for yourself, life can get really busy, really quick. You can’t seem to grasp the “healthy lifestyle” concept, and you’re starting to think you aren’t cut out for the life of a fitness enthusiast… but you’re wrong.
“You have to figure out what works for you and stick with it,” says Rachel Katz, a 4th year Nutritional Science student at Cal. State LA. Oh, and by the way, she’s also a blogger and social media influencer who’s graciously dedicated her time to impacting lives by sharing her expertise on all things health and wellness via her blog, “The Full Life.”
After struggling with an eating disorder in High School, Rachel looked to health and fitness to naturally heal her body of anxiety and depression. She refused to continue to obsess over her eating habits, and she knew she’d have to find her own method of balance. Instead of comparing her lifestyle to what she thought it should be, she fell in love with how good food and a good fitness routine made her feel.
“All of our bodies are biologically different, so what works for someone else probably wont work for you. Period. There isn’t one ‘diet-fit-all’ or one ‘fitness-routine-fit-all,'” said Rachel. “Everyone has a different lifestyle. Everyone has different schedules. Some people have an uneasy work schedule and heavy responsibilities while others don’t.”
Finding a balance between eating healthy and being active starts with finding a way to enjoy both aspects. Let’s start with exercising: one of the biggest things keeping people’s butts glued to their couches is a lack of desire to do anything physical, but if you actually enjoy your workout, it becomes a lot easier to find a sense of find motivation.
“It’s important to love your workout,” Rachel advises. “If you’re doing something you hate just because someone else is doing it, you’ll never reach your full potential.”
So instead of googling “daily fitness challenges” and other misguided techniques, try taking up a sport or joining a class that you’ve always been interested in. If you find something you’re passionate about, getting your muscles moving will seem less like a chore and more like a hobby.
So what about your diet?
Here’s where the “balance” part comes into play.
As far as planned dieting is concerned, Rachel wishes the word “diet” would be removed from any fitness-hopful’s vocabulary. “I just don’t believe that dieting can ever be beneficial,” she says. “It might be helpful for a certain time period in which you’re really trying to loose weight, but you’re always going to gain it back, and you’ll never be truly happy with yourself.”
Instead of crash dieting, Rachel encourages her followers to develop an eating structure that works for their body. One common misconception of eating healthy is the need to cut out all of your favorite snacks, but even some of the most unhealthy snacks can made healthy. Take Rachel’s homemade desert idea for example:
“If you’re craving ice cream and it’s really hard for you to give that up, you can turn to a healthy alternative. For example, creating your own ice cream by blending a frozen banana with coconut milk and adding maple syrup, vegan chocolate chips, or other healthy treats.”
“There are more alternatives to eating unhealthy food than you could possibly imagine. You don’t have to learn how to give up your favorite foods; just learn how to make them healthy instead.”
Sometimes you won’t have time to prepare a healthier option, and you’ll be tempted by the evil forces of fast food as a result. If you’re constantly on the move like Rachel Katz, you can also try balancing your diet by bringing a healthy lunch to work (instead of eating out) and keeping healthy snacks on-go for in-between-meal emergencies.
Remember: No matter how much you exercise, there’s no hope in out-working an unhealthy diet! Rachel is a strong believer in the 80/20 rule (80% food and 20% fitness). “Your eating habits are more important. Fitness should be used make your body stronger and boost your overall mood, but if you’re hoping to loose weight, you’ll need to be more focused on your eating habits.”