Being healthy is easy, right?
All you’ve gotta do is eat the right foods (a little more fruits and veggies, a little less fruit-ish juice and pseudo-veggie chips) and work out on a regular basis.
If it’s so simple, why the hell are we all struggling so much???
I mean, I know you know the feeling. You’re pretty sure you’re doing EVERYTHING right. But somehow you still don’t FEEL right.
You check in on your favorite wellness influencers to see what they're up to. They seem to have it all figured out. They seem to have this whole eat clean, work out, meditate, and drink a gallon of water a day while still staying sane, texting everyone back, and running their empire thing down.
And you get discouraged.
If everyone else can do it, why can’t you?
Maybe your long-awaited summer vacation is coming up and you’re ready to up your exercise game. So naturally you map out an elaborate plan that involves daily yoga, training for a marathon, and heavy lifting three times a week. But the first time you fall a little bit behind or have to work late and skip a workout your whole plan stalls, you fall into a guilt trap because you couldn’t keep up, and you’re pretty sure giving up is the easiest thing to do now.
You’ve probably done a pantry purge, too, and sworn — from THIS moment — you will now only eat food that you have lovingly prepared in your own kitchen. And only from food that contains one ingredient. And is organic, gluten-free, GMO-free, dairy-free, cage-free, antibiotic-free, hormone-free…you want me to keep going? I totally can.
Buuuut…the minute you do, you’re inundated with party invites and meeting invites and your coworkers are dangling over the cube walls asking if you want to join them for all-you-can-eat pizza and you haven’t had bread in WEEKS.
Suddenly, you haven’t just fallen off the “wagon.” You’ve hijacked the entire caravan and laid siege to any and all carbs that dared to enter the fort. Now you just wanna lay down and take a nap.
Don’t worry — we won’t tell your boss that 3 p.m. meeting in Conference Room C is actually nap time.
Let’s take a step back from this exhausting cycle (seriously, I’m exhausted just THINKING about it). Let’s look at three things you shouldn’t do if you want to improve your health so that you don’t have to keep doing this weird health roller coaster thing.
Let’s start with the one that we’re all probably on a first-name basis with. We all want to do ALL.THE.THINGS. Whether it’s at work because you didn’t already have enough on your plate so why not volunteer to organize the third-quarter charity auction or with your health, it’s SUPER tempting to try to tackle everything at once.
I don’t know why we’re programmed this way, but I’m pretty sure that’s some faulty wiring.
Yeah, it’s great to meditate and go for a run to clear your head and cook from scratch, but when you’re trying it take it on all at once? You’re super overwhelmed and you feel like you’re kinda sorta setting yourself up for failure.
What if, instead of making these grand changes that always have to happen in a day and right now, dammit, you started with one thing?
Like exercise. I’m 99.99% convinced the reason that most of us fail at consistently exercising is that we immediately pick the hardest thing possible. Oh, and we don’t do something we actually enjoy.
You want to start running? Awesome. Maybe make sure you can run a few miles (at a time, not over the course of a couple weeks) before you start training for any sort of distance race. Break it up into smaller, doable chunks.
And, PLEASE, don’t also attempt to start #365daysofyoga at the same time.
Pick one thing. Get in a groove. Make it stick. Reassess.
Follow the leader.
A few weeks ago, I saw a relatively rant-y Facebook post from someone who ABSOLUTELY hates what she calls — and I’m paraphrasing here — skinny blondes on social media who tell people what to do without any scientific basis.
(Be thankful I paraphrased. You think I’ve got a propensity to be wordy and a little profane? Ha.)
Friend, she’s got a point.
I have no doubt your favorite Instafluencer cured her IBS with a low FODMAP diet. Or that the daytime talk show doctor you love swears by the Mediterranean diet. Or that Oprah has lost 175 pounds with Weight Watchers and so can you. Or that you read in a cookbook that a super famous food blogger gave up dairy and got glowing skin in return.
And I am totally not here to discredit any of that. Because it works FOR THEM. (I mean, I tell you about things that work for me all the time. But I also encourage you to find what works for you. I’m just here to give you ideas, support, and giant hugs. Metaphorical hugs, I guess.) And that is freakin’ fantastic and something to be celebrated for sure.
Does it work for you? Maybe.
If you think carb cycling sounds interesting, hop on. If you want to rock Meatless Monday, fire up some Metallica and head bang on. If you’re intrigued by adaptogens and wanna make some turmeric oats, dig right on in.
See if it works for you.
But doing everything the same exact way someone else is doing it and expecting the same results they’re getting? I think that’s what they call insanity*.
(*Not true. Doing something over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. ALSO: Did you know that Einstein might not actually have said that? Whoa.)
Give up if life happens.
Okay, okay, that’s slightly overdramatic.
But I’m pretty sure a lot of us can relate to having a bad day, curling up on the couch with Ben and Jerry (or Jack or Jim, no judgement), going in for another spoonful only to find the carton is empty, and deciding that HEY! you’re already this far and you’ve ruined all the clean eating you’ve done to date so you might as well just order in some pizza and add in an order of breadsticks, buffalo wings, and one of those pizza cookie dessert thingies.
Because there is absolutely never wiggle room in your world.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I’d like a world in which there will never again be cookies or pizza or beer or chips and guacamole or all the yummy-but-maybe-not-so-healthy things.
Let’s not eradicate those things. (Extinction sucks.) Let’s instead find a way to let them live in peace in our world.
Maybe that means scheduling in your fave take-out once a week. Or having a couple of cookies after you’ve eaten dinner. Maybe sometimes that means NOT GIVING A FUCK and having ice cream for lunch. You do you.
But it also means knowing that one choice does not define you or mean you’ve blown your world to bits or that you can’t start over again five minutes later.
So think about something that you’d like to change. Like eating breakfast every day, trying a new vegetable once a week, or signing up for some Yin yoga classes.
And start there. Start small.
Because I’ve got a hunch those small things will create momentum. That those little choices every day, the ones you don’t expect to make a difference, the ones you don’t plan for, have the biggest, most lasting effects.
Not sure where to start? I can help you change one small thing in 30 days without low carbing, fasting, purging, or whatever the fuck, and I do that with Health. Simplified. Let’s make that healthy habit stick!