So you have made the commitment. You made the jump. You want to be healthy. It might be the doctor told you something is wrong with your body, or maybe you are tired of feeling crappy. Maybe you have gained a little bit of weight over the years. Or maybe you had the ‘Come to Jesus’ meeting with yourself and realize being able to eat that whole large pizza isn’t actually impressive, it’s sad. Sad and full of bad, bad decisions. But the health and fitness world is massive, and it’s full of different people saying different things.
Welcome to the world of science.
One person will say one thing is great for you as the other chimes in with research proving otherwise. You know what? We all die in the end. How about just trying to make this life we do have meaningful, full of happiness and as healthy as we can make it. So yes, a whole pizza by yourself probably isn’t the right choice still.
Let’s start with this: Everyone is different. EVERYONE. If you are happy with never eating pizza again and eating green beans and grilled chicken for the rest of forever, more power to you. You go, you! For the rest of us, we have to realize what balance means to us, each and every one of us.
Balance isn’t the same for everyone. I want you to find balance in eating, in working out, in doing things you enjoy, eating things you enjoy as well as the healthy things. I want you to never get bored with your routine. I want you to find the foods you love and recipes you look forward to making and eating. If you wake up and aren’t excited for breakfast because you find it boring, you aren’t living. I want you to have health in your body, mind, and spirit. I will never ever EVER ask you to sacrifice your mental health or spirit for you to achieve that goal weight or size.
HELL to the NO.
So, let’s figure out where you should start.
1) OK. So the first couple of weeks (maybe even months for you) will be rough. You will still crave the junk you love and used to eat. But if you want to make this change, you need to change your habits. It takes time. Let’s start with trying to clean the kitchen. Try and get the bad foods you know you can’t resist or stop eating until you have eaten the entire container out of the house. Seriously, it includes that hidden box of cookies you have stashed in your secret spot. I’d suggest giving it to someone you know who enjoys it and isn’t worried about changing their ways of life yet (I am not one to push my opinions and lifestyle on my close ones if they choose not to). Or donate it to a food bank. Get rid of the cake, pies, sodas, everything.
I really do eat what I want, and I have changed my tastes and cravings simply by realizing the lies in advertisements when it comes to ‘healthy’ goods. Here is a list of things I used to think were healthy, yet are terrible for you. I personally have chosen to eliminate most of these items, you can have them, but only after you have changed your habits successfully and only have them once a week or so.
Things that are thought to be ‘healthy’ but actually aren’t:
- Juice. Oh yes. Even though it’s promoted for health and advertised for kids, the sugar content is through the roof
- Vitamin Water. Yet again, you might as well drink a soda. The sugar content might as well be for a candy bar.
- Canned soups. Oh, think those Progresso soups are good for you because the calories are down? Try looking at that sodium content. Any canned goods aren’t really great. You can get vegetables (preferably not tomatoes, they are actually quite hazardous to your health more than you’d expect) just please rinse them before cooking. I enjoy green beans from the can often, I rinse them from their salted can juices and them heat them.
- Weight Watchers. I do honestly love the idea of Weight Watchers. My mom lost over 50 pounds doing it. But I have had to tell her that just because it says WW and that it only has like 2 points does not make it healthy. It just means it has more shit in it to cause the calories and fat to go down. Weight Watchers mainly focuses on calories in foods to create their point system. Calories are a big part of your diet, yes, but I still feel counting your macros that make up those calories play a bigger role. (*Macros-the macro nutrients that make up your diet- Carbs, Fats and Protein*) WW just skims the surface of health, but I will say their style is more of a lifestyle change rather than most other fad diets out there.
- Dried Fruit. Another sugar culprit. If you enjoy dried fruits, try a brand that is natural with no added sugars.
- No carb anything. I shutter at just the thought. Carbs are in everything, people. Please, please, please realize this. Just like sugar is in everything. But there are to different types of carbs, there are good carbs and bad carbs. Fruits even have carbs, just as they have natural sugars. Accept the fact that the diets that say ‘If you eat no carbs you will drop so much weight’ are full of lies. Want proof? Look up http://thebananagirl.com/ This girl lives off of natural carbs eating bananas and potatoes like they are going to quit growing tomorrow, yet look at that body. She posts her massive banana meals on instagram, she’s the real deal. Living proof that carbs aren’t bad. You just need the right ones.
- Smoothie/Juice Drinks. You would think going and buying those Bolthouse Farms and Naked drinks would be awesome. Think twice before assuming this. These companies are owned by the same soda makers who want you to drink the stuff that can clean toilets. Yes, you can play the ‘well it’s better for me than a beer/mountain dew/mega sweet tea/big gulp’ but you are still better off making the juice/smoothie yourself. I will share where to begin with that in another post.
- Gluten Free. If you aren’t diagnosed with any medical reason to eliminate gluten, you really are just usually adding more processed junk to your diet. Whole wheat noodles are better than white, along with rice (white or brown), quinoa, and corn pasta. You can also spiralize vegetables to create ‘pasta’ which are pretty awesome. Just don’t jump on the latest hype’s bandwagon before you understand what is really going on.
- Low Fat. Especially in dairy. A little fat in your diet is necessary. If it is low fat or fat free=more shit in there to make it so. Yuck. Healthy fats are good. To lose fat, you need to eat some fat. Yes, I said it. Embrace it. You have been lied to (or just left in the dark about the whole truth) for most of your life, haven’t you? I am here to make that transition easier.
- Sugar Free. This is usually a serious lie. It means ‘I have a chemical shit storm in me, I have fake man-made sugar that has terrible side effects but at least you will be skinny’. Think of Diet Coke. Aspartame is all in that. Gross. Either get used to natural sweeteners like Stevia or if you want to indulge, just go all out for real sugar. If you want a small sweet thing, grab some fruit. Stop with sugar free cookies. Put them down.
- Dairy. This may be the shocker. This may be the make it or break it as to whether you like me or not. Hey, I still eat Greek Yogurt as much as the next fitness guru, but guess what? You don’t need dairy. Dairy has so much added shit like hormones and things to take out all of the blood and pus and gunk that is in our milk due to the poor cows being hooked to machines for their entire lives. You don’t need dairy. You don’t need meat. You should look up the vegan body builder Jim Morris who is 78 but looks like he’s 30/40. He eats a plant based diet. Look at him! Tell me this doesn’t make you question what you have been told. You can literally get all the nutrients you need to be excellent and healthy with your fruits and vegetables. No lie.
- Frozen Yogurt. This is my saddest myth buster. Ugh. You might as well eat the full on ice cream sadly. And after you add that pound of sprinkles and cheesecake bits, you should just get a small cone of vanilla ice cream and save the calories.
- Salads. Don’t get me wrong, the right salad is a good salad. But one with bacon, ranch, and croutons? No. The ideal salad is spinach or kale mixed with lettuce, fresh veggies, and spritzed with lemon or a healthy oil based dressing. Boom. (Sorry McDs)
- Sports Drinks. Big no no. You aren’t losing enough electrolytes to need one unless you just ran a whole marathon. No joke. So grab a water and a banana. You’re better off.
2) Understand you need to schedule working out and moving you body as you would an appointment. Write it down, pencil it in, set an alarm. Do whatever you would do if you had an appointment with the doctor. Don’t go more than 3 days without working out, work out for at least 20 minutes at a time, and CHANGE IT UP! This is the most frustrating thing I see in this industry. People thing the only way to workout is by going to the gym, running, being boring. WRONG. Walk the dogs. Try a sport. Ask a friend to play some tennis. Try a kinect game on your child’s xbox as he’s at school. Try a yoga class. Clean the baseboards. Clean the garage. Just get up. Move. No it doesn’t have to be the same. No it doesn’t have to be on a piece of equipment in a gym. You also don’t need a gym membership. I personally put together a home gym with a bench set, dumbbells and a treadmill for less than $500. I’ll post more on that later.
3) STOP SAYING YOU WILL START TOMORROW. I get upset when I hear that one. ‘Oh I just ruined this diet already. I’ll go ahead and eat the rest since I already screwed up’ or ‘I will have this treat as my final hoorah and start tomorrow’. Guess what? Tomorrow has come and gone by now. Now what? Oh, now you’ll start Monday? NO! Start today. Start right this minute. Quit putting it off. You either do it now or don’t do it at all. Time will pass, it’s up to you how you will make it count towards your goals.
4) Remember that thing called water? Yeah, that thing. It’s needed for all of life on this earth. So why do we consume sugary drinks and practically syrups when we are thirsty? Because the media and advertisers know how to sell things. Keep a bottle of water near you. Invest in a purifier that hooks to your kitchen sink. It’s like $20 and you can refill your favorite size water bottle (I personally love the 1.5 liter smart water bottles and drink two minimum a day) over and over and over and over. You need water. You body is made up of water. You need it to lose weight. You will lose water weight when you up your water intake. Odd sounding, but true. Hydrate properly. Not with diet drinks. Not with juice. If you want teas, unsweet or sweeten with raw, natural honey or Stevia.
5) Stop associating food with guilt. The media tells us we should hate ourselves after we eat that cookie. We should run an extra lap for that donut. Why? Because the media also tells us we have to be skinny to be pretty. They are also trying to kill us with the supposed ‘healthy’ items out there. If you want that damn cookie, eat the damn cookie and enjoy that damn thing. Every bite should be savored. And after wards, you exercise the normal amount, no more. And you don’t think about the fact you enjoyed every bite of that cookie ever again. Just smile and say ‘f yeah’. It works.
6) Take it slow. I am not saying go from eating nachos and cookie dough ice cream all day to strict vegan overnight. Your body might go into shock. Start small. Replace your favorite pasta dish with corn pasta and fresh made avocado pesto sauce (I’ll share a recipe soon). Replace your favorite juice or soda with a water with fresh fruit slices. Eat fruit and oatmeal for breakfast rather than a biscuit. Small steps start the big journey.
I hope this has helped you to not be so scared and intimidated. I will start posting recipes, workouts, tips, and products I will review for you soon.
If you have any questions or need help, I am here for you!