Look. I get it. Sometimes you don’t call the pizza, the pizza calls you. It’s cheesy, saucy goodness is too much to resist. I’m right there with you. Ask my boyfriend, Will. If I ever look at him with that gleam of rebellion in my eyes and say “You know what I’m craving?”, there is a 99.9% chance that I’ll either say pizza, burgers, or queso. Because who doesn’t just constantly crave queso!?
Comfort foods are my weak point. Hell, food is my weak point. And when I’m trying to stay healthy, that’s the magical time where my body and mind are nonstop trying to convince me to eat all the foods. And not the good for you ones; usually just the not so good for you ones.
As someone who has tried to be healthy for years (with varied success), I’ve definitely had my fair share of moments where I said “I can’t even” to healthy living. You’re basically asking yourself to make a better choice, every. single. day. And hey, in case you didn’t know, that shit is HARD.
It’s hard for me to wake up an hour early to work out, or – worse yet – to go after a long day at work. It’s hard for me to eat salads when all I want is a fat stack of pancakes. I’m sure that for some people this is a walk in the park. But for me, it’s like pulling out my own teeth. And in case you were wondering, I’m no dentist.
If all that sounds like you, I’m with ya. And I gotchu. I’ve got 9 things to do when staying healthy gets hard. Because if you’re like me, you can get all the help you can get.
1. Have a list of easy, healthy options ready to go
When I am in the wrath of hunger, I am not creative. I’m not whipping up some scalloped sweet potatoes with a healthy take on alfredo sauce and a tofu scramble with caramelized onions and bell peppers when I’m starving (although doesn’t that actually sound delicious?!). It’s just not happening.
So for me, having some healthy option ideas ready to go is key. This could happen in a few different ways:
- Make a list of meal options based on what you have in your fridge and pantry
- Create a recipe file with some good options
- Make a list of restaurants in the area that have healthy options for when you don’t want to cook
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2. Find inspiration
Seeing other people kill the health and fitness game can be really motivating. Find and follow some people on social media who are also trying to be healthy. Don’t fall into the trap of looking only at people who have your ideal body. Following people who have your ideal mindset can be just as inspiring! Try checking out fitness hashtags – (#weightlossjourney and #weightlosstransformation have a TON of posts to get ya started).
3. Get out
This one is both figurative and literal. Get out of your own head. Usually I find it hard to stay healthy because I’ve got some serious negative self-talk going on. Ya know that little voice in your head that just won’t stop yammering about you can’t do this and you can’t do that? Yeah. You gotta shut her down, quick. There’s a few ways to do this, and you’ll know better than I will what works for you. Some of my favs are to change up my surroundings, which usually means to go outside (I’m a homebody by nature but I’m working on it).
4. Try something new
It could be a new recipe. It could be a new workout, or going to a different location of your gym. Try working out with a friend if you usually work out alone, or vice versa. Just do something different! Because redundancy is the lifeblood of complacency, and sometimes you’ve gotta switch it up if you want to see results.
[ctt template=”2″ link=”842OG” via=”yes” ]Redundancy is the lifeblood of complacency. You’ve gotta switch it up if you want to see results.[/ctt]
5. Make it fun
Don’t forget that this is still your life, and I’m not sure if you got this memo, but your life should be fun! Tired of cooking? Play a version of Chopped (the Food Network show that I could watch nonstop) at home! Choose 4 random items from your kitchen (or have a friend do it if you can’t be impartial) and challenge yourself to make a healthy dish with those ingredients. Hate working out? Make a bangin’ playlist that you only listen to at the gym. Whatever it is, make it enjoyable.
6. Break it down into the numbers
Now this doesn’t work for everyone, but sometimes I need to break down my choices into actual numbers. So if I’m thinking that I don’t have enough time to make dinner, I think about how long my ideal dinner would take for me to make and compare it to how long it would take for me to get ready, get in the car, drive to a restaurant, wait for a table, order, get my food, and eat. Usually, it’s faster just to cook at home. Plus it saves a lot of money. And I’m all about saving money.
7. Prep for the down days
In the mental health world, there’s this measurement of energy called spoons. There’s higher spoon days where you’re in good spirits and have enough energy to make larger, more extravagant meals. That’s when your girl is cooking steak dinners. And then there’s low spoon days. On my low spoon days, I’m lucky if I can will myself out of bed long enough to shower, let along cook a meal that’ll take me an hour. And god forbid you ask me to try to follow a recipe on those days! That’s downright criminal.
You have to remember that these days will happen. And that’s ok! But you will feel better in the long run if you don’t break down and order pizza. So prepare for these days. Have some overnight oats or yogurt or bags of trail mix ready to grab and go. Prep some grains or roasted veggies or shredded meats to throw together for quick burrito bowls. Do your future self a favor, and plan ahead.
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8. Make the better choice
I’m one of those type-A, perfectionist kind of people. If I eat a piece of chocolate at 10 AM, I call the whole day a bust because every moment wasn’t juuuuust right. And then I feel like crap, and then I curse myself for being this way and vow to start again tomorrow. Then the next morning I don’t go workout like I planned, and the cycle repeats itself. It’s a slippery slope y’all, and please please don’t be like me.
Remind yourself that it isn’t about making the absolute best choice every day. You’ll drive yourself crazy trying to find the healthiest option, or doing the most efficient and effective workout all the time. Life is about making a better choice when you can, and remembering that you won’t always be able to.
9. Love Yourself
Love yourself, love yourself, love yourself. Can you tell that I think this is the most important one? Because damn y’all it’s so important. Love yourself through the hard moments and the easy moments. Love yourself when you workout, and love yourself when you press snooze through your workout. Love yourself when you lose 5 pounds, and definitely love yourself when you gain 10.
And remember, sometimes loving yourself means you eat a salad. And sometimes it means eating 5 cookies. But either way, you’re still pretty kickass.
[ctt template=”2″ link=”GUzWc” via=”yes” ]Sometimes loving yourself means you eat a salad. And sometimes it means eating 5 cookies.[/ctt]