Body (health & fitness)

9 Things to Do When Staying Healthy Gets Hard

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.

Tips for Maintaining Weightloss

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

Related Post (60+ Healthy Living Links)

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.

Related Post (Here’s Your Mid Month Pep Talk)

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]

Tips to Get Healthy

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  • It’s almost like we are the same person. Totally relatable, and great advice! Your comment about eating chocolate in the morning and ruining the whole day – me spot on. Great tips!

    • I’m so glad to hear that! Cheers to us chocolate for breakfast eaters! 🙂

  • Awesome post! I am definitely going to be visiting your 64+ resources for healthy living page for more healthy food options. Great advice!

    • Yaaay! Can’t wait to hear what you think!

  • I LOVE that last tweetable, haha!

    Thank you for the encouragement – it’s important for me to remember that every choice is a conscious one. Like at the gym – it’s so hard to literally run that EXTRA MILE but I remind myself that the only thing stopping me from achieving that is myself.

    • It’s SO true isn’t it!! Some days (especially lately!) I lean more towards the 5 cookies. Most days haha.
      And yaaaas girl! We are the only ones in our way!

  • LEWAL

    I’m currently at number one ! As my schedule gets busier, I need to have a list on hand to keep me from eating junk food 😐

    • Girl, I’m the worst at eating junk when I get busy, so you’re not alone! Have you tried making a list of healthy options and putting it on your fridge/cabinets? That way you know what you have on hand, and each time you go through the list you’re giving yourself the chance to make a good choice. It’s hard to say no to your healthy 5 times in a row, ya know?

  • Surrounding yourself with like-minded healthy people makes such a big difference! When I’m with my friends who don’t eat right (and don’t gain any weight either, those jerks…) I eat worse. When I’m with my friends who like to cook and eat at home, I do eat better! Interesting how that works.

    It’s also true that being healthy is not about perfection. I get caught up in that and don’t let myself indulge, and then when I treat myself I go overboard. “Everything in moderation” is a cliche for a reason – it’s freaking tried and true.

    Great tips, Asha! Thanks! 🙂

    • SO TRUE!! I have lots of friends who can eat whatever they want, and when they eat…I eat. Same with my boyfriend! Getting people to ride the health rollercoaster with you for the whole ride makes things sooo much easier!

      And such a good point about “everything in moderation”!! Cliches are overused for a reason!

  • Taylor

    These tips are awesome – especially having go to healthy meals based on what you have in the pantry. I recently wrote a post on how to get/stay motivated when it comes to fitness, but the same applies to staying healthy too. Thanks for the great info! 🙂

    Taylor
    http://www.theusoftay.com

    • Yeah, me actually using my pantry has been a real game changer! I used to look at my food and if I didn’t have some meal already prepared or something in mind, it was all over. Staying creative is so important!
      I’ll have to take a look at your post!

  • Bronke Luysterman

    I always try to be healthier…but I never make it past week 3 :/

    • I am usually the same way! I start and stop and start and stop. It’s definitely a huge mental game! I try to find a good balance where I allow myself to have treats without letting it totally derail me. A lot of it is changing your mindset!

  • Makaela Premont

    Love these tips! It gets so hard to stay healthy when life gets a bit crazy!

    -xo, Makaela
    http://www.uniquelymickie.com

    • Girl ain’t that the truth! 🙂

  • Maya Maceka

    Lately, I’ve been actively trying to be more healthy and I think this list is just perfect! I’m going to follow your advice and prepare in advance for the low days… because I know those will happen!

    • Good for you for preparing! I’m so glad you found something helpful from the list!

  • Victoria Henderson

    I like your tips, especially the have meals planned in advance tip. That has saved me many a night from grabbing the phone to order delivery. Thanks for helping us girls who love food to stay in track.

    • I ALWAYS want to order delivery, but having prepped foods doesn’t give me the excuse that delivery is faster 🙂

  • Working out has been such a struggle for me. I go through phases of working out and then I’ll stop for ages. I’ve found that I don’t like gyms at all and find no motivation there. It’s also hard for me to push myself, so I need someone to hold me accountable and work out with me every now and again. Lately, I’ve been going jogging nearly everyday after work. I find that if I get it over and done with before I start my nightly routine, I’m more productive at night and then I’ll be tired enough to go to bed early and get a good night’s rest. I love your last tip! It’s so important to love yourself and your body no matter what.

    • Working out is hard for me too! I always go back and forth between going to the gym and then wanting to work out at home and then not wanting to work out at all! Right now I’m trying to stay consistent with the gym, so I tell myself that I can’t watch my favorite show or catch up on a podcast or watch youtube videos unless I’m at the gym! Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t but at least it’s progress and that’s what matters! Good for you for figuring out what works better for you and what doesn’t!

  • Deanna

    awesome! I love me some food too! 🙂 My freezer is soo packed full right now and not just with healthy dinners but lunch and breakfast options too.. SO, I always have something to grab when I don’t want to, or can’t cook up something. This is a helpful list, thanks!

    • That’s so smart!! I’m trying to get to the point where I have a lot of things prepped. Right now I prep some shredded meat in my slow cooker, and that usually lasts me the week. It’s great because I can use the same meat in different ways; like shredded chicken for bbq sandwiches, burrito bowls, and chicken salad!

  • Kristi

    Having a list is so key! Such great tips. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank YOU for reading!

  • Loving yourself is so essential! Great post!

    • Thank you, and I agree!! 🙂

  • Jonathan Tyler

    Bookmarked! this is a great post. I really enjoy trying new things to brighten up my day. Even if its just a new show or movie the experience uses helps.

    • So glad you found it helpful!

  • Tyra Skinner

    LOVE THIS!

    Yeah, I love food too. I eat maybe every two hours, always hungry. But yeah, trying new things has inspired me to be healthy. Something about trying a new recipe makes being healthy fun! Living in China has helped a lot though, since I don’t have much access to Austin’s tacos & queso. Lol

    • A new recipe does really make all the difference, doesn’t it! It must be so fun to live abroad! I studied abroad for a few months and absolutely loved it. It would definitely help for me not to be around queso as much, but I have a feeling that I’d just replace it with something else haha.

      I’m so glad you liked the post, and thanks so much for reading!

      • Tyra Skinner

        You would be surprised how your stomach changes without dairy.

      • Tyra Skinner

        It’s quite fun living abroad. Currently waiting to go back! Yeah, I seem to always too find a replacement.