Why I decided to live a healthier lifestyle and you should too!
I’m no health or fitness expert. I’m just a girl who started eating healthier and working out a few times a week. But applying those small changes to my life has, undoubtedly, been amazing for me.
I’ve always been an athlete and I’m naturally skinny. All of my life, people would assume that working out and eating healthy were the reasons why I appear to be physically fit. Well, they’re partly right. Playing sports always kept me in pretty good shape and, honestly, was my only form of working out. However, eating healthy was never my thing.
My old diet
Whenever I’m eating people usually ask, “where does it all go?” It’s not that I eat a lot, it’s what I eat. I have a sweet tooth, especially for chocolate (Reese’s cups, chocolate turtles, chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, etc.)! I can’t forget to mention that I’m obsessed with fruity candy (cherry Airheads give.me.life.)! I’ve always loved soda (I’m a Coke>Pepsi girl) and it wasn’t until I gave it up for Lent that I was able to ween myself off of it. In short, I definitely could’ve made some healthier choices over the years!
My old (non-existent) workout regimen
Once my college volleyball career was over, I stopped working out consistently. I would try to go to the gym every once and a while, but after a few times I would lose motivation (I hate running and lifting weights). I also tried waking up early and following along with a dance workout video; that was also short-lived. I tried bike riding, but gave up after I realized how many hills were in my neighborhood! I even went to a Zumba class (which ended up being surprisingly boring and I didn’t even break a sweat); needless to say, I didn’t go back. When I started working, it only got worse. I didn’t want to wake up early to workout before work and I always felt too tired to do anything when I got off (SMH, all my excuses had me stuck between a rock and a hard place)!
When I made the change
Watching the Netflix documentary, What the Health, is what made me finally decide to change my lifestyle. At the age of 24, I FINALLY decided to get serious about my health. It’s kind of a shame that it took this documentary to open my eyes, but I’m thankful that I watched it when I did! I realized that processed meats were doing more damage to my body than I knew. As the bacon-lover that I am, this news was heartbreaking to come to terms with. I knew it would be hard, but I would have to make a change if I was serious about living a healthier lifestyle.
Changing my diet
The documentary encourages a vegan (using or containing no animal products) diet; however, that was too much for me! I couldn’t just stop eating meat and dairy “cold turkey”! Since I wasn’t ready to commit to a vegan diet, I decided that I would start by removing pork and beef from my diet. I still eat chicken, turkey and occasionally, seafood (I’m from MD, so giving up steamed crabs is not an option)!
Thankfully, my mom is on this health journey with me. We now get more organic food at the grocery store (ie. Organic drinks, fruits and meat). I’ve also been trying to choose vegetarian or vegan options whenever I can. I don’t order bacon with my breakfast anymore, but if I’m feeling weak, I’ll settle for turkey bacon. I also stopped drinking soda and I opt for healthier options now, like green tea, cranberry juice or water. Lastly, after a workout or if I’m ever craving a sweet snack, I’ll grab fruit instead of candy.
Don’t get me wrong, changing my diet has not been easy, but it has been better. I’ve also noticed a difference in my physical appearance since I’ve cut out pork and beef. I don’t get bloated half as much as I used to and I have much more energy. Though my eating habits aren’t perfect, they’re so much better than they used to be and I plan on continuously making improvements to my diet as I go along.
Starting an actual workout regimen
Even though I’ve been an athlete forever, I really don’t like working out. Like I said, I hate running and lifting weights and would rather do anything else! It wasn’t until about two weeks ago that I found a workout class that I genuinely like! The class is called Body Werk and it’s like nothing I’ve ever done before (think Zumba x 50)! This class mixes dance and fitness all into one! You don’t even realize you’re doing squats and crunches when you’re doing them while dancing! I go to my Body Werk class two times a week, but I plan to increase it to three soon. Attending this class has been so awesome for me! I am in such better shape and I have so much more energy (who would’ve thought)!
Even though it took me 24 years to get here, I’m glad I finally arrived! Removing pork and beef from my diet, along with regular exercise has been the best thing I could’ve done for myself! I actually look forward to my workouts, and eating healthier meals. I am happier, healthier and more in-shape than I’ve ever been before.
Why you should do it too
Trust me, I know that it is hard to get started on a health journey. I am the last person who ever wanted to work out or eat right, but it is worth it!
- You will feel better. You will have energy and be in better shape.
- You’ll look better. Your skin will be brighter and smoother and your body will be slimmer! You will be radiant!
- You’d be proud of yourself. When you see results, you’ll want to continue doing it!
- You’ll be more confident. Believe it or not, living a healthier life makes you feel good about yourself! When you’re internally healthier, it shows on the outside!
- It’s a stress reliever. Whether you chose to go to the gym or a workout class, working out typically helps to relieve stress. You can take your anger out on the equipment and release built-up rage while doing your exercises!
I’m no health and fitness junky by any means, but I can tell you that changing my diet and exercising has worked for me. Yes, I’ll still have a Reese’s cup or cherry Airhead every once and a while, but that’s okay. I’m not a vegan or a vegetarian, but I am taking strides every day to live a healthier life, and I think that counts for a lot. Don’t feel like you have to completely stop eating what you like and workout every single day to be healthy. You can start off slowly like I did (gradually cut out unhealthy foods and build up to more frequent exercise), and be just fine! I’m new to the healthy world, but I’m liking it so far!
Are any of you guys on health journeys? If so, how did you get started? Do you plan to start? Let me know in the comments!