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The word healthy means different things to different people. It could mean something completely different to a student than it does to a mom of three. In this blog post I want you to know being healthy is not a one-size fits all approach and the only way to be truly healthy is to do what makes YOU feel good. Here are some of the most common misconceptions you should beware of:
Go with the flow, it won’t derail you
Healthy does not mean you turn down a team lunch at Shake Shack because it’s Monday and you cannot possibly cheat until the weekend. It is OKAY to veer off the script now and again, I have three cheat meals a week, sometimes more, the point is, I don’t deprive myself and nor should you.. Your body is smart, it knows how to adapt. However, If you constantly stress about the ‘extra’ calories you just ate, your body goes into a state of inflammation (stress = inflammation) and this sets off a chain of reactions, one of which is weight gain. Why? Because inflammation distorts your metabolism. In other words, worry less, enjoy more. Here’s a pro-tip for you, the 80/20 rule: if you eat on average five times a day (including two snacks) that equates to thirty five times a week. You can comfortably eat seven cheat meals per week (20% of 35) with little impact on your weight and health… just make sure two of the seven are snacks.
Keep it real simple at the Supermarket
Healthy doesn’t mean a trip to Whole Foods or the Organic health food store, buying foods you can’t even pronounce let alone know how to cook. Simplify it and stick to fruits and vegetables you like. Look up recipes on Pinterest and keep things fresh that way. The last thing you want is three week old radishes in the back of your fridge because you never cared for them in the first place. The second reason to keep it simple is money: If you’re a student reading this, or someone on a budget, I want you to know being healthy is not expensive. Four bananas, four apples, an avocado and a pineapple will set you back around $5-6 in most supermarkets. That’s four days worth of smoothies, compared to $32 if you were to buy from a juice bar.
Go cheap on the Gym Swag
Healthy doesn’t mean breaking the bank for gym swag either. Sure, we all want to look good especially if our gym crush just walked in. However, some brands will charge you $100 for this luxury. Fun Fact: I have received most compliments on my $12 H&M Leopard Print Leggings than anything else I wear. Looking good radiates from your confidence not a $100 tank top. Besides, what you wear should not drive how hard you work and it has zero impact on your results. What counts is mindset…. this trumps everything and if you really want something bad enough you will do what it takes, wearing whatever you have.
Don’t believe everything you see
Healthy is not what you see in the media. Be wary of what you read on the internet and when you see a girl or guy on a magazine cover looking uber fit, remember these are photoshopped images and the fitness models you see on Instagram are taking supplements and fat burning pills which are not really healthy. They work tremendously hard which I 100% respect but they starve their bodies of real nutrients because of the need to stick to limited types of food, isolating themselves from social occasions because they can’t flip from the script (see earlier point).
Avoid forced exercise, commit to realistic times
Healthy is not forcing yourself to take a bootcamp at 6AM on a winter morning just because everyone else is. Forcing any form of exercise on yourself is not sustainable or effective. Choose exercises you enjoy and times of the day you can realistically commit to. If that means doing a workout video at home in the evenings, perfect! Consistency is the only way to ensure you meet your goals. You will never succeed when you dislike what you’re doing.
For me, being healthy is making sure my body works on the inside and not stressing about what it looks like on the outside. I don’t want six pack abs all year round if it means giving up every opportunity to spend time with friends and family enjoying a few drinks or a meal at my favorite restaurant. Life is about balance and being healthy is a balancing act. Only you know what matters to you, do not subscribe to a set of rules, a certain style of exercise or time of the day to eat. Do what makes you feel good, enjoy the odd cheat meal, that is what being healthy is all about.
And now that summer is officially here, a little throwback to 2013 in Coney Island, with my friend Hanna. Get down the beach and catch them rays 🙂
As always, Pushing for health xx