It’s not always easy to take the more difficult path. When given a choice, most people will take the path of least resistance or least effort. Exercise and eating healthfully can be tough, which is why it’s important to have a positive attitude. If you really loathe something, it’s going to be much harder to convince yourself to do it and to do it well. Finding the bright side of exercise and good nutrition is an essential part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. You can’t force yourself to the gym or outdoors for a run four or five times a week for the rest of your life. There’s no way that’s sustainable unless you come to enjoy the act itself or relish in the end result. Same goes for eating well. Salads and carb-free diets will get old after a while, so will weight loss programs. You have to learn to embrace healthy eating (no one is a saint, brownies and french fries need not be banished) if you want it to turn a pattern into a lifelong habit. Over time, exercise and eating well will eventually become second nature, you won’t even need to worry about maintenance because you will automatically gravitate toward the right choices. It does take time to get to that point though. The best place to start if you hope to reach the point where working out over not working out and skim milk over whipped cream are no longer up for debate but a fact of life is with an attitude that reflects your dedication to healthy living.
We all have long, hard days where we just feel like crashing on the couch. That’s how I felt on Sunday afternoon. I was going back and forth about whether or not I should haul my lazy butt off the couch and go to the gym or just stay home and skip exercise for the day. I knew what the right answer was and yet and I still let the debate wear on for another couple of hours. In the end, I made it to the gym and I’m glad I went. A good workout always energizes me and boosts my spirits. I also know that I will feel a sense of accomplishment and enjoy the time spent reading a fashion magazine and watching an old movie while on the elliptical. That day, it wasn’t that I didn’t want to workout; it was more that I didn’t want to make the effort to get dressed and make the 20 minute walk to the gym. Once I get there it’s game on. I know what I’m gaining by taking the time to exercise and that’s my biggest motivation. How can I hate something that makes me feel better, look better, sleep better and eat better at the end of day? Same with eating, I know that second slice of pizza or cake will taste good now, but it won’t look so good in a couple of days and I certainly won’t feel good about my decision soon after consuming it. I think we are often our own worse enemies and sabotage our own best efforts. Think about what you ultimately want to get out of a healthy lifestyle (more energy, a slimmer figure, greater willpower, better health, higher confidence, etc.) and remember that only you have the ability to make it happen.
Again, it comes back to having a positive attitude about making healthy choices. The happier you feel about something the more likely you are to continue doing it, even when times get tough. You have to want to exercise, you have to want to eat well in order to achieve lasting results. Unless you have a nutritionist and personal training keeping you on track from now until your last days, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to find it within yourself to make choices that you really don’t want to be making. You have to start with a positive outlook and truly believe in what you’re doing. That’s what it takes to get healthy and stay healthy. Also, the knowledge that there will be slip ups and that as long as you stay on track most of the time, a bad day here and there won’t matter. Love yourself and treat yourself well through exercise and healthy eating. You’ll be amazed at how your mind and body respond!