How I Lead a Healthy Lifestyle

1. I take note of my inner self
So much of “being healthy” comes from within, despite popular belief. You can look like a million bucks on the outside, but if you don’t feel at peace with yourself internally then how you look on the outside becomes obsolete. When I genuinely FEEL good I am a better person. I am a better version of me, a better friend, daughter, sister, soul…just better overall. When I feel good on the inside I start to glow on the outside, and that right there is what keeps me going. Confidence truly does come from within, so let the good that’s inside of you radiate from the inside, out.

2. Take one thing at a time
Personally, my healthy lifestyle journey dates back to my middle school days when my sport of choice, gymnastics, intensified. Working out nearly 20 hours a week was the foundation for the physical changes I started seeing in myself, but the real changes surfaced when I paid greater attention to my nutrition. I realized that to get through these workouts, it was necessary to properly fuel myself. Once I dabbled into the realm of good nutrition, I became hooked. But if I had tried to manipulate the physical and nutritional aspects of a healthy lifestyle at once I would have found myself overwhelmed and with little progress. Since one thing led to another naturally and I was invested in learning more for the betterment of myself, I started seeing changes and making progress, it was steady, but it was there and it did not go unnoticed. Like most things in life, it’s a process, but by gearing your focus to one aspect of the process at a time you will yield the success you are longing for. It’s called a lifestyle for a reason, it’s not an easy fix and it certainly won’t happen overnight. Instead, it’s a coalition of nitty gritty changes that lead to big results when supported by disciple, drive, and action. Simply start. Start somewhere, start small, master that, move on to the next, and repeat. A ripple effect of endless opportunities will come, I can attest to that.

3. Seek knowledge and become educated
Much of what I now know about leading a life of healthy choices and balance was not taught to me by my parents or in school or from my best friend’s mom who teaches biweekly yoga classes. I found the information. Me. I sought out what I now know and learned the ins and outs of the many different facets healthy living entails. I watched countless YouTube videos, read plenty of articles, and used Google as my main source of inquiry. The intense curiosity I developed about such a topic only drove me to ask more questions, seek more information, and gain more knowledge. The world is truly at our fingertips and without proper knowledge to back up the choices I was making, I had no purpose. My knowledge was my drive, and to this day it’s my reason. I do the things I do because I know the things I know. Once I started educating myself in this ever-so controversial field, I never looked back. There is always new information becoming readily available, but what I find most empowering is my choice in the matter. Although I am being bombarded with so many opinions and incredible amounts of research, at the end of the day I have the power to choose how to handle myself in my own life to make improvements where I see fit. Education is a wonderful thing, but my choice in it all is far more valuable.

4. 80/20, 90/10, 99,01
I’m sure you’ve heard of the 80/20 rule before; 80% of the time you’re healthy, 20% of the time you’re free to live your life whichever way you choose. You see, some days I’d say im 80/20, others 90/10, a really good day 99/01, or a really not so good day 50/50. These are just numbers and to be completely honest they don’t mean much. What I’m trying to get at here is that balance is key. Some days I go from pints of ice cream to the cookies to the Nutella jar (clearly I have a sweet tooth) other days start with a green smoothie and end with piece of white fish and a rainbow of veggies. It all depends. But, once you lay the foundation for yourself in that you become committed to a healthy lifestyle, you soon realize that cravings will kick in and I am here to tell you to honor those cravings. Be mindful of how you are nourishing yourself, but when you really want a rest day, listen to your body or when you really want to go out to fro yo with your best friend, don’t question that desire. Some days will be quote on quote healthier than others, but in the grand scheme of things it’s the balance you foster that will keep you on track.

5. Look at the bigger picture
In the grand scheme of things habits add up and turn into your lifestyle. One Oreo isnt gonna kill you and a rest day is actually gonna help you, and that’s something that took me some time to fully understand. It’s all about the bigger picture. You want to do things on a daily basis to better yourself and it’s a whole hell of a lot easier when you take a step back to not only look at WHAT you’re doing but WHY you’re doing it in the first place. Whenever I feel overwhelmed by the lifestyle I lead I make it a point to remember why I started and why I’ve kept going. Simple answer. I FEEL better. How you feel translates into how you act, how you accept yourself, how you accept the people around you, how you view things, how you function. Once that feeling of accomplishment and sense of pride kicks in you’ll be hooked and will never want to look back.

A healthy lifestyle is so much more than the surface level “eating clean and working out.” A healthy lifestyle is built by you, for you, for your mind, body, spirit, soul. If you have the drive to better yourself, do it do it do it, it will be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.