Everyday Inspirations


~ a better you ~

Hello, gorgeous.

We've spent January discussing quite a few workout-related topics as our "A Better You" posts, and I hope they've been helpful for our readers. There really is nothing like starting a new year filled with new goals. And there is nothing better than a goal to make yourself healthier. It's one of the toughest things to do, especially in our world. It's also not a short-term goal that is easy to make and forget. Staying in shape and eating healthy is a commitment, something you have to integrate into so many areas of your life. You have to understand yourself, change your habits, and be flexible.

One pattern I've noticed after we (yes, I'm including everyone here) set a goal to "get healthy" is that it's sometimes easy to rationalize unhealthy habits: "I ran X miles today, so I can eat anything I want tonight."

Now don't get me wrong. I LOVE eating. I don't ever finish a half marathon and think, "Hmm, yes, salad time." (Hell, I don't finish a long training run and think that!) I am most definitely a person who "runs to eat," rather than the more impressive "eats to run." Most of us are and that's not a bad thing. However, my concern comes when food because the motivation more often than necessary. If you find yourself turning an unhealthy meal into a reward for going to the gym, it's time to take a step back. To be clear, I'm not saying that food is a bad motivator or reward. Sometimes it's the best. thing. ever. But like I said, my concern is when food is the ONLY reward. What happens if you stop working out for a period of time? I mean, this is life. You have to make healthy habits what they are... habits.

Understand your connection to food. Not to get all Jillian and Bob on you, but one of the simplest connections to food is emotion -- and your job is to understand that emotion so that you don't turn to food because you're depressed or bored.

Develop a taste of delicious, healthy meals and snacks. I'm human. I understand that we all have the best intentions but sometimes food is still the only thing that hits the spot. (Do you know how hard it's been for me to come home from a workout and ignore all that leftover birthday ice cream cake that's in my freezer?) Start to experiment with healthy meals and snacks. One of my favorite tricks I use when I'm craving a brownie or cake after dinner is to enjoy half a grapefruit. So delicious. And so guilt free!

Don't deny yourself. Ang and I say this again and again and again. Don't. Deny. Yourself. It never works to your advantage. If you want a big ol' burrito, have one. Just not every night. Or even three nights a week. Develop a schedule for going out; for example, by giving yourself a "free night" on Fridays.

Create new rewards. Oh my gosh, this one is the best. Who says food has to be your only reward? Especially if you're rocking some awesome workouts (I mean, I think you DO deserve something for getting up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday to run 12 miles, thankyouverymuch). What about clothes (my personal favorite) -- a new top to wear this weekend or new workout capris. Shoes? A trip with your friends? An outdoor adventure, like rock climbing or kayaking? You can have fun with this.
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