Good morning my lovely blog readers! If you’ve been keeping up with my latest posts, you’re probably aware I’m flying to Florida this afternoon with The Boy. I’ll be there for a few days, then will be road-tripping up the east coast to drive his grandparents car back up to NY for them. It’s kind of surreal because when we first met (almost 6 months ago), we did the reverse trip – drove the car down and flew back – and now several months later we’ll be doing the opposite. Anyway, I’ll be gone a week straight but don’t worry: I won’t leave you blog-less for a whole seven days. Instead I’ve decided to do a blast from the past series, re-posting an article a day on something I’ve written in the past. If you are new to my blog, it’ll be a good way to catch up, and if you’ve been reading forever, it’ll be a fun way to reminsice. Here is Post # 1 on Healthy Living. Enjoy & stay tuned in…
[this post was originally published March 21st as "It is Officially Spring: 10 Inspiring Reasons to Eat Well & Exercise and It Has Nothing to do With a Bikini"]
It’s officially, utterly and completely spring as of yesterday. I mean, the calendar said so, but I could also smell it in the air. Plus I saw the first flowers of the season budding through the ground. That made be happy…overwhelmingly happy. Not to mention that I spent the entire afternoon day-drinking in honor of South Boston’s St Patty’s Day parade. I have to say that took me back to college block parties in a heart beat. I even wore my green platform heels in honor of the day – and the season. Springtime is my excuse to wear open-toed shoes and flip flops…every day.
Anyway, many people also use this season as an excuse to go on crash diets, lose 15 pounds, cut out dessert, go bananas at the gym, deprive themselves of yummy treats, and rip apart every little “flaw” on their body. It breaks my heart really because I used to be one of those girls. I’d elliptical my ass of at the gym and eat bland greens with a slab of dry chicken for dinner and call it a feast. And I did this all so I could “lose the last 10 pounds”, look good in a bathing suit and be a “hottie” in the eyes of the frat boys. Did it work? Not really…’cause I still felt like crap inside. Even at my lowest weight and during a time of my most rigorous workouts, I’d still feel unworthy.
Not anymore. Sure I got some meat on my bones ‘n’ a little junk in the trunk, but I’m happy with the way I look and feel. So people – and magazines – who think we only eat well and exercise to lose weight and look good in a bikini have it all wrong. I know plenty of healthy, strong, inspiring women (including myself) who do it to feel good about themselves…inside and out…every single day. It’s a lifestyle not a diet fad, and I want to look and feel good in my own skin. And that my friends is why I choose to eat clean (most of the time) and exercise hard (some of the time).
Do I eat that burger or piece of pizza if that’s what I’m craving? Yup. Do I feel guilty about it after? Sometimes, but not usually. And when I do, it’s usually because I feel bloated and not because I think it will make me “gain weight.” I’m sorry but one day of crappy eating is not going to make the number go up on the scale permanently. Heck, yesterday I ate greasy food all day – including a burger, fries, and some pizza – but it was just one day and I will move on with it. Unfortunately, today I feel a little bloated and that’s why I don’t eat like that every single day. Lesson learned.
Anyway, if you need a little inspiration and want to give yourself a break from all the magazines and gyms screaming at you that you need to lose 10 pounds now and that BATHING SUIT SEASON IS COMING (oh my!) here are some other more motivating reasons to eat well and exercise:
1. So you don’t have to drink 10 galons of ginger tea with lemon to de-bloat your tummy yet again. You hate tea and ginger makes you want to vom.
2. So you wake up feeling energized, excited and vibrant rather than just plain BLAH. Sugar-laden foods and those loaded with processed carbs may give you a quick pick-me-up, but shortly you’ll lose that energy and start to feel rather sluggish. No one wants that, especially when you work long hours in the office.
3. So you can train toward something – like your first 5K, half marathon, or triathlon – and feel good about doing it.
4. So you can feel confident, sexy and beautiful when you look at yourself in the mirror. This is a feeling that comes from within.
5. So that next time a group of friends say “Gosh, you eat so healthy!” “Just eat a piece of pizza! Just have a cupcake, already!” “You can have just one, can’t you?”you can say “Yes, I can have one I just don’t want one today. Oh, and I’m actually enjoying my ‘healthy’ food.” Seriously, since when was grilled salmon in a dill cream sauce with roasted veggies count as “health food”? To me it’s pure decadence.
6. So you can rock that new LBD or halter top you bought…and feel damn good about yourself all night long in it.
7. So you can avoid having high cholesterol like your mother, high blood pressure like your father, or any other health conditions that run in the family. Forget the “look good in a bikini bit.” This is some serious stuff. Why mess with your own health?
8. So you can cook fun, delicious meals in the kitchen with your boyfriend and roommates, and prove to people that eating “healthy” does not have to be boring. Not one bit.
9. So you can avoid the flu or latest bug going around. Eating a healthy, wholesome diet boosts your immunity, making it more difficult for you to get sick. No wonder I don’t catch that many colds!
10. So you can set a good example and spread it to others. Ever since I started eating well (incorporating lots of whole grains, lean meats and healthy fats into my diet) my sister, mom and dad slowly developed similar habits too. And I’m sorry, but when I have children they aren’t growing up on boxed macaroni & cheese, dinosaur nuggets (as good as those were) and sugary cereal every day. No thanks.
Why do *you* choose to eat healthy and exercise? Is it to lose weight, gain strength, feel good about yourself? What does being healthy mean to you?