The ups and downs of committing to a healthy lifestyle

For some people, dieting seems easy. Maybe they just don’t get hungry, you think. Maybe they have some magical hormone that suppresses their appetite, allowing them to get by with very little.

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Or maybe they have more psychological problems than you could imagine.

Regardless, you are not one of those people. You enjoy food. In fact, you love it – sometimes a bit too much.

After indulging in what you know is “bad,” you try to justify it by telling yourself that you deserved it because you had a really shitty day or you’re out celebrating something.

Then when you feel sick later, you scorn yourself for over-eating and punish yourself by not eating the next time you’re hungry. It’s an abusive relationship that repeats itself over and over again.

I want you to know that you are not alone. Many people suffer from having an unstable relationship with diets.

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The problem is not that they don’t know how to be healthy. It’s that they don’t know how to stay healthy – how to have a sustainable diet and make it part of their lifestyle.

They know what healthy food looks like; they know they should be eating carrots instead of french fries and that the pizza the other night was not the best idea or the ice cream that came afterward.

But they don’t know how to make the transition to eating healthy without regressing.

Dieting, or depriving yourself of certain foods to quickly shed pounds is not always healthy, nor is it sustainable. Hints why so many diets are considered fads. Eventually, they wear off, old habits return and the weight that was once lost comes back with a friend.

If you want to develop a healthy lifestyle, you are going to have to take it slow. Approach it as you would a relationship. Be patient and flexible. Don’t berate yourself when you struggle, just get back up and keep moving forward.

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You may not see results immediately, but that is no reason to give up. You’ve lived a certain way for a long time and got accustomed to your eating habits, which now feel threatened.

There’s nothing wrong with going out of your comfort zone, though. Sometimes, that’s the best way to learn about yourself. So, I encourage you to try new things.

Find recipes for vegetables you’ve never cooked before, try walking or biking to work and sign up for a group exercise class like zumba or kick boxing.

Find the fun in being healthy and it won’t be something you dread or have to obsess about.

After a while, you may come to find that you can actually crave a salad and that pizza can give you a hangover. Running, when you’ve been walking to and from work for the last few months, won’t seem so difficult and being in the front of your kick boxing class won’t seem so intimidating.

Just remember that if this is something you want for the long run, you’re going to have to take baby steps and maintain a positive attitude. There will be ups and downs, but a healthy lifestyle is a relationship worth committing to.

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