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It's a Lifestyle Not a Diet: Tips to Make Healthy Choices

Updated on September 4, 2014
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Life is not always easy. The problems we face as young women, and how we choose to solve them or escape them is what shapes us into the people we become. Sometimes we run into difficult situations, so giving up becomes an option, or we lose focus because we don’t see results. Just because something hurts, or something is difficult doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

Since joining the gym in 2006, working out on a regular basis has become a major part of my lifestyle. Working out is a great stress reliever and confidence builder. The gym is a place to muffle the voices in your ear that say “you can’t do it.” There is no better feeling than believing that you can reach a certain goal, then actually doing it.

It is important to keep pushing yourself even after reaching a certain goal. It’s important to be confident, but don’t get cocky. What I have learned since I began consistently working out, and eating healthy is that you have to do it for yourself. Sure you may have joined the gym to look better than your ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend, it could be prom season, or you might have planned an awesome, tropical vacation that requires a wardrobe that consists of bikinis and flip-flops. All of these are great reasons to want to whip yourself into shape, but the results won’t last if you aren’t consistent. Here are some great tips to live by in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle in and out of the gym.

Have realistic goals:

You aren’t going to lose ten pounds just days before you want to squeeze into a dress or swimsuit. Start slow and learn as you go. Carve some time into your schedule that allows for physical activity. If you are thinking about joining a gym, keep in mind that most gyms offer free personal training sessions to new members. A work out is most effective when each exercise is done correctly.

Don’t focus on numbers:

Just because someone weighs less than you does not mean they are in better shape than you, nor does it mean they are stronger, or prettier than you. Ignore the scale, and judge your success by how your body feels when you are working out, and how your clothes are fitting. Don’t get discouraged if your pants size is not the size you want it to be. This positive attitude will translate into the rest of your life. Judge your success by your own personal improvements, not by how you compare to others. The more you push yourself, the stronger you will become.

Stay Focused:

It’s great to work out with a friend, but don’t let it stop you from actually working out. There are those workout buddies who will motivate you and push themselves with you, and there are those who won’t. Hearing about someone’s relationship troubles, speeding ticket, or bad day at the office will definitely be nothing but a distraction. You don’t want to get into the habit of chatting and strolling along on the treadmill without working up a sweat. I know your phone has your music, but try not to get caught up with what’s happening on Facebook during your workout. It will only slow you down, and it may mess up your mood. When you are working hard, it gets noticed. You are going to get some positive feedback from fellow gym goers, some of whom are very attractive, and most importantly you will see and feel results. A weight will be lifted when you get into the habit of spending more time focusing on yourself and less on what is going on around you.

Be You, Be Confident

You look just as good in your workout clothes as anyone else does, but if you aren’t comfortable then wear something different. You don’t want to be self-conscious at the gym while you are surrounded by mirrors. You also don’t want to be pulling down your tank-top or tugging at your pants after every exercise. Wear what you are comfortable in. If you feel good, you will have more confidence, and be more willing to try different exercises and really begin to build a great exercise routine. A positive attitude and positive self-image will translate into a healthy lifestyle.

Eat Right:

Exercise is only half the battle. If you are stopping at a fast-food restaurant after working out than you aren’t going to get the physical results that you are working towards. Not eating is just as dangerous as eating greasy, fattening foods. Small snacks between healthy meals is a great way to maintain energy throughout the day and curve the appetite, so you aren’t reaching for the donuts in the break room.

According to WebMD some healthy snacks consist of fat-free, sugar-free pudding, Fiber One Bars, and Nabisco 100% Whole Grain Fig Newtons.

Eating healthy and exercising is a choice. Whether you are doing it to lose weight, or to maintain your current weight, you have to be able to look in the mirror and believe you are worth it. It is important to have a positive body image. Poor body image can promote an unhealthy lifestyle that prompts individuals to attempt to lose drastic amounts of weight or alter their appearance through unhealthy dieting or not eating at all. Sometimes even moderate dieting can lead to eating disorders in young girls.

It is important to view the food you are consuming as a way of life rather than a diet. Diets don’t last forever, but a healthy lifestyle will, and it can be passed on to your family, friends and children.

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    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 18 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      I think your comments on exercise are very doable and good advice. I was especially struck by "Just because someone weighs less than you does not mean they are in better shape than you, nor does it mean they are stronger, or prettier than you. Ignore the scale, and judge your success by how your body feels when you are working out, and how your clothes are fitting." Very good encouragment to get away from our stinkin' thinkin'.

      I disagree with the snacks you mentioned, which are just as wretched as fast food. Low calories and low or no fat does not mean healthy. The ingredients to a Fiber One bar gives me no reason to believe it's healthy. The Fig newtons you mentioned have a lot of crap in them. High fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, sugar (listed third) and tones more. The only healthy ingredients are the figs and whole grain wheat and some oat fiber. I am working on healthier snacks. You can never go wrong with fruit and vegetables raw and prepared in a variety of ways. Nut mixes made by yourself, or granola you can make at home (my bff has a great recipe). We just need to get creative. I love air popped popcorn.

      I felt encouraged by this hub as far as exercise and the encouragement you offered.