How to Eat Healthy and Still Enjoy Life
by Anna Victoria in Fitness
I want to talk about how to live a healthy lifestyle while still enjoying life. Too many people think that living a healthy lifestyle, working out, and eating healthy means giving up everything you love. While sacrifice is a part of the equation, it should never be a sacrifice that takes away from your quality of life. Living a truly healthy lifestyle should maximize your quality of life.
The beginning of this journey will be when you feel like you’re sacrificing the most. You start to make healthier food choices, replace your favorite indulgences for healthier items, forfeit binge watching your favorite show to get your workout in (then you can resume binge watching 😉), and more. At the beginning, these trade-offs are HARD. You will hate the process, you will second guess how much you want it, and there will be ups and downs. You have to push through all of that and get out of your own head. Anytime I’m struggling, I think about the quote that says, “commitment means staying loyal to what you said you would do long after the mood you said it in has left you.”
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It’s normal to make more of a sacrifice in the beginning versus later on when you’re more stable in your journey. The beginning will feel like a lot of sacrifice until you start to feel the non-physical benefits and start to see the physical benefits. It’s not always going to be easy, but this is where trusting the process comes in. You have to consciously remind yourself that you’re on your way to better days, better health, more energy, more confidence, and it WILL be worth it.
But how do you maintain a level of balance? Because, to be honest, I don’t want you to maintain the levels of sacrifice you had to in the very beginning when you were still learning, changing your habits, and transitioning to a healthy lifestyle. Instead, I want you to learn how to go with the flow of unexpected life events, vacations, holidays, birthdays, and more. I want you to enjoy those moments without letting them derail you and without letting them be an excuse not to get right back on track.
The real balance comes from living an 80/20 lifestyle. I personally never wanted to put so much pressure on myself to be perfect with my meals or workouts that there was no room to be human. But these are often the moments that throw our whole routine off track. So what is the trick to enjoying these great moments in life and getting right back on track? It’s simply a mentality. It’s the agreement you have with yourself that you are allowed to enjoy yourself, that you don’t have to feel bad about it, and you shouldn’t. But at the same time, you are just as aware that eating healthy is truly what’s best for you and what makes you feel your best and happiest in the long run. We all know how good we feel in the moment of a cheat/treat, but it’s short lived; “sacrificing” no longer becomes about restriction but about choosing to feel your best in the long term versus in a brief moment.
If you don’t value the long-term benefits then, yes, it will seem like pure sacrifice. But if you value those benefits then it’s not a sacrifice, it’s a trade-off (and a good one at that!). Those daily/regular cheats or treats no longer become worth it because you know what you’re giving up – your health, your comfort, your energy, your sleep, and even your confidence. When you value THOSE over daily indulgences and when you value yourself over them, that’s when you know it has become a lifestyle. And does enjoying yourself that other 20% of the time mean you don’t value yourself? Absolutely not. It’s just having the awareness that each side of the equation plays an important role in helping you be your healthiest and happiest self.
At the end of the day, 80/20 is the short answer to how you can live a healthy lifestyle and still enjoy life. Beyond that – I want you to really enjoy that 20%, guilt–free. We have to remember that letting loose and forgetting about calories and macros every so often is GOOD for us. Just don’t use that fact to justify staying off track for longer than intended. 😉
My goal for each of you is to achieve the type of healthy lifestyle that helps you feel and look your best while still enjoying life. I want you to see the 80% as an enhancement to your quality of life. The 20% is another part of that equation, but serves a different purpose and is just as important. I don’t want you to aim for 100/0. Girl, GO ENJOY SOME CAKE every once in a while. 😂 I want you to know how non-detrimental that is to your progress and how important it is to allow yourself to relax. Attempting 100/0 can lead to Orthorexia, a type of eating disorder where one becomes obsessive about clean eating. I’ll be honest, I developed some unhealthy habits relating to this in my own journey and it’s one reason why I’m so passionate about sharing 80/20 and showing you how important that 20% is.
I’m looking forward to hearing more about your thoughts on this!