What Keeps You Healthy Is Not What You Think

What Keeps You Healthy Is Not What You Think

This is a timely post for the holidays. I hope it helps you enjoy them fully because that's part of the recipe for lifelong wellness. The truth is that staying healthy FOR GOOD is not about the bad habits you give up or the good ones you take on. If it were then that juice cleanse would segway straight into a life of clean eating and that January gym obsession would continue at the same pace for an entire year. How did those go for you? 

They never worked for me. That’s because staying healthy FOR GOOD is about what you don’t give up. It’s about keeping what you love and what you enjoy along with the other wellness stuff. People like to talk about what you can’t have or what you should limit when it comes to wellness. These are important because they give you results but they don’t give you staying power. Think about it, what kind of life would yours be if you gave up everything you loved? Why would you possibly want to live that way FOREVER?

This is why the best fitness and food intentions fail - they revolve around deprivation. Even the most disciplined among us can only withstand deprivation for so long. I lasted five years with “small cheats” along the way but EVERY DAY was a struggle. Once I accepted my “cheats” as enjoyable indulgences, all the resentment and negative feelings towards wellness went away. The unhealthy binging went away too. I don't do "cheats" anymore, I do normal living with some "indulgences." I’m going to share some of them here with you. These keep me sane and on track:

  • I eat chocolate. Not the healthy kind because that one doesn't taste good to me so it's a waste in my book. I also eat that chocolate until the entire bar is finished. There is no “wrapping it up and saving half”  for later.
  • I take the day off from exercise if I’m ill, exhausted or just had an incredibly crappy day and can’t deal with people/discipline.
  • I drink wine. I drink cocktails. I occasionally drink beer. I go weeks without even one unit of alcohol but I will never give it up entirely because I like the experience of drinking and the social camaraderie around it. This is not to say that you can’t live without alcohol is just that I choose not to do so because having it occasionally with good company makes me happy. 

You may have been told that the above behaviours are bad. They certainly aren’t “good” in the strictest sense but they keep me good. I enjoy them, not frequently, but enough that a life of regular exercise and healthy eating doesn’t seem so dire. (Although most of the time I actually like exercise because I do the kind of workouts I love... but that's another post.)

As a trainer, I recommend that you identify your favorite indulgences and keep them. As a fellow woman that has struggled with her health, I insist! If you can identify your indulgences and successfully moderate them, it will take you a long way in your own wellness journey. You may need to be more strict in the beginning but as your body and emotions begin to feel that you're not depriving or suppressing them, you will heal and no longer live by "cheat days" or obsessive workouts. Take this season to start.

As always, if you have questions about how to get started, send me an email! oi@corpaofitness.com 



*Note: Any doctor recommendations for existing health problems or eating disorders come before this advice. This post is not suggesting that you avoid healthy diet plans made by professionals. Those can be very valuable in order to reach certain fitness goals and are helpful - provided you don't deprive yourself forever. 





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