Diet & Lifestyle: A Continuing Practice

Wedding season is upon us. And with wedding season comes diet and exercise regimens galore. But your mind frame can either hinder or help you succeed.

Many people willing enter into a diet regimen where they scale back on calorie intake, eating highly processed foods with little or no exercise. This leads me to my first point.

There is a difference between diet and lifestyle.

Diet, as defined by the New Oxford American Dictionary, is “the special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.”

And, a lifestyle is “the way in which a person or group lives,” according to the dictionary.

Why, you may ask, is this distinction necessary? Well, I’d like to argue that a diet is a short-term solution to a problem that will not produce long-term results. Yes, you might be thinking to yourself, “But aren’t short-term solutions the foundation of long-term results?” If you have no intention of carrying out this goal in the far-off future, then it does not contribute to your success.

A diet aims to restrict one from indulging. Whereas, a lifestyle allows one to indulge from time-to-time because who, after all, doesn’t need a little chocolate every once in awhile? But you’re working toward an overall healthy lifestyle that includes healthy eating and exercise. A healthy lifestyle consists of exercise, eating and sleep habits that are at equilibrium. The salient point being that equilibrium varies one person to the next.

Everyone isn’t the same. What works for one person may not work for another. So I encourage you to practice a healthy lifestyle. Practice, after all, is defined as “repeated exercise in or performance of an activity or skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it.”  As Jillian Michaels says on her yoga DVD, “Jillian Michaels: Yoga Meltdown,” “It isn’t about being perfect. Perfect is boring. It’s about practice and trying something new.”

Here are some of the healthy mottos I live by:

  • Continuously try to improve, whether it be what you had to eat for lunch or your exercise regimen, strive to learn and evolve and you’ll be successful. But you also need to identify what success looks like for you. Try to improve how many fruits and vegetables you eat on daily basis. Try to improve the amount of time you spend moving. Try to improve your mind set. Obstacles don’t get in your way — your mind is your only obstacle. Rise above it.
  • Get moving. This one is easier said than done, well, at first it is. Growing up, I played softball. Weeknights were dedicated to games and practice, weekdays were dedicated to working out, and weekends were dedicated to back-to-back games while quickly eating McDonald’s or a ball park hot dog. To be honest, I hated working out then. I felt forced to do it. Today, I love working out. It’s something I do for myself. Nobody else can do it for me, and it allows me to relieve stress.
  • Don’t reward yourself with food. As noted in the previous point, I often ate unhealthy food in between softball games. I thought, “Well, I’m burning a lot of calories playing, so I can handle it.” Wrong. You’ll sabotage the “get moving” portion of my healthy mottos. If you let yourself indulge only on the weekends, then you’ll sabotage all of your hard work throughout the week.
  • Drink lots of water. Enough said. I suggest investing in a CamelBak water bottle. The bottle allows you to drink up to 24 percent more water.
  • Get more sleep. I know you know this, but make it happen. You’ll feel more energized. Studies have shown that people who get less sleep tend to consume more calories throughout the day than those people who felt well rested. For more reading, check out the article “6 Reasons You Need More Sleep” from Shape Magazine.
  • Seize every opportunity to get moving. Elevator or stairs — Take the stairs. Bus or walk the few extra blocks — Walk it out. It’s so important I had to put it twice.
  • Try something new. Challenge yourself.

You can do this. Let’s conquer the world one healthy lifestyle at a time. You’ll never regret exercising, but you’ll always regret not having exercised.

Looking for inspiration? Look no further. Here are some images I’ve collected on my Pinterest board (By the way, if you’re on Pinterest, let’s connect!) to get you moving and offer motivation.

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