I have an amusing memory from marathon training with my husband just a month or two before we got married. We had finished a drizzly 22 mile training run and we were exhausted, cold, and extremely hungry. After dinner we ended up at a diner in New Jersey. Trying to be Miss Healthy I ordered some fruit for dessert and my husband got what at the time seemed to be the most delicious piece of chocolate cake. As we sat eating our dessert I scooped a large dollop of his chocolate frosting and ate it. He gave me a sideways look and I said, “For better or for worse right?” His response was priceless, “Yes but it doesn’t have to be for worse!”
Fitness and healthy eating routines are kind of like marriage. They should be a life long contract. We often hit the gym or eat healthier foods after we have been at our worst. Gained a few pounds? Enjoyed too much holiday deliciousness? Feel out of shape? Those are easy reasons to jump on the healthy bandwagon.
But so many times we often reach our goal weight or start to feel better and we start to slip. “It’s okay I can skip the gym today, I’m back to my goal weight.” Or we look at the scale and see a number we are happy with and we figure what the heck, a donut can’t hurt. Right?
And this is how we end up on the forever cycle of diets and gym memberships and self loathing. We work our hardest when we feel our worst. And we treat our bodies the worst when we are feeling our best. A vicious cycle for sure!
Instead we need to look at our health in much the same way as we would a relationship. Through good times and bad we need to stick with it. When our jeans are too tight and when we fit into those pants we’ve had since high school we should continue our fitness routine. Whether we despise the number on the scale or we love what we are seeing, we should continue to eat those healthy foods. By doing so we can sustain that level of fitness. And with that level of fitness comes the endorphins and happiness. When we stick to fitness routines we feel better about ourselves and are more apt to make better choices in what we eat and how we treat our bodies.
Even better, as we continue to exercise and eat well, we can allow ourselves those times when we have a burger and fries and not feel guilty about it. We know that most of our choices have been wise and we can enjoy an occasional treat.
The benefits of sticking to a healthy lifestyle year round are endless. We are more likely to be happy, less likely to get sick, our relationships tend to be happier and we feel better about ourselves. Aren’t all of these great reasons to stick with it for better or for worse?