Creating A Lifestyle That Works For YOU

As much as I can educate others about food, health, fitness, and sobriety and why each facet is (in my opinion) necessary to living the best life possible, at the end of the day each person has to ask themselves a question: “what makes me happy?”.

The answer to this question is more important than you might think. Time and again studies prove that if we do not enjoy what we are doing, whether that be a job, a relationship, or an exercise and diet program, at some point we will start to fail and eventually quit. Why do most diets and exercise programs crash and burn? Why do more people relapse than stay sober? Because being fat and lazy is arguably more enjoyable than being fit and active, because being drunk is a whole lot “easier” than being sober (granted there is a whole lot more that goes into the “why do people stay sober” argument but that is for another post). Most people when presented with the choice would chose to lounge on the couch with a bag of Lay’s, a 40 of Mickeys, and a unlimited-streaming Netflix subscription rather than eating some kale, going on a run, and hitting a meeting. One takes very little effort or willpower, the other, well the other takes determination. But at some point that determination eventually runs out, and when that happens, if you are not in love with your life and your lifestyle, you regress. This is why you have to create a lifestyle that works for you individually, and then watch it work wonders.

Notice that I am not using “lifestyle” and “diet/workout program” interchangeably. That is because they are not the same. A lifestyle denotes that the way you eat and workout is a part of who you ARE, a part of your life, not something short term. And while there is nothing wrong with short term diets or workouts or anything else for that matter, short term will not translate into a lifestyle change. Lifestyle changes take work, they take time, and you have to love what they are comprised of.

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So how do you find what lifestyle(s) work for you? Simply put, trial and error. I have tried being vegan, vegetarian, eating a raw diet, etc. and what I finally found was that my body feels best when I eat a diet that is high in plant-based foods but that also has animal-sourced proteins; I have found that consuming gluten, dairy, and sugar do not serve me well. As much as I love the idea of being vegetarian, my body didn’t feel as good and in turn I didn’t WANT to stick with the change. As much as I LOVE Sprinkle’s cupcakes my body feels like absolute crap when I eat them so I avoid them because I know better. So play around, try different things to find what works best for YOUR body, because what works for me may not work for you. [su_pullquote align=”right”]Remember that the key to a joyous life and a healthy lifestyle is finding what makes YOU happy! [/su_pullquote]
Try being gluten-free, or try cutting out all sugars and see how your body reacts, see how you feel mentally. Do the same with creating an active lifestyle, experiment and see what fits you, your needs, your goals, and your life. Try kickboxing, rowing, running, lifting, and yoga. Go to a krav maga or spin class, try working out solo. Try going five times a week versus seven versus two. Find the number of days that keep you feeling good without being burned out or overwhelmed. Remember that the key to a joyous life and a healthy lifestyle is finding what makes YOU happy! So if you wake up each day dreading going to the gym or gagging on a bowl of chia-seed-infused overnight oatmeal, then try running outside a few days a week instead of visiting the gym, try some egg whites and salsa instead of that over-hyped oat business. While doing what you love can still feel like work, it shouldn’t feel like torture, you should never dread the things that you love. So try and try until you find what you love and then DO THAT, do that and watch how glorious your life can truly be.

  • Kieva
    Posted at 16:52h, 22 July Reply

    Yes, my addiction is actually food and I annoy myself because I am not a yo-yo dieter as they use to be because I am well educated in nutrition and the benefits as well as the values. When I eat healthier and like yourself, reduce gluten, dairy and heavily laden carbohydrates that are usually covered in fat, I feel great but then my depression takes hold and I crash with my head in the fridge and much like any other addict, for that hour, I don’t care, I’m having it because I want it. Then I spend the day after with the mass of guilt and even knowing this, I can’t break the cycle.
    I started the gym a while back and saw how that reduced stress but then I let other commitments hold me back from that and my anxiety heightens because I’m not exercising, which makes me depressed, which makes me eat, which makes me depressed and fat. Any advice please because I’d take any from anyone at the moment?

    • Maya Beth
      Posted at 22:35h, 23 July Reply

      Hi Kieva,
      I totally understand, and I think that a lot of us that struggle with addiction have those times where we say screw it and go off the deep end, whether that be for an hour, a day, a week. If you would like, I would love to talk more about this with you via email instead of in the comments? I have some ideas for you and would like to get a better sense of your triggers, routines, etc. Feel free to come over to my personal blog page, and there is a contact form that will send messages to my email. That way we can talk more about this, since it is such a personal thing for each individual. <3

  • Mandy G
    Posted at 16:42h, 23 July Reply

    My body just adores carbs but they leave me feeling sluggish and lacking effort and energy. If I eat what my body craves, I pile too much weight on, I also feel the high and lows of the post sugar/carb rush which is no good for me.
    As long as I stick to what I know my body can live with in regards to natural carbs, then I can monitor my weight and my energy levels.

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