Hi friends! It’s Ten Things Wednesday! Healthy living means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. I personally don’t believe it means crash dieting or exercising obsessively or never eating anything delicious. Here is what it DOES mean to me:
1. Getting at least 7 hours of sleep. Ideally, 8 is the magic number, but the reality of life is that 8 hours is not always feasible unless it’s the weekend. That’s what happens when laziness and lack of motivation cause you to commit to 6am workouts because you can’t get your lazy butt to the gym after a hard day at the office.
2. Eating my fruits and veggies. I try to stuff as much foliage and vegetation in my mouth as possible. Some days I do better than others, but absolute bare minimum on a daily basis is at least a banana, some tomato, and avocado or spinach (two veggies that I find VERY easy to incorporate into a meal).
3. “Me” time. Healthy living is so much more than eating clean and exercising. Stress has been proven to cause weight gain. I don’t go into a lot of detail on the blog (I know, I probably should) but I have a very stressful life. Drama seems to follow me and it NEVER ENDS. Credit it to some previous bad life decisions, a crazy mother, and some drama of my own making. Therefore, it’s pretty important for me to do the things that make me happy and to have time to myself to enjoy those things.
4. Getting at least a half hour of activity in a day. Somedays it may be more, somedays it may be less, but over the course of a week, averaging at least a half hour of activity a day. Though I have never exercised enough to be super skinny, I do consider myself pretty fit and that is important to me. I’m an outdoorsy person and it’s important to me to be fit enough to take a long hike or go kayaking and not be too winded to enjoy it.
5. Three square meals a day and maybe a snack or two. I have tried the mini meal thing. It just doesn’t work for me. I tend to take in way more calories than I need with mini meals. I grew up on three meals a day and I just don’t feel satisfied if I don’t have a full meal. I understand that mini meals work for some people, but for me they just don’t.
6. Eating only (well, mostly) whole foods. I do make exceptions to this of course (mostly in the form of dessert, which I will get to later) but for the most part, I stick with whole, unprocessed food in my diet. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, full fat dairy in limited quantities, and lean meats. Not only is eating whole foods better for my overall health and weight, but it also gives me so much more energy than eating processed foods. When I first started trying to lose weight, I ate the 100 calorie packs and lean cuisine meals all the time, and I was STARVING all the time and never had any energy and all I could think about was food. Eating whole foods does not leave me starving and gives me endless amounts of energy.
7. Making time for the people that matter. Spending time with my friends is my biggest stress reliever and they are my biggest support system in a quest for a healthy life. I also strongly believe that close friends are essential to a healthy, happy life.
8. Spending as much time as possible outside. I am an outdoorsy girl at heart and nothing makes me happier than being outside. I consider it an essential part of my happiness and well being. I definitely was never meant to be a northeast girl as I love mild weather, not the epic snow that we get up in Boston, so as soon as spring (finally) hits, you will almost never find me inside.
9. Drinking lots and lots of water. I have gotten a lot better about this over the past few years. There was a time in my teenage and college years that all I would drink is soda and alcohol. That may be fun while you’re in college, but let’s be real here folks. I am approaching 30 and “water weight” is an actual real concept to me now. A night at the bar leaves me really bloated the next day. I’m certainly not 21 anymore. I also am more aware now how bad soda really is for you. I still drink it, don’t get me wrong, but I try to drink water only during the day and maybe have a soda with lunch or dinner. My body thanks me for this.
10. Lastly, but in my opinion, most importantly, is dessert. Yes, healthy living to me is eating dessert. It’s no secret that I have a strong affinity for cookies. Well, my sugar addiction goes for beyond cookies (to pie, candy, cupcakes, etc). I see the “everything in moderation!” mantra that the skinny bitches tout as their secret to being so thin, but honestly, I call BS. I’m not going to order a dessert and then only take a few bites of it or do the dreaded sharing thing (I’m an only child, I never learned how to share). See my previous #3…stress causes weight gain. And uneaten dessert causes me stress, so I may as well eat it. In all seriousness, I don’t eat dessert after every meal, but I do eat it at least once every other day or so, and I don’t hold back. What is life without butter and sugar?