I have heard people say that the carpe diem attitude towards life is counter to living a healthy lifestyle. In some ways, I understand the argument. If it was my last day on Earth would I forgo the ice cream cone I'm craving? Would I spend an hour at the gym or working out at home? (Well maybe, I really do love workouts.) No, you would enjoy every moment and indulge in all of life's pleasures.
BUT it isn't, as far as we know, your last day on Earth and because of that you should be doing everything you can to enjoy a QUALITY life. That means as many illness-free, high energy, feeling good days as you can manage. And that comes from a healthy lifestyle. So the next time you think "life is too short, I can eat that junk and not workout if I want to" take a moment of perspective and ask yourself these questions.
What if you live to be 100?
As many of you have heard me say before, I fully intend to live until at least the age of 100. Why not? We've got great medicine, I live a healthy lifestyle, and there are far too many places in this world for me to see and experiences for me to have in any shorter a period of time. Here's my caveat: I want to be 100 and still physically mobile with a sharp mind. What's the point of living such a long life if the last 15 or 20 years are rife with illness, pain, immobility, and a loss of memory or cognitive abilities? I workout now so I can live longer.
Is it about balance or a lack of focus?
I will be the first to admit I have a full on sugar addiction. It is something I constantly battle and every few weeks totally lose to. Every time I find a way to step away from the ice cream, donuts, etc. and get back to eating healthy. Here's the thing... when I find myself giving into cravings and grabbing something sweet on the way home from work, I don't pretend like it's under the guise of "balance". Here's how I define balance... taking the opportunity to indulge to appropriately enjoy a moment, an occasion with others, or to keep from a deprivation mentality. So enjoy the birthday cake, the glass of wine on girls' night, or the doughnut that one morning because it's been weeks since you've had a treat and it's starting to feel like a job. Just try to ask yourself if you're just off track when you make a decision to indulge. I'm with you in the struggle, but keeping perspective helps me break the habit.
Do you want to feel good today or tomorrow?
You might hate to workout and you might love fried food, but the fact is, maintaining a healthy lifestyle today will make you feel so much better tomorrow! Sitting on the couch eating junk food might make part of your brain happy in the moment, but you're going to feel even worse tomorrow. It's a vicious loop of bad behaviors that make us feel worse so we act worse to try and get more of a momentary high. It is impossible for me to share how good it feels for your body to be running at its peak, but once you experience it, you won't want to stay away from that feeling for long. Knowing how good I can feel is my best motivator for changing my behavior when I start to get off track. Give it a try, it's worth it.
So remember, focus on having a QUALITY life, not just one lived in the moment.
P.S. If you're struggling to learn what fit and healthy means to you, I'd love for you to join my free Facebook community where I post tips about how to find balance, love your body, and stay healthy and strong.
I'm Amanda K; lover of fitness, sweets, veggies, adventure, travel, and happiness.