I’m back in Arizona! I didn’t post regularly while I was gone, so if I have any regular readers, I’m sure they’re disappointed (or have lost interest). Sad. To make it up to the blogosphere, I’m going to update everyday this week with a series about something I’m happy to be back to: my routine! I’ll include all the nitty-gritty: diet, schedule, exercise, etc. I’ll start tomorrow, but it will be about today.
In the meantime, I want to know what being and living healthy means to you. Recently, I got into a debate with some friends about my diet. They said I was on the Atkins diet, which absolutely infuriated me, since I think the Atkins diet (or any fad diet) is very unhealthy. I was surprised at how angry I got, though! And it made me start to think what exactly being healthy means to me— and I could boil it down to four main points other than the general “eat right and exercise.”
- NO FAD DIETS! I absolutely, positively hate fad diets. Will they help you lose weight? Of course. Cutting your calories will always help you lose weight, whether or not you do it by only eating grapefruit and chicken broth or paying for highly processed pre-packaged meals. But losing weight does not always = healthy. I try to put unprocessed food in my body as much as possible. I eat a lot of veggies, lean meats, and berries. I try to buy hormone free, free range meat/cheese/eggs whenever possible (though I could be better with this). I don’t eat out much. I try to curb binge eating with lots of snacking and three balanced meals, so I’m never ever hungry. To me, that is not a diet. It is just a lifestyle change. If you wanted to compare how I eat to a fad diet, it’s closest to the South Beach diet. However, I’d never buy any of their shitty “South Beach” processed food– like chocolate bars and chips. When I want some chocolate, I just eat some damn chocolate.
- HAVING MUSCLES! I LOVE being buff! I love having strong upper body definition. Often times, when people work out, they overload the cardio, do a little toning, and skip the strength training. There’s nothing wrong with this– though having muscles does help you keep off weight in the long-term! But I just love feeling strong– I love that you can see my back muscles and that I can actually flex my pecks! I love going to the rock climbing gym and dominating a wall that big strong guys can’t do. I love that I can do “real” push ups. I love feeling in control of my body! Which is related to my next mantra:
- CHALLENGING MYSELF! I love the feeling of power and control I get from really pushing myself to my absolute limit. Whenever I feel myself start to get comfortable with an exercise or that it’s gotten easier, I try to switch it up somehow to challenge myself again. I love using my last ounce of strength to grip onto a hold and haul myself up a wall rock climbing. I love adding a few extra pounds to the weight machine and seeing if I can still get ten reps. I love flexing deeper into my Bikram yoga poses with sweat pouring down my face. I love pushing myself to run further or faster, and I love the flushed, accomplished feeling I get when I reach the goal I’ve set for myself. This year, I’d love to run a half marathon. Anyone want to do one with me?
- REST AND RELAXATION: I’m a total book nerd. Right now, I’m working on The Grapes of Wrath. So, when I really want to pamper my brain, I’ll bust that out and sit around for a few hours reading. If I’m feeling brain-dead or sleepy, I pop on Bravo, stretch out on the couch and veg out to the Real Housewives of NJ or People’s Court. Or I’ll take a bath, paint my toenails, and shave. These are the things that keep me sane. My body and brain sometimes need a little love, too.
To me, when I do these things, I feel healthy. My body is happy, energized, and strong.
So what gets you going? What do you do that makes you feel healthy? What does being healthy mean to you?