Eating right. Exercising. Remembering to take those supplements. In my mind, these are the three things I have to do every day to stay healthy.
It seems simple, and it is. But “simple” doesn’t always mean “easy.”
So, what’s the hardest part of staying healthy? Here’s my thought process and how I overcome my mental blocks.
The Hard Part: Starting a Routine
Starting a routine is definitely the hardest part of staying healthy. Stop living in the past and instead think about what you want for your life tomorrow.
Starting a routine is definitely the hardest part of staying healthy. If you’ve been eating poorly and haven’t been working out regularly for the past few months, then skipping the gym today and going out to eat tonight won’t hurt, right?
This mentality gets a lot of us in trouble.
Once we’re out of a healthy routine for a while, bad habits become the norm, and we end up putting on a few pounds, feeling tired from everyday stresses, and not having the energy to work out. Even worse, at this stage, desserts and other tempting foods seem to sneak into our homes and our mouths without our knowledge.
How to Get Over It:
It’s time to stop living in the past. Instead of focusing on what you did (or didn’t do) yesterday, think about what you want for your life tomorrow. If you’re going to want to work out tomorrow, eat right tomorrow, and take all your supplements tomorrow (it’s always tomorrow, right?), then do those things today, too.
Forget yesterday — it’s old news. Start changing today, even if it means baby steps. If you can’t complete a workout like you used to, do half. Just a little sweat will remind your body of how good it feels to be active, and you can start rebuilding your will power to pass on dessert, down more water during the day, and get back on that treadmill for good.
The Hard Part: Continuing a Routine
Continuing your healthy routine is totally the hardest part of staying healthy. If you’ve been good for months, why do you have to work out today, too? Why do you have to skip dessert today, too? Working out just isn’t as fun or exciting as it was when you first started, and maybe you don’t feel like you’re getting the same results you did when you first started. What’s the point?
How to Get Over It:
When you’re in the middle of pursuing a goal, like you’re halfway to losing 20 pounds or you can run five miles but you want to run 10, it’s important to remind yourself how far you’ve come.
Remember: You’re pursuing your goals, not the goals of someone else. Judge yourself against yourself.
Just because you can “only run a mile” while others run 26.2 in one morning doesn’t mean a thing. Think back to when you couldn’t run a mile at all. Or think about all the people who don’t run at all — one of the phrases I’ve seen lately is, “No matter how slow you’re moving, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch.” The sentiment is true. You’re pursuing your goals. Judge yourself against yourself and no one else.
And remember that every day you eat right and exercise, you’re one step closer to your ultimate goal…although…
The Hard Part: Reaching Your Goals
The hardest part of being healthy is after you’ve done the work and reached your goals. What now? Your blood, sweat, and tears have all paid off and you’ve dropped the weight, run the race, or got your blood pressure or cholesterol levels down. There’s no motivation to continue, and you’re afraid you’ll fall back into your old ways.
How to Get Over It:
Make a new goal. Find a new challenge. Reaching your goals doesn’t mean giving up — it means you have a chance to find an even loftier ideal to strive for.
The point is, no matter where you are in your life or what your health goals are, it’s all going to be difficult, and there will always be challenges. But ask yourself this: Is giving up ever really an option? My vote is no. This is your life. Make it what you want it to be, every day.