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The anti-diet: motivation for a healthy lifestyle

Today I sat down to write up a guide on what has worked for me when it comes to food and exercise (and thus maintaining a figure) but I left it because it was getting longer than most magazine articles with more points still to come. Apparently I have a lot more to say on the issue than I thought I did. 

Therefore I've decided to break it up into a series. And I'm going to start with motivation!
I am going to start this off with saying this 'series' will be on healthy living for which a slimmer waistline is a nice benefit but isn't the main motivator. I am a healthy person and live such a lifestyle but I also believe that life is too short to count calories. 

This being said if you really do need to lose weight (as in doctor's orders) than maybe calorie counting is for you. I cannot speak for you. I have slimmed down in recent years but I have never been 'overweight' so this guide is for average sized girlies who just want to drop a few pounds or not get out of breath running for the bus. 

So motivation! As with all new habits we need strong motivation. And because we're concentrating on a healthy lifestyle your motivation shouldn't be 'look hot in a bikini' because 1) it's not healthy on your mind to fixate on a thigh gap and 2) what is going to happen when you come back from holiday? If you find new motivation you might continue, but if you don't, you might just revert back to your old ways. 

You need solid and permanent motivation. Something lifestyle related. Maybe you're genuinely unhealthy and that needs to change. Maybe you have a niece or nephew on the way and you want to make sure you can play with them whilst their parents take a well deserved nap. Maybe you're thinking of becoming a dad soon so need LOADS of energy. Or maybe you're thinking of trying for a baby and want to ensure your body can cope. Maybe you have dreams and ambitions and require extra energy to fit more into your day. Maybe you get out of breath climbing the stairs. Maybe you're always ill and need to work on a kick-add immune system. 

Aside from these motivators requiring a permanent lifestyle change, they also don't fixate on the superficial. Your physical health and your mental health are interrelated and focusing on a tinier waist rather than your new found lung capacity will drive you mental and probably attack your self-esteem more than the reason you're behaving like this in the first place.

Know the difference between skinny and healthy. They are not always the same thing. We all know a skinny person who eats two McDonald's a week and a bigger person who runs every weekend. Our genetics will always play a bigger factor in our figures than any diet ever will. It used to wind me up as a teenager but I've come to accept that all my weight falls on my stomach, occasionally making me look like a pseudo-pregnant woman. I have previously worked it off but that was after a month of hiking in Peru so unless I make habit of that (no) then that extra stomach weight is here to stay. And I've accepted that.

Cellulite isn't unhealthy. Thighs touching isn't unhealthy. Some puppy fat isn't unhealthy. Size isn't the sole determinant on how healthy someone is. So don't fixate on it - know you're getting healthier when you can run a big longer each time or when you feel less bloated. Measure it by that - not by your waistline (or god forbid, the scales!). 

And seriously, who wants to tell their grandkids they ate a salad for lunch every day? 

Love food and love you! 


morag | mo adore
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