Finding Your Reasons Why: Eat Healthy and Exercise

Living a Healthy Lifestyle: Find Your Reasons Why

When we make decisions in our lives to get healthy, there is usually a reason or several reasons why. Sometimes those reasons are helpful and more long-term. Often times, those reasons are short-term and once we’ve accomplished or completed whatever we had set out to do – our healthy lifestyle gets forgotten or we “fall off the wagon”. I want to share with you my reasons for getting healthy and trying to stay that way so maybe you’ll find some inspiration and motivation you can apply to your life.

Reasons why you should eat healthy and exercise

Your Reasons Why Should be Personal

If someone else is the reason you are attempting a lifestyle change – it’s not going to work. If your doctor, significant other, well-meaning friend, or other outsider is your motivating factor – that motivation is going to die out eventually and you’ll be back to square one. You need to be the source of your own motivation and your own reasons for wanting to make a healthy lifestyle change.  Making your reasons why personal will help keep you motivated and on track long-term.

Your Reasons Why Need to be Flexible

Your reasons may need change and adapt to your life. You may initially plan to lose weight to look good in your wedding dress/bathing suit/or at your 10 year high school reunion. However, none of those things are permanent motivators. So every time your motivator ends you’ll need to find a new one.  Consider reasons outside of the short-term such as: being present for when your children graduate high school, being physically able to teach a grandchild how to throw a ball, being healthy enough to travel with your significant other on your 30th or 40th wedding anniversary. Whatever you find self-motivating. There are no right or wrong reasons here!

Look for Value in Your Reasons Why

Looking good in a bathing suit isn’t ultimately that valuable to us unless its our job. If you’re a model – then that could be a long-term value to you. If you’re not; you’re going to need a more personally valuable reason. What does being healthy mean for your life? What will you be able to do more of? How might your life be negatively effected if you don’t make the necessary changes? How does the decision to be healthy affect the future you desire for yourself and those you love? Look for things that will bring value to your life long-term.

Let Go of Negative Body Images as Motivators

Being healthy just to “look good” doesn’t work. You’ll never be satisfied and you’ll end up defeated. Being “skinny” or “fit” or “a size 6” are all superficial reasons why someone would want to be healthy and may even contradict your real motivators. For example, if someone is trying to “be skinny” and they skip weights at them gym so they don’t “bulk up” that may have long-term consequences of not being strong enough to complete certain tasks, increase risk of falling and breaking bones later in life, and avoiding healthy foods solely based on calorie counts.  Search for reasons within your soul that have nothing to do with your outward appearance. Being physically able to put on your shoes or play your favorite instrument is more valuable long-term than what size pants you wear to do them in!

reasons why you want to lose weight, eat healthy, and exercise

My Reasons Why

Initial Reasons

I decided to go into the health, fitness, and nutrition field upon entering college. I knew I loved sports, wanted to spread that love to others, and I didn’t want to be old, overweight, and unhealthy like my parents (sorry mom and dad! Also, thanks!).  I also wanted to help others – but that wasn’t enough. I wanted to help other learn to help themselves.  You see, I realized people were becoming overweight and unhealthy due to decisions they were making in their own lives – many times because they just didn’t know better.  I didn’t know better either – but I wanted to learn and then share that knowledge with others. So I initially decided on a degree in Kinesiology and became a personal trainer and weight loss coach out of college.

However, I realized about 6 months after graduating that I didn’t know enough about nutrition to do my job well. I was just regurgitating information when it came to nutrition and I wanted to learn more on the subject. Which funny enough, I chose kinesiology as my bachelors degree so I wouldn’t have to go back for my masters to work in the field I loved.  Oh was I naive.  So then another 3 years later I was really equipped to do what I wanted – help others help themselves – in a whole lifestyle approach that included exercise and nutrition.

My Healthy Eating and Exercise Beginnings

My first year of college I had a snickers bar and 20oz soda every morning for breakfast.  I am not kidding.  I also ate daily at the restaurant where I worked.  Because I was young I was able to fight those calories with my high level of physical activity. I played volleyball 3-5 days per week, worked out occasionally at the gym, and overall led a very active lifestyle. I eventually learned more about healthy eating and made better choices prior to graduating. Once I started my job as a weight loss coach I actually tried to follow the advice I was giving clients because I felt like I needed to “walk the talk”. That’s still the philosophy I live by today with my food and nutrition choices.

After graduating from college though, I realized I enjoyed the playing of sports much better than I did the exercise and fitness regimes that were meant to be paired with them. I was spending a lot of time at the gym as a trainer and lost motivation to spend more time there by working out. Eventually I left that job and quit going to the gym all together.  At that point I took up running.  I needed something to stay active, that was inexpensive, that I could do on my own time, and that I enjoyed.  A few of my friends ran and so a new love for a different type of physical activity was born.

Running Helped Me Find Myself

I trained and ran my first half marathon to get over a break up.  I needed to find my strength, determination, perseverance, and internal motivation that I had almost lost. Running gave me a break from graduate studies, space to not think about life if I wanted to or time I could devote to thinking about it for an hour or more, and running also gave me an outlet for stress.  Running helped my spiritual health because it gave me time to pray, running improved my time management skills because I had to build in training runs around graduate school and work, and running improved my fitness levels in new ways. I love running because it’s a relatively inexpensive sport, I can compete against myself, and I can run almost any where.  Running works for a multitude of reasons for me.  I realize it might not work for other people in that same way – so this post isn’t to convince you to run.  I just want you to see how much more living a healthy lifestyle can provide outside of “preventing chronic conditions and weight management”.

For the last 10 years I have realized that I’ve been extremely inconsistent with the strength training portion of my exercise plan. I’ve done my time at the gym, I’ve done home based workout videos, and I’ve done several 30 day squat challenges. But none of them have stuck with me. I am not sure why I haven’t been able to stick with a strength program but it is something I’ve wanted to explore in more detail. See below for some reasons why I’ve decided to add strength training back into my routine.

Eating Healthy: Necessity to Normalcy

Eating healthy has become natural and normal for my family. It’s something I strive for on a regular basis and something I am constantly conscious about because it is literally my job.  Cooking at home became a necessity to save money a few years ago and I’ve since learned a love of cooking I never knew I had and continued with the practice.  I also struggle with a digestive condition that has prompted me to make even more careful decisions about foods I eat and how they’re prepared. I actually enjoy eating healthy and how much better I feel when I’m following my balanced nutrition plan.

Looking Towards the Future

I’ve recently made two decisions about my health and lifestyle based on planning for the future. 1) I sought a more specific treatment approach to my digestive disorder because it was interfering with things I enjoyed and I wanted to rule out more serious issues because my status had gotten worse.  2) I’ve decided to focus more on strength training as an addition to my physical activity plans because we are building a house this year and I’ll need more strength and muscular endurance to help. Another reason I made both of these choices is because I want to prepare my body for pregnancy if we choose to have a baby in the next few years.  I’ve always been a planner and I really enjoy planning ahead so why not plan for better health during a potentially very critical time period.

My Reasons Why I Run:

  • I enjoy the alone time it gives me
  • Helps me challenge myself physically
  • It keeps me trim
  • I can run any time or place
  • No drive to the gym or membership costs
  • It supports my spiritual health
  • My self-confidence is higher with running
  • It is easy to set goals and see progress
  • A good reminder of who I am

My Reasons Why I Eat Healthy:

  • It’s my personal philosophy to practice what I preach
  • My personal health conditions are improved with mindful food choices
  • I enjoy it
  • It is fun to prove it can be done
    • On a budget
    • With limited cooking experience
    • When time is scarce
  • Iimportant to me to support my family’s health
  • I want to avoid the chronic health conditions that run in my family
  • To give my future self the best chance of a great quality of life
  • I enjoy sharing my knowledge of food with others
  • It keeps me focused on advances and opportunities in my career
  • It helps me help others help themselves

My Reasons Why I Want to Add Strength Training:

  • Increased strength and muscular endurance for building our house
  • To physically be prepared as much as possible for pregnancy and child-birth
  • I want to prevent the age-related decline in muscle strength/mass
  • It’s important to me to stay fit
  • I want to be able to play sports with my kids as they grow up
  • To be able to complete projects around the house

I encourage you to ask yourself these questions and consider your reasons why you want to become healthier. Remember to make these personally valuable to you and your future goals. I encourage you to write them down and review/edit at least once a year. This will help you find some motivation you may have been lacking in the past.

If you would like more guidance on how to eat healthy, tips for successfully managing your weight without dieting, and suggestions for ways to incorporate physical activity into your lifestyle: Check out this information on my 12 week weight loss course – Click below to go straight to the registration page!

How to Find the Right Exercise for You

Finding Your Best Exercise

We all know exercise is important. From preventing heart disease and diabetes to maintaining our physical abilities to boosting self-confidence there are a multitude of reasons to fit physical activity into our weekly lives. But knowing something is important and actually finding the time to do it and enjoy it are totally different things! Many of you have tried to begin an exercise program, maybe multiple times, just to be back at square one a few weeks or months later. It’s very common to “fall off” the exercise wagon so to speak.

how to find the best exercise for you

So how do you find an exercise routine that fits into your schedule, works with your current abilities, and that you actually want to do? Well, the answer is a little complicated. See you are all individuals with different lifestyles, abilities, and enjoyments. No one exercise plan is going to work for every person. Also, it will be a bit of an experiment or trial and error to find the right exercise plan for you. I’ve compiled a list of tips and strategies to finding an exercise program to suit your needs.

Pick Something You Enjoy

This may seem simple but sometimes it takes trying out a few different options to find the type of exercise you enjoy most. There are countless options for physical activity but we often go into this short-sighted thinking we have to either run, cycle, lift weights, or practice yoga. In reality we could choose from 100 of different exercise options. Try to base what you choose off of something you enjoy. Did you enjoy dance growing up? Maybe you could try your hand at Zumba or sign up for a ball-room dance class. Are you a sports fan and pretty competitive? Check out what type of leagues may be available in your area. Does going to the gym fill you with dread? See what type of exercise DVDs your library has or download a home workout plan to try.

If you try to force yourself into doing something you hate you most likely won’t be successful at maintaining your exercise routine. Finding an exercise you enjoy might take some time, but will be well worth it when you actually look forward to lacing up your shoes and heading out the door. Keep reading for more tips on making exercise fun! You can take this fun “exercise personality” quiz to get some ideas on what you might enjoy most.

Find an Accountability Partner

Not only can having a friend to exercise with make it more fun; it also helps you stay motivated and on track. It’s easy to talk yourself out of heading to your fitness class but it’s a lot harder when your friend expects you to be there. An accountability partner can be a great source of encouragement or even competition. Knowing someone is depending on your support and commitment makes you more committed too! Research supports exercising with a buddy to increase your activity. You can also reap the benefits of being more social with an exercise partner as well.

exercise partner

You don’t have to actually workout with your accountability partner. All you need to do is set aside some time each week to check in with each other and update each other your progress. Most of us would rather share that we are making progress instead of failing to make progress. You can do this via email, phone, or even text. Just make sure to pick an accountability partner that’s going to support and push you towards your goals.

Start Small

Many times we over do it when starting an exercise program and that leaves us sore and worn out for the rest of the week, or worse, injured! Take it slow when beginning to exercise. As little as 10 minutes a day can be beneficial and it won’t eat up too much time or energy. Over time, build on the time and intensity of your workouts. If you would like more information about starting small for losing weight check out my 12 week Weight Loss Inspirations Course. Click below to find out more!


Try Something New

If you keep trying to make it to that 6:00 am boot-camp and keep hitting snooze instead of getting out of bed; maybe you aren’t cut out for early morning workouts. Try a different time of day! You can also try different types of exercises, classes, or programs. You might really enjoy kickboxing over step aerobics if you give it a go! Enjoy yoga? Try Goat Yoga! Like running? Try interval training or running hills. Doing the same thing for months gets boring and also prevents additional gains from exercise. Make sure you try new things occasionally to keep your interest and challenge yourself.

Determine What You Want from Your Workouts

Exercise for your goals

What are your fitness goals? If you want to build strength, training for a marathon is probably not your best choice! Trying to lose weight? Cardio is more your friend in the beginning. Need to increase your flexibility to reduce pain and tight muscles? Yoga or Tai Chi is going to be a better option than that weight circuit at the gym. When you decide what you are trying to accomplish that can help you make the best choice for your exercise plan. If you are trying to lose weight, diet is more important than exercise, so you might want to check out how to go low-carb the healthy way and just choose the type of exercise you enjoy most for you workouts.

Choose a Sport and Make it Fun

Try getting involved in your favorite sport or activity. Most cities have leagues of different kinds from volleyball to bowling to kickball. Any activity can count towards your overall exercise goals. If you’re competitive by nature use that to your advantage. If you prefer playing just for fun regardless of winning or losing choose a league or activity with a group that feels the same way. Exercise doesn’t have to mean working out in the sense most of us think. Any type of activity can count if you’re moving more and sitting less.

Set Some Goals

Consider where you want to be 6 months from now? Are you trying to lift a certain amount? Run a particular distance? Sign-up for a challenge or a race. Having a date to work towards can focus your attention on improving your fitness levels. Think about doing a 30 day fitness challenge or another type of fitness challenge. Some online challenges will even send you a medal like Will Run for Bling and Charity! You can also sign up for fun events like midnight runs or muddy obstacle courses to keep you on track.

Make Exercise a Family Event

Exercise with the Family

Include the kids in your exercise plans. Maybe you can plan weekly or monthly hiking trips where you live. Sign them up for the 1 mile kids dash offered by your 10k race program. Play flag football or ultimate Frisbee with the neighborhood families. Whatever floats your boat – just get the kids involved and the whole family can have some fun burning calories.

Fit it in Where You Can

Yes it’s optimal to have about 20 minutes set aside 3-4 days per week to get active, but maybe your schedule is really tight right now and you aren’t able to commit to that. Can you commit to a 10 minute walk on your lunch break 2 days? What about another 10 minutes after dinner 1 or 2 nights each week? Start sneaking in extra activity when you can and before long you will start noticing a difference in how you feel. Research supports benefits from small amounts of exercise. Obviously you get greater benefit with more exercise but why not capitalize on what you can achieve and not worry as much about what’s out of your reach at the moment?

Prepare the Day Before

Prepare for exercise ahead of time

Lay out everything you need the day before. Your clothing, snacks, shoes, and whatever else you need to make your workout a success. Place your gym bag in your car if you plan to hit it on your way to or from work. Have everything ready to make exercising as easy and smooth as possible.

Make it Count

12 minutes of interval training is all you need for a successful and meaningful workout (click here for more info). So if you are limited in time, make up for it with intensity! Really work towards putting in the effort when possible and increase other areas of activity as you are able. A short, powerful workout can be just as effective or possibly more effective than a longer, more moderate intensity workout.

Take the Path of Least Resistance

No I’m not talking about choosing the lightest weights at the gym. Make it easy on yourself to exercise! This might mean lacing up your tennis shoes for a run in your neighborhood instead of driving to them gym for time on the elliptical or it might mean doing a body weight strength training routine on nights you leave work late instead of hitting the gym and waiting on the machines you prefer to be available. Reduce the barriers that come up for you by planning ahead. Your exercise plan should reduce stress – not create it! Choose options that help keep you energized and calm. If you’re always rushing to your workouts, or worse, through your workouts – you’re going to be more likely to quit.

Hire a Professional

Hire an Exercise Professional

If you’re not sure where to start or would like to hit the gym but don’t know how to use the machines; you can always consider hiring a certified personal trainer. They can help lead you in the right direction based off your fitness goals and can show you how to do the exercise correctly and efficiently. Some trainers will even do group sessions – so bring your accountability partner with you! Paying your hard earned money is another way to make yourself accountable to your workout plans and keep you motivated to reach your goals.

Make a Plan

No matter what type of exercise you choose to do, you need a plan to implement it. Write it on your calendar, in your planner, or your bullet journal. Choose what days, what time, and for how long you will be exercising. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail – so make an exercise plan! You might want to check out these meal planning tips as well while you’re at it and knock out both your meal plan and your workout plan at the same time.

The Best exercise for you

What Exercise Will You Choose?

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