I’ve been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and Walgreens #BalanceRewards. All opinions are mine alone.
One of the things that boggle me about life in this country is how easy it can be to live poorly–to eat badly, to drink compulsively, to not exercise, to spend unwisely, etc.
Granted, a lot of those things depend on YOU. But incentives for not making healthy choices are everywhere! Cooking shows bug me the most as they feature the WORST ingredients imaginable (refined/fried everything? Yuck).
Fortunately, my family and I decided early on to live more healthfully, make sane health goals, and choose better foods and habits. For instance, we’ve been meditating for years and until recently began to abstain from all white flours and sugars, high-sodium- and glycemic-index-foods, and opt for more brown foods, chicken-fish, Stevia, and tons of fruits and veggies.
OH YEAH, I ALSO WORK OUT. AND I LOVE IT. (REALLY!)
Remember that saying, “Skinny feels better than ______ tastes?” As a not-naturally-skinny gal, I remember coming across it once and wanting to adopt it as my mantra. (In all truthiness, I’d add “Healthy” to the beginning and replace “skinny” with “fit” to better encompass my goals: Healthy and fit feel better…) But then I saw the criticism it got: “Hell, a pizza tastes better than skinny feels!” its opponents would argue.
Here’s the awful truth, though, that you know only I will hit you with: People who could care less about fitness and/or their bodies ARE the ones that oppose that message. You know why? Because they’re the ones who fool themselves into thinking that their elevated weights and gross eating habits are “normal” or “sexy” or somehow “healthy.” But they’re everything but.
So when I say that I genuinely love working out, I mean it, because I know how MUCH it (+ my diet) benefits my body–not just figure-wise, but also, well, all-around! Just ask my doctor: My recent Complete Metabolic Panel, Lipid Profile, and Complete Blood Panel showed I’m basically perfect health-wise. And I wouldn’t have gotten there without a change in my mentality.
Also, working out makes me want to only feed my body good and healthful things; I don’t want to waste a workout by eating hundreds of empty calories, NO WAY! So yes, Healthy and skinny DO feel better than [insert name of your favorite unhealthy food here] tastes.
MAKING HEALTHY CHOICES STARTS WITH YOU
I had always struggled with my weight, but I’ve never (thank God) been chronically anything. I’ve just had a few extra lbs. I sort of thought I was meant to keep forever. After all, I had been working out on our elliptical every day for an hour for a couple years, and nothing was happening.
But then after seeing the progress my older cousin was having after just a few months with an exercise DVD program, I was ASTONISHED and right then and there decided I needed to make a change. So we ordered that same program + another one that’d take less time each day for my busy mom. After I completed the former, I noticed I was indeed more toned and got some sweet biceps, but I had lost only a couple lbs. Wah-wah…
(Stay with me here.)
BUT AFTER ONLY TWO WEEKS on the latter, I saw I had lost four lbs. And the weight just keeps on dropping! And I’m so happy! I thought I was “doomed” to keep those lbs. (because Latina) but now I know it won’t be long before I start to feel like the champion that extra weight is hiding.
MAKING HEALTHY CHOICES ALSO REQUIRES MAKING GOALS & TRACKING YOUR PROGRESS
I’m not talking “New Year’s Resolutions” here. Those are for losers, i.e., the same people who disagree with “Healthy and skinny feels better than ___ tastes.”
No, goals are CONCRETE and REALISTIC (and thereby enjoyable). Going from the occasional slice of cake to NO cake (among some other goodies) ever again was easy for me, I think, because I’m very disciplined and if I know something’s just not bueno, I’ll quit it cold-turkey. (My exes would agree because that strategy’s helped me also keep them as exes. But I digress…)
This is where the free Walgreens app–esp. its #BalanceRewards feature–has come in very handy for me as it not only helps me define my goals (such as work out every day and another lose ten lbs.) but also track my progress, which is so helpful because my mind can only remember so much info!
But that’s not all it does because if it were let’s face it: it’d be a boring app. So to motivate you to keep up with your goals, the app ALSO REWARDS you for a bunch of info you enter with points that you can redeem for in-store/online purchases:
I WORK HARD NOW SO I CAN ENJOY MY LATER
I’m a single, childless, freelancer and student (accepting boyfriend applications!) who makes healthy choices, healthful goals, and “sacrifices” at this stage of her life so that later on her body, self-esteem, and family can reap the benefits.
I want to feel like a bombshell when I meet and go out with my next boyfriend; I want to feel like a princess (minus the accoutrements that some tacky brides think real princesses wear) on my wedding day; I want to run around with my kids like it’s no one’s business; I want to give my family the best I can offer them.
If/when I can, I’ll even get a device that tracks my progress for me. Walgreens has a bunch of awesome options that connect to its app to automatically do just that, which is great for us busy gals!
NOW TELL ME: How seriously do YOU take your health and fitness? Do you also track your progress or use any other products to do so? Would you consider getting the Walgreens app (which also lets you send your pictures to be printed at your local Walgreens, refill your prescriptions, etc)? Have any other tips to share??