What healthy living means to me

When I started my weight loss journey, I really didn’t know the world before me. The one thing I knew was we had to stop eating fast food for every meal and leave the sugary sodas on the shelf. Might we have also needed a bit more exercise? The jury was still out on that point.

Quickly, I learned that people are health “know it alls”, and their way is always the best. Some people picked me because I still ate processed foods (aka my favorite Healthy Choice meals). Some people took offense I purchased Splenda and frozen vegetables and even ate potatoes and loved fro-yo. “Don’t you know how much sugar is in that stuff?”

Guess what? I don’t care. Healthy living, to me, is more than just the food you put in your mouth. It’s about achieving that balance for your life.

I don’t shop at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s regularly because I don’t have one within a short driving distance. (Don’t get me wrong.  I love a good trip to Trader Joe’s, but I don’t NEED to go there.) I still survive just fine. I don’t buy organic vegetables. I know not everyone can afford those things, and I’m telling you I’m one of those people.

I say this because we all know it’s cheaper to go through the drive-thru for a triple patty burger, fries, and drink than buying a salad. There’s a reason for this, but staying eating healthy is on par with eating that way would be a lie. Eating healthy is going to cost a bit more on the pocketbook.

As a society, we need to provide healthier food at a cheaper cost. I don’t want to get political here, but people complain about Americans’ unhealthy nature, but at the end of the day, it’s better to eat than not eat. Many people have to make that choice on a daily; let’s digest that for a moment.

To me, healthy living is doing the best I can within my means (financial, physical, emotional, and time means). Healthy living means eating the best way I can 80% of the time. Do I make all of my meals every day? Nope. Do I spend hours prepping food every weekend? Most of the time, if I have the time to do so. If I don’t have the time, I use my healthy hacks to get me through the week.

Am I a clean eater? Not all the time because sometimes I have to hack my way through life. There are times when I eat protein bars as snacks. I sometimes put Splenda in my coffee from Dunkin. Hey, I might even enjoy a few Munchkins with my coffee.

To me, healthy living is getting active as much as I can and listening to my body for the appropriate cues. I’ve made mistakes here. There was a time when I thought working out six days a week as hard as I could be the RIGHT thing to do. I didn’t practice proper recovery or realize every workout didn’t have to the best the hardest to be effective.

To me, healthy living is choosing to forgo fatty, fried foods in favor of grilled foods. Healthy living is having a kind relationship with food because I spent so much time abusing food in the past.

Healthy living is making sure that I take my mental health the same way I take care of my physical health. Mental health is the part of a healthy living journey I neglected, and I’m focusing on now. I may have spent too much time trying to be someone I wasn’t to make others happen. So yes, you might find me crutched in the corner with my essential oils reading a book or writing in my

journal.

Healthy living to me is realizing that I’m just a girl who lost 200 pounds and fell in love with running. Now I’m a mom trying to keep everything together and teach my daughter healthy habits that will lead her into a secure future. I’m not an expert. I’m just an ordinary person who has a story to share and possibly help someone along the way.

Healthy living is being the best version of yourself on your worst possible day. Healthy living is taking care of yourself by using the tools you’ve developed to make it through all situations.

Please make your version of healthy living and go with it!

What does healthy living mean to you?

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