Has anyone else noticed that incredible glow you get when you are sticking to a healthy diet and exercise program? It’s simply enchanting! I have always been one of those girls who wished for a genie to grant me one wish: to be able to eat anything I wanted without gaining any weight! How incredible would it be to be able to gorge on pizzas, burgers from The Works, Haagen Dazs, etc. all the time, while maintaining the perfect figure? It would be the best super power ever, right? Wrong! The only part of this dream that really doesn’t fit is how those foods make you feel! Even if you look perfect, you won’t feel like a million bucks. There is something about eating healthy, protein packed meals every three hours that makes you feel as good as you look!
I’ve only been back on the fitness wagon 100% for about two weeks, and I can already see and feel the difference. There is a feeling that comes with being ‘healthy’ that no amount of glorious fattening food can replace. It’s that feeling when you touch your stomach that it actually feels FLAT. That is a great feeling! Sometimes it is easy to forget that unhealthy food makes you bloated. It really does. For me, this bloated feeling doesn’t really reflect on the scale. My weight hasn’t really dropped much, but my body definitely feels different.
I have definitely noticed that it takes about 2-3 weeks into a strict fitness program for your brain to realize that anything else seems INSANE. That is the moment when you see people eating fatty pastries, drinking shakes, and offering you booze, and you literally want to vomit at the idea. It just seems plain wrong to join in on that because you know exactly what your body will feel like afterwards. It isn’t pretty, and it certainly isn’t going to make you live a long, healthy life. It is also at this 2-3 week point in time that you stop craving unhealthy things as much. I remember the first time I did a transformation challenge, I couldn’t go one day without eating desert. It was a habit I had to break that I really didn’t think was possible. It happened naturally! Eating sugar makes you crave sugar. Cut that out and you won’t even notice you are missing anything, because you won’t be anymore. Of course, I still want to indulge here and there, but there is a time and a place, and it has to be earned. At the end of a transformation challenge, or when your planned ‘cheat’ meal comes around, you feel like it is so much more precious because you deserve it. That first bite is miraculous, despite how gross you may feel afterwards, and your metabolism is high enough to burn it off without it destroying your body.
The biggest lesson I learned from my last transformation challenge is to live a healthy lifestyle 99% of the time, and set aside 1% of the time to indulge. Since I didn’t even allow myself to indulge once for months, I went crazy once I started eating ‘normally’ again, and I put all of the weight back on. I forgot how great it felt to be healthy! It’s all about balance, and understanding what your body really wants from you. My body has told me over and over again that it loves being healthy, but that it also likes to have a day here and there to ‘cheat.’ That doesn’t mean cheat EVERY DAY. That’s real cheating on the healthy lifestyle! Life is about balance, and I have chosen to focus on living healthy, with a special treat here and there, because nothing is worth giving up this glow and this skinny feeling!