After having had my second child, I found myself at a steady size 16. Three years ago I started my fitness journey, and today I am a size 4. And I did it through a magic, secret method used by people down through the centuries. Today is the day that I reveal this method to all of you. I did it through steady exercise and healthy eating. There was no diet pill, no diet, and no crazy fitness regime that had me doing 100 burpees in the gym every day.
I did it through a lifestyle change. Diets are all about quick and immediate change. Truly being healthy and fit is about changing your entire life.
To me, fitness is about being healthy and living a better life. It’s not about being super skinny or model-worthy. In fact, I’d venture to say that many of today’s models aren’t any healthier than a lot of obese people. It’s about choosing good foods for the body, and staying active.
Here are the choices that I made that turned my health around.
1. Eating Whole Grains. I cut out all bleached flours of any sort, and stuck with whole grains. That includes breads, cereals, cakes, muffins, pies...anything that uses flour. If I couldn’t buy it, I made it myself.
2. More Fresh Fruits and Vegetables. This is what’s really important. Forget about the carbs in fruits. Fruit provides so many vital nutrients for the body, and should never be eliminated from any diet. Including more fresh fruits and vegetables is key to a healthier lifestyle.
3. Healthier Oils and Fats. The body needs good oils and fats in order to function properly, and dispel toxins and non-healthy fats from the body. I turned to things like olive oil, real butter, coconut oil, and avocados, just to name a few of the healthier fats.
4. Choosing Organic Whenever Possible. Pesticides, chemicals, gmo’s, sewage sludge...you name it...it can all be found on or in food if it’s not organic. Choosing organic means less chemicals are going into my body, and more nutrients are.
5. Eating Out Less. Fast food was cut out completely. If I do eat out, I try my best to make better choices. Instead of going for the fried food, I’ll go for the Salmon or the salad. Vegetarian options tend to be a lot healthier choices when eating out, and I can still enjoy some Veggie Fajitas at the local Mexican Restaurant on occasion.
6. 20-Minute Exercises. I’ve never been into hardcore fitness. It’s just not my thing. But I do like to stay fairly active on a regular basis. I make it a goal to exercise for at least 20 minutes a day for 3-5 days a week. There are a lot of fabulous exercise videos out there that only take 20 minutes to go through. In particular, I’m a fan of any of Jillian Michaels’ workout DVDs. The 30 Day Shred is a good one to start with.
While I am not a medical practitioner and this is not meant to offer any kind of medical or health advice to anyone else, I can tell you that this is what worked for me. Three years later, I am active and healthy. I am now a size 4. But more importantly, I feel healthy and have more energy to make it through my day.
Crystal Collins is an Atlanta local, adventurer, a health advocate, Savings.com DealPro and thrifty as can be. Check her out on her blog TheThriftyMama.com.