11 Ways to Get Healthy Even if Your Personal Trainer Would Think You’re Cheating

by | Sep 25, 2019 | Uncategorized | 38 comments

Tips to Stay Healthy that Are Easier to Do--that Your Personal Trainer Won't Approve of
Merchandise is Here!

We need to find a way to talk about health that isn’t all-or-nothing.

But so often when we hear advice on how to get healthy it requires a complete overhaul of everything in our lives overnight.

I think most of us would agree that yes, in an ideal world we would all eat perfect, organic food and work out multiple times a week and be regimented with our health. But the reality is that for a lot of us, life is really really busy!

This month we’ve been talking about how to make daily life easier. We’ve covered figuring out the causes of stress in your life; figuring out kids’ schedules; figuring out what’s getting in the way of having sex; even how to get dads more involved with the kids. So since we’re talking this month about just getting real with our daily routines and how they affect us, we thought we’d end off the month with a discussion about healthy habits.

We didn’t include any of the typical ones that are usually said like eat more vegetables, stop drinking soda, because those are ones you’d normally hear from a personal trainer, nutritionist, or doctor. Instead, we wanted to give you a few ideas for small tweaks you can make that aren’t so commonly talked about because, frankly, not all of them are 100% “healthy.” But changing our lifestyle is about steps in the right direction, and a small step in the right direction is always better than staying still!

So let’s ditch the all-or-nothing mentality when it comes to health and talk about some small, easy changes that can get us going in the right direction!

Note: if you currently struggle or have ever suffered with eating disorders, this is likely not the post for you. Instead, we’d recommend talking to a professional who has experience working with eating disorders to help find a personalized and safe way for you to approach fitness, food, and health. 

 

1. Have frozen meals on hand

Having some ready-made meals in the house can actually help many people get healthier by having a safety net for when the planned meal just isn’t going to work out. Then, instead of going to a restaurant or getting take-out food, you can just throw the frozen meals in the microwave or the oven. No, it’s not the healthiest option, but this is about the lesser of the two evils here!

Rebecca and Connor like to have pre-made stuffed chicken breasts in the freezer they can just pop in the oven and then eat with microwaved frozen veggies. It’s cheaper than buying individual frozen dinners (which can run $6 a person) and is just as filling, all while making it easier not to order in pizza when you just don’t feel like making dinner.

2. Don’t immediately jump to intense gym workouts

Often when we decide to get healthy that includes a very strict workout regiment.

And what happens? You go for a week and then, somehow, it’s 5 months later and you haven’t been once.

When we start working out or getting active it’s tempting to go all-out from the beginning. But what often happens is that we get really sore, or really tired because–frankly–going to the gym is often a big time commitment at inconvenient parts of the day!

What can work better is starting with focusing on increasing activity level in general through easy first steps. Just start taking walks as a family after dinner (or, better yet, if you’ve got teenagers or preteens, let the teens clean up after the meal while you and hubby get a quick walk around the block to reconnect and hold hands!). Start to go to bike trails once a week to just ride bikes or roller blade as a couple. It doesn’t need to be a “work out” when you’re starting–just get in the habit of being active through achievable, easy steps.

3. Instead of working out, join an activity

Take ballroom dancing lessons together, or join a rock climbing gym! Rebecca started doing highland dance in an adults class two years ago and can’t wait to get back after she’s recovered from having the baby!

Having activities instead of gym time can help those of us who don’t enjoy the gym stay active by turning it into a fun, social activity where you are learning new skills and can be proud of what you achieve. Seriously, even if it’s just bowling as a family that doesn’t burn a lot of calories, if it keeps you from sitting on the couch all night, it’s worth it!

4. Wear clothes that are structured

When trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, one of the most frustrating things is to step on the scale one day and realize that you gained 10 pounds and didn’t even realize it.

Solution? Wear tailored/structured clothes. It’s easy to gain weight and not notice if all you wear is yoga pants or sweats with loose tops! But if you’re wearing structured clothes like jeans and tailored shirts, at least occasionally, those extra pounds aren’t going to creep up in the same way and it’s easier to nip unhealthy habits in the bud.

5. Have a full length mirror

Similar to the tailored clothes tip, if you have a full-length mirror it’s easier to see when bad habits start taking a toll. This isn’t about standing in front of the mirror and pointing out all the bad things about our bodies–not at all! This is about deciding to become empowered about our health and giving ourselves the ability to notice potential issues while they’re still easy to nip in the bud.

6. Try meal plan kits like Hello Fresh

We’re not sponsored by Hello Fresh, we just really like them and use them ourselves! 🙂

Pretty much, if you order a Hello Fresh box it gives you all the ingredients and the recipes you need to cook the dishes you select earlier in the week. The ingredients are fresh, the meals are healthy, they whip up quickly, and they taste amazing. You pretty much get home-cooked gourmet food for not that much per person, especially when you consider the price of eating out even just at a cheap family-style restaurant.

What we’ve found is that having some healthy options sent to our door is a huge treat once in a while that breaks up the monotony of meal prepping and cooking. And also, if you have fancy meals you’re excited for that you have to cook this week sitting in your fridge, it’s really easy to skip the take-out!

If you want to give it a shot, you can use Rebecca’s code for $40 off (plus she’ll get some Hello Fresh credits, too) your first box. Again, we’re not sponsored by Hello Fresh–we just really like it and find it helpful when trying to transition to a healthier lifestyle!

7. Keep your kitchen clean

One of the biggest predictors of whether or not I will end up throwing in the towel and ordering in is whether or not my counters are clear.

Having a messy kitchen makes the already time-consuming task of cooking even more of a hurdle. If you want to make a big stir fry but the cutting boards are all dirty and you can’t see the counters due to dishes and clutter, you’ve got to clean for 20 minutes just to get to a point where cooking is even possible.

If you want to get healthy, make cleaning your kitchen a priority. It doesn’t need to be spotless–but it needs to be usable if you want to use it! You’d be surprised how much less of a burden cooking is when you have a clean kitchen ready.

8. Instead of changing your whole diet, swap one thing

It’s easy to go all-or-nothing with food. You want to get healthy, so you decide to go vegan/keto/paleo/low-carb. But often this can be overwhelming and when we “cheat,” we feel we’ve ruined our streak and it’s easy to fall back into old ways. Plus, many of these diets are not feasible long-term.

Instead of changing everything, look at where you have one area you could make a big change. A few years ago, Sheila swapped Diet Pepsi for iced tea and having that substitute instead of just quitting cold-turkey made it possible for her!

9. Work WITH your cravings not against

Here’s the thing with cravings: some people get cravings that go away if they ignore them for a while. If you’re that kind of person, don’t keep your cravings foods in the house! Don’t buy potato chips, don’t buy the ice cream, just keep them out of the house so that when the craving comes you can distract yourself and it isn’t just sitting there, ready to be eaten.

If you’re the kind of person, though, where the craving simply doesn’t go away and you get them to the point that you’re willing to get in the car, drive to the store, pick up the junk food, and then come home and eat it all, look for foods that can curb your craving but aren’t so unhealthy.

When Rebecca was cutting down on potato chips, for instance, she found having pickles in the house helped curb her salt cravings. Figure out if there’s anything that’s a healthier alternative that can curb the cravings that just don’t seem to quit and keep those on hand!

10. Consider intermittent fasting

Obvious disclaimer here: this is not medical advice. We are not medical professionals, and any major diet change should be discussed with your doctor.

Intermittent fasting has been a huge success in our family. Four different members are doing varying levels of fasting and it has made a big difference for all of them. If you’re really serious about getting healthy but you’re having a hard time shedding weight, do some research into intermittent fasting to figure out if it is an option for you. My mother (who lives with us) started first. She’s lost about 40 or 50 pounds, and looks awesome! Keith started next, and he’s dropped 30. I’ve done it off and on to get rid of the excess menopause weight. We do the Intermittent Day Fasting, where one day you eat normally, and the next day you restrict your diet to 500 calories (well, I do 600, but you’re supposed to do 500). That way your body never actually thinks that it’s in “fast” mode, so it doesn’t try to conserve fat, and so it doesn’t slow your metabolism down like dieting.

Other forms are to eat only between the hours of 11-7, to give your body time off of eating. That’s what we do to maintain the weight once we’ve lost it. Again, please talk to your doctor. But a lot of people are trying this with some success, and for my mother and Keith, anyway, it does seem sustainable over the long run.

11. Don’t focus on your “end weight”–focus on your “new normal” and take it in steps

The hard part about getting in shape is that if we lose a bunch of weight really quickly our bodies don’t always adjust as well as we would like them to.

If weight loss is a goal for you, instead of focusing on your ultimate end-goal, set mini goals for yourself and then take a break to work on maintaining your new weight. Focus on losing 5, 10, or 15 pounds at a time and then stay at that weight for a time so your metabolism can catch up to what you’re doing. As well, this will make it easier to build the kinds of habits you will need not just to lose the weight but to maintain a healthier weight long-term.

Severe calorie restriction in order to lose a bunch of weight quickly is not a healthy, long-term solution and doesn’t help you build those long-term habits. Instead, let’s focus on how to be healthy in smaller steps to ensure that the healthy decisions you are making stick with you long-term through adjusting our habits and lifestyles in along the journey!

So there you go–some ideas to help you get healthy that are doable for normal people. And getting healthy is going to help your sex life and marriage, too! So that’s our Bare Marriage marriage challenge for this week:

Bare Marriage Weekly Challenge

Start a healthy habit today!

Talk with your spouse and together choose one healthy habit you want to start together. Select one from the 11 above and write out 3 specific ways that you and your spouse will work to make it a habit in your home.

Have kids? Make at least one of those 3 action steps one that the kids are involved with! Kids need healthy lifestyles, too, and you as their parent can help equip them with simple tools to stay healthy!

What are some of your easy tips to help live a healthy lifestyle? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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38 Comments

  1. Becky

    The timing on this post is great for me! I basically haven’t bothered with healthy habits this year, since I’m the type who just can’t even deal with it when I’m nauseous, especially when it lasts a whole pregnancy! The baby is here now, though, so I’ve already decided that I’m going to resume wearing my fitness tracker again once I’m past my 6 week postpartum appointment. And my husband and I have already talked about trying to take the kids for some hikes this fall, which sounds much more appealing to me than trying to find time to go to the gym. (So not my thing.)

    Any suggestions for encouraging a spouse who is reluctant to change a health habit? My husband’s addicted to Coke, but lacks the motivation to quit, even after having to get a crazy number of cavities filled this past year as a result. It’s like a stress coping thing for him. He’s also been helping me with the grocery shopping more lately since I had weight lifting restrictions over the summer, and is currently on paternity leave, so my just not buying it hasn’t been working. I know there’s definitely worse things he could be into, but I wish that he’d cut back!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Lindenbach

      Congrats on little baby, Becky!!

      About the Coke thing, I had two thoughts:
      1. Would it motivate your husband to look at it from a financial perspective? Cavities are EXPENSIVE here in Canada, don’t know what it’s like or what your dental coverage is where you are! But if you calculate how much money is spent on Coke and dental care that otherwise wouldn’t happen, that may be a good kickstart! (I know that’s what helped me curb my unhealthy snacking habits–I put it into terms of “how much do I spend on this in a year” and it freaked me out)
      2. Might it help to put it in terms of healthy habits for your kids? It’s much easier to raise kids who don’t drink pop if you yourself don’t drink pop because then it’s just not around for kids to grab from the fridge.

      Those are my thoughts–anyone else have anything?

      Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        The big one to me is just not to have it in the house. Even if he has it when he’s out of the house, at least he wouldn’t have it at home, which would hopefully at least reduce intake?

        Reply
        • Lea

          I cut cokes out (except occasionally or as mixers) years ago and I basically started limiting it to once a week, and then kind of dropped them naturally.

          IDK if this will be true for your husband, but dropping cokes almost completely cured any heartburn I was having. (in addition to losing weight) That was a nice surprise.

          Reply
          • Sheila Wray Gregoire

            I quit Diet Pepsi and replaced it with iced tea. It was really difficult, but I feel so much better now. And now if I try to drink the stuff I immediately get the runs (sorry if that’s TMI!).

      • EM

        We have switched to sparkling water. It gives that same fizzy feeling as a soda but with no calories or sweeteners. Now I can barely stand soda it’s so sweet! I would have him try one and see what he thinks. I’m especially a fan of cherry flavor. It reminds me of cherry coke!

        Reply
        • Lea

          I drink mostly iced tea but this summer I started drinking lemonade mixed with club soda sometimes, which I highly recommend if you like the fiz!

          Reply
    • Lea

      My ex bought me a fitness watch and I was skeptical but have been amazed at how motivating it is! I’ve done 5k and 10k training this year using the programs on the watch.

      Reply
    • Mod

      Maybe you could motivate him by having a healthy drink option ready for him when he gets home for work?

      We’re not soda or typically even coffee drinkers and don’t even usually spend the money to keep any type of juice or drinks in the house , but I realized recently that my husband really loves drinks of different kinds and that it’s one thing I can do to make a more welcoming and fun home for him. So I made a goal to have some type of drink in the fridge or something I can make quick to welcome him when he gets home from work.

      Currently we’re really loving half 100% juice (can do grape, mixed fruit, pomegranate, or apple) with sparkling water. Buy small things of sparkling water if you can, so you can use just a bit at a time. And cheaper than buying just cans of flavored sparkling beverages.
      Have also done 100% strawberry juice with a little coconut milk and sparkling water. Sounds weird, but good.
      And keeping a pitcher in the fridge of a healthy version of iced coffee (I’ve been using a healthy coffee substitute called Dandy Blend), with coconut milk or other healthier creamer and honey or maple syrup for sweetening.

      Reply
    • unmowngrass

      I was also gonna suggest fizzy water, but I also love the idea of the jug of another healthy drink in the fridge. Or even a carton of chocolate milk, better than nothing!

      But honestly, I only found the strength to give up coke through praying about it. More specifically, praying that I would lose the taste for things that were bad for me, and coke being the biggest hitter on that list. It suddenly started tasting so much more acidic than it used to, bleurgh. So if that’s something you do yourself and then mention it in passing to hubby, it might go down well with him?

      Reply
    • Becky

      Thank you all for the suggestions! I think it’s going to be a slow process, because I learned at the grocery checkout yesterday that he sneaked another 2 liter into our cart while I was busy chasing down our toddler. 🙄 But I know I can become more diligent about brewing iced tea to have on hand, since he will drink that and the grocery store stuff he likes really isn’t much better on the sugar content. (And doesn’t deserve to be called tea, IMO, but I am admittedly a tea snob.)

      UnmownGrass, thank you particularly about the comment about praying about it. It’s sad that this is usually the last solution that I think of, when it should be first!

      Reply
  2. Active Mom

    As someone who has learned a lot in my journey with health and fitness I would like to add that I know a lot of women (and men) don’t like going to the gym. Women really don’t like to lift weights. I get it, it’s intimidating etc. however, the key to upping your metabolism is adding muscle. So, for all the women who don’t want to or can’t afford a gym just add some basic body weight lifts. You can do them throughout the day with or without babies running around. For example you could do ten pushups in the hallway every time you put your little one down for a nap. Do them on your knees. Do 10 body weight squats every time you swap out laundry. If you set a simple goal you will be amazed at how many you do by the end of the day. Those two exercises work a ton of muscles. You can do it without having to be on display in a gym. Do it on your pajamas etc. it doesn’t matter. But, you will get stronger and more toned and you will be helping your metabolism. It’s also a way of doing a small thing for you while still giving your little ones your all.

    Reply
    • Kacey

      I think a lot of women THINK they won’t like weightlifting, but it’s definitely worth trying. I don’t lift much anymore because a gym membership isn’t in the budget, but I always felt like I was accomplishing so much more than running on an elliptical or treadmill. It’s exciting to be able to put more weight on the bar! And you come to enjoy those muscle aches.

      Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        Oh, me, too! I like weights way better than cardio.

        Reply
    • MidwestWife

      Yes! Strength training was/is an answer to prayer, as someone who struggled and is prone to disordered eating patterns. It makes me hungry and forces me to eat and also provides a huge boost of confidence! Not to mention the myriad of health benefits strength training provides especially for women (namely osteoporosis). I have been strength training formally since I was 20 and through my first and so far only pregnancy and it has provided immense health benefits. From having chronically low blood pressure to having a ridiculously fast, smooth labor… I’m so thankful for strength training!

      For women who are intimidated- do what I did and look up a plan online (I think my first was by Jamie Eason?) and then just google the exercises each time at the gym. You’ll start to remember the moves and it’ll get quicker over time.

      Reply
      • EM

        I love doing weights too! I find the machines less intimidating than free weights where all the huge guys hang out. But during times when I have been consistent with it, I really do notice during my day that I feel stronger when I need to move things around the house. It helps keep my back issues at bay, too.

        Reply
  3. Nathan

    The clean kitchen is a good idea. That definitely helps us want to cook something at home instead of just going out.

    And the “out of sight, out of mind” plan works also. I often crave potato chips and ice cream, but if they aren’t around, it doesn’t bother me as much

    Reply
  4. Lea

    I hate frozen meals, but I usually try to keep one or two at work for days when I dont have lunch packed and dont feel like going out.

    I usually make a big batch of something at the beginning of the week and portion it out, which seems to work for me (single) unless I end up not loving it or something which is rare. I am experimenting with freezing a small portion of whatever I make (a couple weeks ago it was chili) to eat later.

    I have a bunch of active friends and its amazing how much they pull you into activities though! That has helped me with exercise and social time!

    Reply
  5. Karen

    Thanks for the practical tips! I’ve been hearing a lot about IF (and tried it for a week—but right before an interstate move so it didn’t last😂)…I think I’ll hop on again now that things are back to normal.

    Reply
  6. Jessica

    These are great! I’ve wanted to (needed to, really) lose 50+ lb since before my first baby was born 10 years ago and now that the baby factory is most likely closed and I’ve run out of excuses, I finally really got serious about it back in January when conveniently our insurance started offering this online program similar to Weight Watchers. Its advice is similar to what you’ve said here – small changes that can add up. I’ve finally managed to train my body to wake up early every day except Sunday to work out for 30 minutes, but it started with 15ish minutes 3ish days a week. I’ve done some good changes in my food intake but it was gradual, and it was a lot of “how can I make what I’m already making, more healthy”. And it’s worked! I’ve lost a little over 40 lb, most of it since this program, to which I give a hearty HURRAH. Only 20+ lb to go…

    Anyway, on #1 with frozen meals – you kind of alluded to freezer cooking, which IMO is huge for busy families, moms of littles, anyone who struggles to cook dinner every day. There are a million freezer-friendly meals out there and many of them can be put straight from freezer to oven and then oven to table in 45ish minutes. My family ate basically exclusively freezer dinners for about 4-5 years when my babies were tiny and cooking every night was too oppressive sounding. I don’t do it much at all now, but it was a life saver then. I would set aside a Saturday to prep 10ish meals, that would then be distributed among 30ish containers and that would usually last us about 2 months, with some various ready-to-eat options (frozen ravioli is one that we do a lot, frozen pizza, that sort of thing) and then some eating out in there also. Making a double batch of something and freezing half is something that I do sometimes now and also a great way to reduce cooking time and eating out time.

    As far as fitness – I found some pretty good workouts on Amazon Prime of all places, some group called Gymra has a bunch, and they’re on YouTube as well. Like anything, it takes some time to figure out what leader you find encouraging and not annoying, but now that I have my favorites, it’s an easy free (well, free after we’ve paid the internet bill and paid for Prime, but we were already doing both 🙂 ) way to get a decent workout. None of them are your Jillian Michaels Beachbody Extreme, but for people whose fitness level was “fitn’ess burger in my mouth” before, it’s a good place to start. 5 Below (a $5 and below store here) has light weights, yoga mats, and some other basic level fitness stuff. Good for when you’re starting out and you don’t know how much you will or won’t end up doing.

    I still don’t really like doing any of this stuff, but I love finally feeling like I’m making some progress in my weight and health, and seeing my clothes outgrow my body instead of the other way around is HUGELY motivating. Since adulting is just one long string of “I don’t like doing this thing but I like having done this thing”, I will continue doing the things I don’t like, so that I can have done the things that I like having done.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Thanks for sharing your story, Jessica! That’s really helpful. And I’m so excited about the Amazon Prime workouts. I’m going to check that out!

      Reply
  7. Ashley

    I’ve never had good success on “all or nothing” diets, such as keto. But I can do really well on Weight Watchers. I’m actually losing weight right now. If I can have an occasional burger or cookie, I don’t feel deprived, and keep going! It may not work for everyone, but that’s a big key for me.

    Reply
  8. Arwen

    These are such phenomenal easy to do tips that no one should find excuses not to do.

    When i had roommates we used to always go on walks after dinner which i ate at 5pm. Not only was it healthy but it helped me bond with my roommates, they always loved it.

    I’m healthy eater by nature because I’m very sensitive to food. When you have grown up eating organic food in your culture and then you come to America where so much of our food is processed trust me your body goes through a revolution. For the first few years i looked like an Auschwitz victim i was so underweight i went to the hospital because i just couldn’t eat any food. The meat tasted fake, i couldn’t understand why there was sugar in milk, my body would throw it all up, the veggies tasted fake too, etc. The first 5 years was a real struggle for me. Now my body i used to all.

    If i have sugar cravings it’s replaced by fruits, i really love fruit bowls! I have ONE unhealthy treat i indulge in and that is, Ghirardelli’s dark chocolate 72% Cacao. There are 12 pieces in the package and it takes me 3 months to eat it all! I eat 1 piece a week on Sunday’s at Church. Other than that it’s fruits, fruits, and more fruits.

    I don’t have any weight to lose because i only weight 90-95 lbs. at 4’11”. However, these are really good tips for those who do need to. They’re so practical, i’ll pass them on.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, we buy the Ghiardelli’s dark chocolate, too! I love it.

      I’ve noticed a difference in U.S. meat vs. our meat (here in Canada) as well. Keith and I were getting sick, and we noticed it especially with chicken breasts, which are very different from ours and seem to have more additives. So now we only shop at Whole Foods, whereas in Canada we shop at regular grocery stores (although I do buy my beef and lamb directly from farmers). I think there must be different food standards? We really did notice it when we went in our RV. We didn’t have trouble in Australia, though. That seemed pretty much like normal.

      I wonder if Americans notice a difference if they grocery shop in other countries?

      Reply
      • Arwen

        You noticed it too? Americans used to think my friends and i were bluffing because this all they knew. Yes, i also wonder if they notice the difference when they travel, i’ll have to ask one. And yup the chicken was something else. But i love chicken now. My body had to adjust! lol!

        Reply
        • EM

          Yes, we notice the difference when we travel. Which is why I want to travel as often as I can!

          Reply
  9. Arwen

    Also make your own recipe books of all your favorite meals you eat often or have eaten throughout your adult life. I have made my own using binders and printed them out. Every meal in the book is dived into either 30 minute meals or 1 hr. meals. No longer than that. I have always dived them into holiday meals, ethnic meals, healthy desserts vs. unhealthy desserts, lunches, dinners, breakfasts, drinks, etc.

    The blogosphere has been God sent for eating delicious, healthy meals on a budget! I love the recipe book i have created and can’t wait to carry it over into my future family. Make one it will save you so much on time and money.

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Yes to a recipe book or at least a recipe list! I have a file on my computer where I have a list of every meal that I’ve tried that we like. Many of them I don’t need a recipe for, I just know how to make it, some are on my Pinterest dinner board. I meal plan for the week on Sundays and then make my grocery list off of that, and consult this list when I need inspiration for the week. I do have a recipe binder but I don’t find I use it much.

      Reply
      • Arwen

        PERFECT! That’s exactly the way to do it. Meal planning and everything. I prefer tangible recipe book because i love touching things plus i can take it with me to friends & families because i usually end up being the cook. 😀

        Reply
  10. Cynthia

    I really need to lose 35 lbs so this post is useful!

    A few more suggestions:

    1. Plan physical activity time with your spouse or a friend.

    I’m basically lazy, but if I know that I have a class planned with someone, I will go instead of sleeping in. For me, classes are also more motivating and don’t let me be lazy at the gym. OrangeTheory has been working well for me, although years ago a running fitness class at the YMCA with a friend from work also did the trick.

    2. Build some activity into your regular life, even if you don’t “work out”.

    When I was living downtown, it was a 10 min. walk to the office, and a 10 min walk from there to court (I was a children’s aid lawyer and had court every afternoon). So, without meaning to work out, I was walking for an hour each day. I started to put on weight after I moved to the suburbs and no longer walked everywhere.

    3. Frozen fruits and veggies – no cleaning, no chopping and always available in just the right amount. I throw frozen brussel sprouts in with the chicken pieces when I roast them, and they are yummy cooked in the pan juices and marinade.

    4. A fun vegetable chopper – something like this: https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/vidalia-chop-wizard-trade/1014556052?categoryId=15273 It is actually fun to use and I can chop up a tomato and cucumber salad, or a fresh pico de gallo salsa, in no time.

    Reply
  11. E

    Great tips! In the exercise department, I like Sarah Beth Yoga on YouTube – she has HEAPS of 10-15min videos which is a great way to start/end your day with some gentle exercise. There are even ones to do in bed!

    The clean kitchen tip is great (as I survey the current mess that is my kitchen bench tops), also, packing a healthy lunch the night before instead of in the middle of the morning rush (if you are working)

    I’m one of those people who don’t just forget their cravings, one thing that has worked for me is to keep ‘snack sized’ items on hand (like a bag of fun size snickers bars in the outside freezer – it’s a bit of an effort to go and get one, it’s frozen so takes a bit of time, but I know it’s there if I REALLY want one). I have found that if I don’t have something like this around when the cravings hit, I eat about 10x the calories in other foods (peanut butter anyone?) trying to ‘hit the spot’.

    I really enjoyed the book Atomic Habits, it is full of practical ways to build the habits you want, and get rid of those you don’t. I’m a big believer in the principle behind the parable of the empty house – get rid of your demon and replace it with a good thing, otherwise you’ll end up with 7 more in its place!

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  12. Amanda H

    The only exercise that has worked for me is a trampoline/rebounder and I can’t recommend it enough! I got one small enough to keep inside so I have no excuse not to use it during bad weather. Walking is dangerous along our country road and I never stick to exercise programs! But I love jumping and so do my kids. 15 – 20 mins of jumping is a full body workout that is even more effective than running and less stressful on the joints and muscles. Google the benefits of trampoline workouts! Even NASA recommends it for their astronauts! 😀

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  13. Natalie

    Great advice!

    If I could sum all these up, I think they ultimate all boil down to mindfulness on a daily/hourly/minute-y basis… being mindful about that next bite you’re about to take, being mindful about how much exercise you’re getting (elevator or stairs, for example), being mindful about setting up a routine for yourself and sticking to it, being mindful about actually sticking to your routine and having integrity in your life and doing the things you say you want to or are going to do, etc. Another huge thing is being conscious of how your relationship with food is effecting your daily choices.

    Simply focusing on being mindful throughout his day and living with intention and not just floating through life willy-nilly is what’s made the most difference in my husband. At 6’0″ and 330-350 lbs on 01/01/2019 (it’s normal for him to fluctuate by about 20 lbs in any given month), he said he wanted to lose weight. He’s been saying that for years, but I could tell something new in him was changing. It wasn’t until this past August that he finally got to the point of making good on all his talk and actually doing something to lose the weight. He’s been sticking to his new way of eat (even when he’s not at home, which is a HUGE step for him!!! HUGE!), focusing on drinking 6L/day of plain water, and has been doing spin classes at home 5x/week and lifting weights on the weekends. He’s lost 25lbs since August 18th!
    (Side note: And since this is a sex blog, I’d also like y’all to know that him losing weight – even though what he’s lost so far is just a drop in the bucket compared to how far he has to go still – has SIGNIFICANTLY increased by desire for him. Seeing him determined to sticking to his routine & also just being more motivated in his personal life in general is SUCH a turn-on!!! Nothing is sexier to me – and many woman – than a man with ambition and drive and who takes initiative to get the things in life he wants!

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  14. unmowngrass

    I am a big believer that “healthy food is still healthy even if it comes with a dollop of unhealthy on the side”. So, like, still eat the ice cream. Just chuck some fruit on it instead of chocolate sauce and seeds instead of sprinkles (or both, lol). Still order a pizza, just go for the veg supreme. Even if you also get extra cheese.

    I am also a big believer in “focus on getting enough of the good stuff, and the bad stuff will delete itself”. There is a finite amount of food you can eat, after all! And “find your own limits”. I know they recommend 5 portions of fruit/veg a day; I have seen a noticeable increase in my energy levels when I hit 8. And I don’t really care for lettuce, but I’d eat spinach every day.

    Finally, convenience is key. Find ways to make healthy food a really really easy choice. Make a fruit salad and chop up a ton of veg sticks. Shred a load of cooked chicken, hard boil and de shell some eggs, cook some new potatoes to eat cold. Portion out your humus/dips, decant your olives/pickles. And then put all of this stuff at eye level in the fridge, in front of the stuff that takes loads of effort. Even if it’s healthy, if it takes loads of effort, chances are you’ll skip it and grab something else. Put the easy healthy stuff where you’ll see it first. A couple of hours of prep on a Sunday afternoon can be a fun family activity with the radio on, much more than having to leave the kitchen to get an apple from the sideboard in the dining room to go back to the kitchen and dirty a knife, chopping board and plate in order to eat it. (Yes I ~could~just eat an apple without slicing it up, but realistically I’m not going to…)

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  15. Eps

    Maybe it’s crazy idea…. but given I love cooking, one of the things we did to get healthy was to make all our treat foods from scratch and with a healthier ingredients. So I learnt how to make chocolate sweetened with honey, how to make date caramel, how to make cashew fruit cheesecakes, icecream from scratch, baking with hazelnut meal, coconut flour lamingtons etc. Cause we had to make it ourselves, we we either rationed it, ior binged and then had big gaps of time between making it cause it was more effort.

    So now, while I still eat treat food (and sometimes buy it again)… I know how to make sooooo many things much healthier, my tastebuds have changed to prefer this (I rarely enjoy conventional store bought treats anywhere near as much).

    Bonus is I can cook for lots of different allergies too without worrying (though my house doesn’t have any). Gf, vegan, dairy free, etc is not too much of a challenge.

    So. Much. Yum.
    And so much better for our health, not just waistlines!

    And for those who also have pathetically competitive family… after we had baby #2 I got a Fitbit and each month a group of close friends and family have a different Fitbit challenge. We change the prizes and competition every month and it’s amazing how much motivation a $10 prize and bragging rights gives us (and it’s way cheaper than gym membership).

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  16. Gemma

    Thanks for doing a post about health that really isn’t guilt inducing 🙂

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      You’re welcome!

      Reply
  17. Melanie

    Finding fun ways to get more active together with your spouse gets the good feels going as well. Couples who exercise together often have increased feelings of attraction and closeness as a result. *smile

    Thanks for another great article! You are an inspiration!

    Reply

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