Long-Term Lifestyle Change

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A friend of mine sent me a post yesterday from the Odyssey online, An Open Letter to the Girl Trying to Get Healthy Again. In a nutshell it describes how I feel sometimes about fitness and food. Check it out: To the Girl Trying to Get Healthy Again.

When it comes to eating and working out, I try to make the right choice. I’ll walk to work instead of drive, do a circuit workout, or go for a run. I try to swap unhealthy snacks with healthier options. I’m that girl who’s eating carrots while the person next to me is eating a Big Mac. It happened yesterday, it really did. I was at work eating grapes, very sour might I add, while one of my students was eating bread sticks and french fries. Come on! Do you know how tempting that is?

Something that I’ve noticed recently, over the last couple of  years, as I’ve experimented with eliminating meat and dairy from my diet is how different my body feels. Notice that I said feels, not looks. Trust me, my body looks the same as it did my freshman year of college. But I’ve started to notice how sluggish my body feels after I eat something that’s fried, loaded with cheese, or just plain unhealthy. My stomach becomes irritated and bloated, I get frequent headaches, and my attitude is just plain crabby. This doesn’t mean I don’t indulge from time to time; Oreos (yes they’re vegan) and peanut butter are two of my guilty pleasures.

I might not always see the external changes as quickly as I’d like, but I’m thankful for the changes happening internally. I spend a lot more time reading labels and buying fresh ingredients.I pay more attention to making sure that I’m eating because I’m hungry and not because I’m bored (I still stress eat more often than I’d like to admit). I might not ever look at a scale and see the number that I want, but at least I know my insides will be healthy.

It’s not a short-term diet, it’s a long-term lifestyle change. Baby steps.

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