I've been there. I've been so disoriented that I tried to get by eating just a bowl of cereal and some bell peppers each day. I've also been so out of touch with my hunger signals that I sat at home at night finishing off boxes of cookies.
I've been 30 pounds underweight and 30 pounds over weight. I've wanted to make changes but been so scared or depressed that I didn't know where to start.
What finally did it? Not to sound trite, but diet and exercise. I gave up the low-fat yogurts and frozen meals and started eating whole grains and healthy fats. I stopped reading magazines on the elliptical and started challenging myself with longer runs and lifting weights. Basically I stopped phoning in my healthy living and started, well, living healthy.
It's not a quick fix. It's not just a few months and then you can go back to your fast food and couch sitting. It's not a pill that speeds up your metabolism while you continue to ignore your nutrition. It's not 8-minute abs.
If you truly want to change the way you feel, look, and live, it has to be a lifestyle. It has to be something you commit to for the rest of your life because you want to be HEALTHY, not just skinny. That doesn't mean it can't include chocolate and drinks with friends, but it does mean that the next day you need to get your butt back in gear with a little sweat session and some vegetables. There's a balance, but it should ultimately tip towards the leafy green side of the scale.
I'm not going to lie to you and say it's easy. That's what celebrities are for. I will tell you that once you give it a few months and recognize how freaking great you feel you won't ever want to go back to your daily sugar comas and weeks without exercise. I might be a little on the health-nut side of things, but I do truly believe that eating well and exercising will improve your quality of life.
Better sleep. Improved concentration. More energy. Smooth skin. All that stuff they tell you in magazines...it's true. When you treat your body well it treats you well right back.
I'm also not going to tell you to do it at all at once. Setting too many goals at one time is a recipe for failure. Instead try a few different things each week. First cut back on your sugar and try to get to sleep 30 minutes earlier. Once you have that down, switch to whole grains and walk for a few minutes every day. Slowly you'll accumulate so many new habits that you won't even realize health has become a lifestyle. You'll lose that extra weight you've been carrying and not think twice about setting your alarm for that early morning exercise. You'll be one of those "healthy people" you always wanted to be.
You owe it to yourself and you're worth it.
Clare Brady is a Healthy Living Blogger currently living in Dallas, Texas but originally from St. Louis, Missouri. On her blog, Fitting It All In, Clare shares her experiences with living a healthy lifestyle while balancing a busy schedule. Currently she is working full-time as advertising account executive, seeing clients as a Certified Holistic Health Coach, exercising often, cooking as much as possible, and making sure to spend time with friends. You can find Clare on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.