I would say that one of my mantras is that each person has a different definition of healthy. What you deem to be healthy for you and your body might not be what I deem healthy for me and my body. That’s what makes health so great and unique. It’s not just a cookie cutter diet or lifestyle where everyone eats or does the same thing. That would be boring! For some reason though, the idea that one persons healthy might not be anothers causes a lot of problems among the health world. There are some people who believe that the way they choose to live is the ONLY way to be healthy and everyone else is doing it wrong. This of course sparks sometimes vicious debates and causes some disrespect between people with different lifestyles when there is really no need. It’s ok to be different and have different goals and want different things health wise. It’s also ok for those goals and ideas to evolve and change over time, which is something I struggled with a bit.
I have always believed that it is ok to have a different idea of health from other people, but I haven’t always been as receptive to having my own personal ideals change or evolve. I thought that I had to do the exact same thing and eat the exact same way as I had when I first made the decision to be healthier. Why would I change? This is what had worked for me in the beginning, and if it ain’t broke don’t fix it right? Well, yes and no. To a certain extent you need to keep things the same. It isn’t good or healthy to constantly be changing things week to week or day to day. Your body needs a certain amount of time to adjust to things before you start to see results. That’s one of the problems people have today. If they don’t see immediate results from an exercise routine or a diet change, then obviously it isn’t working and they have to do something different. No, you just need to give yourself a fair amount of time to see the change. But on the other hand, what has worked for you in the past might not always work for you in the future.
Your body is a magnificent machine. I don’t mean that we’re all robots, but that there are so many complex processes and functions that your body has to go through to do certain tasks, that it really is an amazing machine. From the tiniest thing, like blinking, to the largest thing, like digesting a whole meal, your body is a wonderful system, and it likes to be efficient. Your body wants to accomplish its tasks with the least amount of energy spent, it’s kind of lazy that way. So in terms of exercise, beginners will experience a higher amount of energy expenditure running a mile than a seasoned marathoner. As you run more and more, your body will adapt and become more efficient. This isn’t a bad thing, becoming more efficient is what makes running, or whatever exercise you’re doing, seem easier. But that also means that you will need to find new ways to challenge your body. Crosstraining (doing different types of exercise different days) is one way to do this, as is HIIT or high intensity interval training.
This idea also goes for food. If you have been consuming a certain amount of calories for years and suddenly cut that number down, you are going to experience weight loss. Your body essentially will be shocked by this sudden change, but not for long. It will start to adapt to that new calorie intake and adjust accordingly. Again, this isn’t a bad thing. It’s good that your body responds to things like dietary intake, but you need to be aware of this and be able to change with it. Meaning, what has worked in the past might not always work in the future. Varying your diet and the way you eat is a good practice anyway. You want to make sure you consume a variety of foods to make sure that you are getting all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that you need to function. That’s another reason that I support a whole foods diet rather than fad diets. You can’t go wrong with real foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in their simplest forms.
When I first realized I would have to adapt and change with my body as it got more efficient, I resisted. I tend to not like change and love a routine. It helps me feel organized and in control. I also worried that people would think I was being wishy-washy with my health. I thought they would think I was just jumping on another health band wagon and going with the flow. But being resistant to change wasn’t doing any favors for my health and worrying about what others think never does any good. If I wanted to keep with the progress I was making, I would have to change. Not huge major changes, but little tweaks and adjustments as I went along. Once I stopped fighting it, I realized having those little adjustments made things more fun. I could start to experiment with different recipes and branch out and see what I could come up with. I could challenge my body and see how strong it was and try new exercises. And I surprised myself, I could do more than I thought I was capable of. Seeing how far along I was helped spur me along even more.
Don’t be too resistant to change. When you start to see a stall in your health or you’re feeling stuck in a rut, don’t be afraid to try something new. Don’t worry about what others might think. They aren’t you and they don’t know what your body needs. Be confident in your decisions and do what you need to do to be the healthiest you!