Secret Confession Of A Health And Food Blogger

Friday night.  The weekend is finally here and I’ve finished dinner and I’m vegging on the couch watching Netflix.  I know, I’m pretty much a wild and crazy party animal.  I’m not quite ready to go to bed yet, I stay up like an hour past my bedtime on the weekends which is usually 9:30.  Again, party animal.

And it happens.

That little nagging voice in the back of my head.  You want to eat something, Katie.  You want to munch on something  salty, crunchy, sweet, whatever you can get your hands on.  You want to keep reaching your hand into the bowl or bag or whatever large vessel you can fill.  You want to keep eating even though you’re not really hungry, you’re just bored. Secret Confession Of A Health And Food Blogger | Life Healthfully Lived

Every weekend is the same routine.  I know it’s coming.  I know exactly what will happen.  I’ll pretend like I can’t hear that annoying little voice, but I know I will eventually give in.  Because I don’t have any control over this situation.  I have no power here.  I’m stuck and always will be.


Nope.  That is so not true.  I’ve tricked myself into thinking that I can’t beat this habit.  That it is somehow a part of my being, the way I am put together, and there is no fighting it.  It is so much easier to stay stuck and feign that I’m weak against that little voice.  That voice that is really just me.

I’ve gotten into the habit of telling others that they have the motivation and willpower they need to overcome situations like this when it comes to their health.  But I’ve somehow convinced myself it doesn’t apply to me.  Pot calling the kettle black much?Secret Confession Of A Health And Food Blogger | Life Healthfully Lived

I can say no.  I have total control over my own thoughts and feelings and emotions.  I know this because I have done it before.  There are days when I lack the motivation to go for a run or workout just because I’m lazy.  But I’m able to power through those roadblocks and do what I know is best for me.  So I know this isn’t a problem of not being able to exert control over my bad habits.

It’s me being a whiny baby and not WANTING to change.  Some weird part of me finds comfort in those late night binges.  It’s a way to be that person I was so many years ago when my whole day was a binge of unhealthy food.

I’ve talked before about how change is scary and hard for me, but it’s something I should embrace.  I’ve talked about how motivation is something that has to be renewed every day.  Well, it’s time to stop just talking about it and actually do it.  Because I’m tired of letting a little voice control a part of me.  A bad habit doesn’t get to dictate what I do.Secret Confession Of A Health And Food Blogger | Life Healthfully Lived

So there it is out in the open.  My little secret, my stuck-in-a-rut problem for everyone to see.  Sure, it’s a little nerve-wracking to share it with the whole internet, but I know I’m not the only one who struggles with things like this.  I’m human and even though health and food and all that is “my thing” I still have setbacks and things to work on.  I probably always will, but it’s better to face them with the help and support of others rather than alone late at night.

Maybe this post can spark something in one of you.  Maybe it can help change the habit you know is a problem that you’ve told yourself you can’t fix.Secret Confession Of A Health And Food Blogger | Life Healthfully Lived

You can.  Of course you can.  I can too.


The Holiday Cycle

holiday-eating-caution-signThursday officially kicked off the holiday season.  It’s also the start of the season of eating and tips, posts, and articles about how to avoid gaining weight or overeating during the holidays.  I’ve even written a few posts like that in the past, but this year I am going to take a different approach.  I’m going to tell you to take a deep breath and just relax.

Believe me, I know just how tough it is to do that this time of year.  It feels like there is food everywhere you look and parties every weekend and it’s almost like you are just eating every single second of the day.  All of these things contribute to an already stressful time.  You feel guilty with every cookie you eat, yet you can’t stop eating those cookies.  You try to eat well in between those parties just to offset the binge that is inevitably going to happen. It’s all a huge, guilty, vicious cycle and no one looks forward to that.



This is why I am going to take a different approach to the holiday eating season this year.  I am not going to worry about every single piece of food that passes my lips.  I don’t want to be spending the most wonderful time of the year thinking about food I have eaten, or shouldn’t have eaten, or won’t eat.  Adding more stress to my life is not going to help my health in any way, so I am going to do my best to keep calm.

This doesn’t mean that I am going to go hog wild with food.  I’m still going to eat real, whole foods and limit my sugar intake.  My meals won’t look much different than normal.  I’m still going to exercise regularly and go about my days like I normally do, but I am not going to sweat the holiday treats.  After years of punishing myself for being “bad” during the holidays, I have learned that it isn’t one meal or treat that will undo all my hard work.  It is what I do day in and day out that will affect my health.  Worrying over food will also affect my health in a negative way.


You can do it too.  Maybe you have spent many a family gathering eyeing all the delicious food and forcing yourself to sit miserably on the sidelines eating carrot sticks.  Or maybe you load up your plate and stuff yourself full of your off-limit foods and immediately regret the massive food baby you currently have.  You don’t have to let something like food have so much control over your life.  Go into this holiday season with that mindset; food does not control you.  Know that one meal doesn’t make you unhealthy and one party isn’t going to ruin your progress.  You can still enjoy yourself and not feel guilty about eating.  Like I said before, take a deep breath and just relax.  Focus on all the other things that are going on during this season and trust yourself to do what is best for you.  You’re stronger than you think!

Be as confident as this cat :)

Be as confident as this cat 🙂

I hope you all had a great start to the holidays and that you have an awesome week!

Your Words

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.  We’ve all heard it, we all try to believe it, but if we’re really honest with ourselves, we know it isn’t true.  Words can hurt.  Once you say something, it’s out there forever and you can’t take it back no matter how hard you try.  You can try to let words bounce off of you and pretend that they have no effect, but after awhile they can start to wear away at you.  Your strong exterior starts to crack and hurtful words seems to slip right through those chinks in your armor.  For some, it might feel like the sticks and stones would be better than the words.  We can’t control what other people will say about or to us, but we do have the power to control our own words.

Today’s post isn’t a lecture about watching your words and being careful what you say.  I want you to think about the words and things you say about yourself.  When we talk about words, it’s often in regards to what you’re saying about those around you.  We don’t spend much time thinking about the words we use to describe ourselves.  We don’t think about the things that we say to ourselves day in and day out and we really don’t think about the consequences of those words.  Take a moment, what are the words you use about yourself?


Lazy.  Self-conscious.  Nonathletic.  Over-eater.  No willpower.  Failure.  Those were words that I often used in the lowest moments to describe myself.  I was always negative and had a hard time seeing any positive when it felt like I had failed for the millionth time.  High school was a rough time for me self image wise and in my quest to try and be like everyone else I constantly put myself down.  I was my own worst enemy because by using all those negative words I was only hurting myself.  How could I succeed when I couldn’t even talk well about myself?  While my self-esteem got better as I got older, I would still find myself talking negatively to myself.  If I felt tired during a workout, it was because I was being lazy and unmotivated.  If I ate something I deemed bad, it was because I had no willpower.  I failed to see all the good things that I was doing.  Sure, I could fake being proud of myself sometimes but there was always something I could be doing better at and I zeroed in on the negative.  I had trained my brain to only talk trash about my body.


Sound familiar?  Like I said, words can hurt, especially the words we say to ourselves.  With each jab and insult we say to ourselves, we’re only hindering our progress.  Maybe you believe that you need to be tough on yourself or else you won’t see any results.  I fully believe that there are times that we need to push ourselves but it should never be at the sake of talking smack.  You wouldn’t call your best friends a loser for missing a workout, why in the world would you use that same word for yourself?  Words are powerful and we need to start using them to our advantage.  If you call yourself strong, you have a much better chance of feeling stronger and getting stronger.  If you call yourself motivated, you can bet you are going to feel more motivated.

The words that come out of your mouth can either pick you up or bring you down.  Stop beating yourself up with your words, it’s unacceptable.  We all have flaws and more often than not we are very aware of what those flaws are.  There is no need to constantly voice your problems to yourself over and over again because it will get you no where.  You will just feel worse than before and are more likely to give up.  If you can’t even talk nice to yourself, what’s the point.  You deserve to be talked highly of and you are worthy of good words.  Will you always be perfect and feel worthy of those words?  No, but it’s in those times of struggle that you need those uplifting words the most.  Today, start letting positive words enter your vocabulary.  Use your powerful words to make yourself better and to keep moving you forward.  Be your biggest cheerleader and watch how your outlook and life can change.


Unhealthy Is Hard

About a month ago, I wrote about how it was hard to be healthy.  It takes a lot of willpower, motivation, and just plain old work sometimes to be healthier.  This post is about the being unhealthy and how it can be just as hard to be unhealthy as it is to be healthy.  Stick with me on this one, I promise it will be alright in the end!

The first thought that might cross your mind when you read that unhealthy is hard is, “Yeah, right”.  When you glance at the surface of being unhealthy, it looks pretty easy.  You eat whatever you want without caring about the effect it will have on your body.  You don’t exercise and spend your free time sitting on the couch or computer.  You don’t have to sit there and plan our meals and do prep work so you can eat well the whole week.  In fact, it seems really nice and carefree to be unhealthy.  But like I said, that is just the surface.  When you really look at an unhealthy life, you see the challenges and the struggles.

For me, one of the hardest things about being unhealthy was my confidence and self image.  I had zero confidence and my self image was fairly low.  My goal in life was to blend in and in a large crowd, I was good at that.  Sure, with my friends and family I was outgoing and personable, but put me in a room with a bunch of people I don’t know and I tend to blend right into the woodwork.  I knew that I was overweight and didn’t look good and wasn’t eating healthy.  Because of that, I also thought that everyone else thought the exact same thing about me.  I figured that they took one look at me and knew how unhealthy I was and judged me as a lazy person.  I realize now that probably wasn’t true, but at the time that is how I felt.  Due to my natural inclination to fade into the background of most situations, it was really hard for me to finally break out of my shell and take steps to be healthier.  Working out in front of other people terrified me because of course they were all watching me sweat and struggle.  Making healthier food choices was worrisome because they might take notice that I was eating better and then start talking to me about it and I would have no idea what to say.  These may sound like silly struggles to you, but for some of us this is really difficult.  It seems easier to just stay in our shell and live with being unhealthy than try to take on the monumental task of taking steps to be healthier.


Which leads to another challenge of being unhealthy, the whole aspect of, well, being unhealthy.  It is hard to deal with all the consequences of unhealthy choices.  There are the medical consequences, things like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and a myriad of other ailments.  There are the physical consequences, such as not fitting into clothes, aching joints, and weak muscles.  There are the mental consequences, being made fun of or put down because of your weight, not feeling or looking like you want to, and being judged by others around you.  Those are a lot of struggles for one person to take on and some people have been doing it for years.  That is a lot of stress.

Why don’t they just change?  If you’re unhealthy, just do something about it.  Sure, it might be hard to live with all of those challenges, but it’s within their power to turn their lives around.  To a degree, yes.  Many of us do have the capacity to “fix” all these problems ourselves and start being healthier.  But it takes a lot to get to that point.  No amount of other people telling you to get healthy can actually make you get healthy until you reach the point where YOU yourself want to get healthy.  The other side is that sometimes when you’re on the outside looking in, you can be made to feel like you don’t belong.  How many times have you seen someone who is clearly struggling at the gym?  You’re running along at your solid pace and the person next to you is sweating to maintain a brisk walk.  You’re flying through your reps while the guy on the next machine can barely do one.  I’m not saying that healthy people shouldn’t work out in public, but they need to remember that they started at the bottom too.  Don’t forget what it was like your first time working out and show a little compassion to others who are just starting.


The same goes for eating.  You didn’t just instantly start eating kale salads with homemade dressing one day, you built yourself up to that point.  Slowly making changes and evolving the way you eat.  Don’t judge the person eating a huge cheeseburger with the tiny side salad.  That might be the first time they decided to get a salad instead of fries and that is a big deal to them.

Life is hard, whether you live it in a healthy or unhealthy way.  There are challenges that each lifestyle has to face and neither one should feel diminished because of those challenges.  It takes courage to stand up and decide to change your habits and start being healthier.  It takes strength and motivation to keep going on a better path when there are temptations all along the way.  I want you to realize that each choice you make, good or bad, is unique in it’s own way.  It will present it’s own set of struggles, but you can meet those struggles head on.  If you are still on the unhealthy side of the tracks, believe in your potential and don’t be afraid to take that first step.  For those of you on the other side of the tracks, you’ve come so far and you can keep going.  It may be tough, but you are tougher.


Staying Power

There are many steps when it comes to leading a healthier lifestyle.  First, you have to actually want to make that choice.  No matter how many people tell you that you need to change, if you are not willing to change then nothing will happen.  Then you have to figure out how you want to change, what you are going to do, and then actually put it into practice.  Along the way there will be a million other little steps and choices that will make up your healthy journey.  At many points during this process, it is very likely that you will be met with challenges and possibly even failure.  I’ve talked about failure before and it doesn’t have to be your undoing.  I’ve also talked about the desire as well as the motivation to change.  Today, I want to talk about maintaining your choices for the long haul.  What happens once you have done everything else and want to keep living healthy for the long haul?


It’s very common, and helpful, to have goals when you decide to start being healthy.  Whether that is to exercise more, eat better, lose weight, or even just relax more, it is good to have something to work towards.  Not many people plan for what they’re going to do once they reach that goal.  For the longest time, I just wanted to lose weight.  That was my ultimate goal.  Some days I had a set amount that I wanted to lose, other times I just wanted to lose something.  I never really thought about what would happen once I reached that goal, in part because I never seemed to reach that goal.  I would lose a little, then gain it back.  Start eating better, then quickly fall off the wagon.  Get on an exercise schedule for a few weeks, then start making excuses to skip.  The whole see saw of good and bad that a lot of people go through when they decide to be healthier.  After years of the teeter-tottering back and forth, I finally got my act together and made the commitment, not to just lose weight, but to be healthier and feel good.  After a good amount of dedication (and my fair share of sweat and tears), I reached that goal.  I felt awesome and proud and… what do I do now?

I had focused for so long on the end prize that I never really thought about what to do after that.  I knew that I couldn’t just go back to what I did before, a mistake that many people make.  They think that once they get what they want they can just go back to living their “regular” lives.  The problem with that logic is that often, their “regular” lives are what got them to unhealthy place that they were.  Knowing that I couldn’t go back, I slowly began to realize that my lifestyle was forever, and that scared me.  I began to panic and worry that I couldn’t keep this up for the rest of my life.  Could I really keep myself healthy for the next month let alone the next 50 years?  When you are working towards small goals, it doesn’t seem as daunting.  That’s why it’s good to make small and manageable goals.  You won’t feel overwhelmed by having to completely overhaul the way you eat if you just work to change a few meals a day.  It doesn’t seem as scary to just lose 5 pounds in two weeks compared to losing 100 pounds total.  But now that I had reached my goal, I had the seemingly big and scary goal of maintaining this for the rest of my life.

Maybe you have reached that point in your journey.  You have managed all the little goals that have added up to your ultimate goal and you’re now faced with the unknown.  What do you do now?  Take a deep breath and don’t worry.  Once I got over my initial panic, I started to think of how I could handle this new challenge.  I thought of all that I had accomplished, and realized it was a lot.  I could handle a lot of things, challenging things, and come out on top.  I had just proven that to myself.  I didn’t get healthier overnight, in fact it took a few years to get to a good place.  If I could do that, surely I could handle the rest of my life.  Building on that confidence, I also realized that I could still set small goals to work towards and not look at this new part of my journey as a huge chunk aka the rest of my life.  I could still break it down into small and manageable pieces.  My new goals would just look different than my other goals.  Try new healthy meals, train for a longer race, buy one new workout DVD a month, there were still plenty of things to work for.


The truth is, if you want to be healthier and feel good, you’re going to have to be in it for the long haul.  You can’t just decide to be healthy for a month and then expect to reap the benefits forever, that’s ridiculous.  But you don’t have to be intimidated by forever.  Continue to set goals for yourself.  While the goal might not be to lose weight or start making healthier choices, there are still things for you to accomplish.  Be empowered by the fact that you have reached a major goal and use that feeling to keep going.  Journeys aren’t short things.  They’re long and they’re lasting.  Your health is a journey, one that I know you can excel and thrive at.  Meet your challenges head on like you have from the beginning and you will do just fine.