I believe that living a truly healthy lifestyle isn’t possible without a great deal of flexibility. This applies to nutrition, exercise and much more. And no, I am not referring to physical flexibility, though that is definitely important and something to practice! (Perhaps a future B.E. Healthy topic?) This kind of flexibility is more of an anti-perfection lifestyle approach.
Let’s face it, having a “perfect” diet 100% of the time is not going to happen. There will always be birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, vacations and celebrations of all sorts. The way I see it, you have two options:
- Never celebrate a holiday or birthday ever again (ha!).
- Learn to be flexible during these times. Enjoy yourself and make a healthier choice for the next meal or the next day.
I don’t know about you, but I think the second option sounds a bit more appealing and sustainable long term. Not to mention, how miserable would life be without celebrations? Contrary to belief, you aren’t going to gain a ton of weight by enjoying one awesome birthday dinner or having an extra dessert on Valentine’s Day. This weight is typically gained by back-to-back-to-back overindulgent choices. Maybe you celebrate your birthday a few days early with co-workers and that birthday “celebration” continues for the next week with several unhealthy choices each day.
Working out 4-6 days a week is great! But is it going to happen every single week? Absolutely not. Let’s look at a scenario and a few options of how to handle it.
You work out in the evenings and have a busy week ahead – an after-hours business meeting one evening and a birthday dinner for a friend another night. So you are missing HALF of your workouts for the week!
Option A: Say forget it and skip your workouts for the rest of the week, too. Why bother?!
Option B: Go into panic mode. Give your friend a lame excuse as to why you can’t make her birthday dinner. Now at least you are only missing ONE workout this week.
Option C: Enjoy your work event, enjoy your friend’s birthday dinner and go to your two workouts the other two nights of the week you didn’t have conflicts. If you have time, maybe you squeeze in a morning workout or a quick at-home workout one day this week and, if you don’t, no worries! It’s not the end of the world.
It seems silly when you read it like this; option C is the obvious choice to be made here! However, it can be a challenge to make this your reality. I have been guilty of choosing option A and (embarrassingly) option B as well.
If you have been dedicated to working out (or training if you read last months BE Healthy!), I can assure you that missing a few workouts here and there is not going to undo all of your hard work. The only way all that hard work can be undone is by skipping workouts for weeks at a time –especially when you combine that with lots of unhealthy nutrition decisions.
Bottom line? Do the best you can with your nutrition choices and with your training, and know that achieving perfection isn’t going to happen. Striving for perfection is exhausting (trust me, I know!) and your efforts can better be spent enjoying life with a flexibility mindset.