INTRO: tell us why being healthy and fit is important to you.
I spent so much of my young adult (i.e. teens and early twenties) being unhealthy; now that I feel like I’m finally in the healthy stage, I really don’t want to go back. I feel so much better now. It’s amazing how putting the right things in your body really does make a difference. Real food > processed food. Getting in regular exercise, even something as simple as taking a walk, makes such a difference too, in my mood and energy levels. I feel stronger when I’m working out on a consistent basis.
Now that I am living a healthier lifestyle, I know that it’s going to have benefits my whole life. Eventually, I want to have children and I want to model what healthy living is; I want to set that positive example from early on in life.
Ultimately, being healthy and fit has made me happier and more confident.
Question 1: Do you ever feel like you are alone in your fitness efforts?
Very rarely. My family and friends have been so supportive of me, especially when I make big goals like long races (such as May’s 25K or the upcoming half marathon). They encourage me when I’m struggling, and even show up at the finish line to cheer me on! Since discovering the healthy living blogworld, I have found support in that as well, whether it’s comments on my posts or on Twitter. When I’m feeling discouraged, there is always someone there to pick me up again!
Question 1.1: Taking a cue from @healthyashley, could you be with someone who didn’t share your same fitness goals?
I think to some extent, yes. I don’t expect the person I’m dating or a future spouse to want to run marathons or be vegetarian. But, I think that having at least some mutual interest in a healthy and fit lifestyle is important. I think it would be a struggle to be with someone who is never active and eats primarily junk/processed food. The support that comes from that close relationship is so important.
Question 2: Do you ever feel pressured to fall into those unhealthy habits at work or with a spouse/a friend?
I don’t know that I feel necessarily pressured, but sometimes it is hard to try and be healthy when the people around me aren’t. The hardest place for me is at work because there is almost always some kind of baked good lying around. My family and friends are (mostly) supportive and let me do my thing.
Question 2.1: How do you combat that pressure? Are you gentle with others? How are your healthy habits perceived?
Most of the time, I just ignore it and remember I’m doing this for me, not for anyone else. I think that I am usually gentle about it, but sometimes it’s hard. Some of my family tends to make jokes about my being vegetarian and that can get really old after awhile. How my habits are perceived really depends on who you’re talking to. One of my good friends calls me her little hippie, which she means in nothing but a positive way. I am a hippie and I’m okay with that.
Question 3: How do you go about finding like minded people like workout partners/weight loss buddies in real life?
This has been a tough one. I have one friend that I run with on occasion. We ran the 25K together, so we would do some of the long runs together during training. One of my sister’s has been my weight loss “buddy” through this whole journey. She and I started Weight Watchers together and even now, we still have our Thursday morning phone call to check in, and it’s been almost four years!
Question 4: Do you think it is “healthy” to veer from clean eating/consistent exercise sometimes?
I think it’s not only healthy, it’s completely necessary. Sometimes a girl just needs a cupcake! I’ve found that what works best for me is to allow myself a little something sweet every day. By having that one indulgence, it has kept me from breaking down and completely binging somewhere down the road. I’ve been having a hard time lately developing a consistent exercise pattern, but despite that, I do think that it’s crucial to have a day or two every week to let your body rest and recuperate.
Question 4.1: How do you maintain that “balance” of not being perfect and not totally falling off the wagon?
It’s all about moderation for me. And, if there is a day where I completely fall off the wagon, making a conscious effort the next day to get myself back on track. If I let it turn into two days, it gets easier to let it be three, then four, and so on.
Question 4.2: Do you dwell on your “mishaps” all day or do you get over it right away?
It depends on the day and I really think it depends on what mindset I’m in. It can be easy to dwell on it, but I’m learning more and more that it’s okay to indulge once in awhile.
Question 4.3: Is it the same when you miss a workout? Do you just carry on with your next workout? Or do you continue to feel guilty?
In times like right now, where I have a fairly inconsistent exercise routine, I find it almost necessary to give myself a hard time about it. It gets me going again. When it comes to exercise, though, I have to remember that real life stuff happens. I get sick (like right now), work/professional development events come up, etc. I have to go with the flow.