A Guide to Radiant Living - Where Wellness Meets Wonder

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

New Year, New You: How to Stay Fit and Fabulous (Without Giving Up Pizza)

Photo by Peter Bravo de los Rios on Unsplash
Ah, the familiar refrain of "New Year, New You!" We all know it well. It's the echo bouncing off the gym walls, the mantra written in bold across our diaries, the promise we make to ourselves as the clock strikes midnight on December 31st. And yet, amidst the sea of resolve and ambition, there's a slice of reality we can't ignore: pizza is life.

Okay, maybe that's a bit exaggerated. But the point remains, we love our pizza or cake or $5 Biggie Bag (if you know, you know😉). And why should we have to give it up in the name of fitness? The good news is, we don't have to. This blog post is devoted to showing you how you can maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle without bidding adieu to your beloved pizza. So, grab a slice (or two), sit back, and get ready to embark on your wellness journey without letting go of your favorite indulgence.

Setting Realistic Goals

Okay, let's start with some truth-telling. Extreme diets and exercise regimens? They just don't work in the long run. What they do instead is exhaust you, frustrate you, and often lead to a guilt-induced binge session. That's not what we're aiming for here. The biggest mistake most of us make when it comes to New Year's resolutions is setting unrealistic goals. We put our bodies through extreme diets and rigorous exercise routines, only to get burnt out by February. It's not sustainable, and it's certainly not healthy. What we want to focus on instead is setting realistic, achievable fitness goals. These are the kind of goals that are challenging enough to keep you motivated but not so difficult that you end up giving up. Consider what you can realistically incorporate into your lifestyle and go from there.

Setting achievable goals is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It gives us something to strive for without pushing us to the point of exhaustion or disappointment. So, instead of vowing to hit the gym seven days a week, why not aim for three or four? Instead of cutting out all carbs, why not try incorporating healthier alternatives? Remember, your goal is not to completely transform overnight. It's to create sustainable changes that lead to a healthier, fitter you. When setting your fitness goals for the new year, it's important to remember that slow and steady wins the race. It's about making small changes that you can stick with, not drastic ones that you can't maintain. It's about finding a balance that lets you enjoy pizza without feeling guilty or deprived.

Incorporating Physical Activity

Girl performing dumbbell lateral raises
When it comes to staying fit and fabulous, regular physical activity is non-negotiable. But don't worry, that doesn't mean you have to run a marathon or join a CrossFit gym. The key is to find activities that you enjoy and can stick with. Regular physical activity does wonders for both our physical and mental health.

Use everyday opportunities to add more movement like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking a little further away.  My job has a four story parking garage and front of the garage is the closest to the entrance of the building. I've made a habit to park in the very back on the fourth floor, so that I have the longest possible walk into the building, so that I will at the very least have the activity of walking to and from my car that day.  

Remember, consistency is key. Find what works for you and stick with it! It's better to do a little bit every day than a lot once a week. And lastly, keep it fun! Try different activities, join a class, get a workout buddy – do whatever it takes to keep yourself motivated.

Finding Balance with Nutrition

We often think of dieting in extremes. When it comes to nutrition, an "all or nothing" mentality can do more harm than good. Being too restrictive with your diet can lead to cravings, overeating, and eventually, giving up altogether. Nutrition is not about restriction. It's about balance. A varied diet that includes a mix of different food groups is a lot healthier (and more enjoyable) than one centered around deprivation. Instead, aim for a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrients from different food groups. This doesn't mean you should never eat pizza again, but it does mean you should also eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. 

Chicken Pineapple Fried Rice
I like to think about what I can add to my diet, not what to take away. I believe in the neutrality of food, so I think all foods can have a place in our diets. Yes, if you have very specific goals, you will need to be thoughtful about the foods you eat, and might have to restrict your intake of certain foods for that time. But generally speaking, unless a food is causing you harm - like you're allergic or it makes you ill, then I see no reason to cut it completely out your diet. Of course, I am speaking from a health perspective, there are plenty of personal or religious reasons, you might cut food out of your diet. But strictly from a health perspective, if you enjoy to eat something and it doesn't cause you harm, you are able to enjoy it in moderation and still reach your goals.

Making Time for Self-Care

If you want to stay fit and fabulous, self-care is non-negotiable. Self-care is different for everyone. Here are some examples you can incorporate it into your daily routine:
  • Physical Self-Care: This includes regular exercise, eating nutritious foods, getting enough sleep, and taking care of your personal hygiene.
  • Mental Self-Care: This can involve doing things that help you relax, like reading a book, listening to music, or meditating.
  • Emotional Self-Care: This involves managing stress, expressing your feelings, and doing things that make you happy.
Remember, self-care isn't selfish. It's necessary. So, give yourself permission to take time for you. You deserve it. Self-care isn't just about pampering yourself (though that's important too!); it's about taking care of your health.

A balanced, healthy lifestyle includes enjoying the foods you love, like pizza. It's not about drastic transformations or punishing regimens. It's about balance. It's about making healthier choices without sacrificing the things you love. So here's to a New Year, a New (Pizza-Loving) You! Here's to staying fit and fabulous, one slice at a time.

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