I love to sit on the couch and watch Netflix. I also love pizza and cookies, and none of these things have stopped me from being a vocal and influential presence in the fitness world. If I had to give up TV, pizza and sweets, I’m not entirely sure I’d be super down with this whole healthy living trend—a girl’s gotta eat some cookies!
One of the biggest misconceptions about living a healthy lifestyle is that you have to sacrifice what you love, and become something you’re not. Of course a healthy lifestyle will prescribe some changes, but not ones that will have you hardly recognizing yourself. Since starting my brand Way of Gray, I have helped tens of thousands of women start their health and wellness journeys, but I didn’t push these women to become gym rats, or the cleanest eaters who ever shopped the organic produce aisle. Yes, I love working out, and eating leafy green stuff, but that doesn’t mean I want it to consume my entire life! I have stuff to do. I don’t have time to be at the gym all day and I can’t prep my meals from dawn until the cows come home.
Being healthy is not about working out for 2 hours, 6 days a week, or eating low calorie diet foods. I have loved pizza and cookies since pretty much always, and I didn’t give them up when I started focusing on how to live a nourishing lifestyle. Nowadays, I eat well about 80 percent of the time and find 30 to 50 minutes a day, 4 or 5 days a week to workout. I truly believe that’s all it takes.
It’s about breaking a sweat in any way that works for you, whether that is through cycling, running, kickboxing, high intensity interval training, swimming or weight training. It’s about eating a balance of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and ethically sourced and humanely raised animal products (if you choose to eat fish and/or meat). It’s about making a good nights’ sleep your priority because you know you need sleep to thrive. It’s about taking 10 minutes a day to focus on your breath and calm your mind. Lastly, it’s about enjoying yourself, surrounding yourself with people who make you smile, and loving life as deeply as possible. Do all those things, and I promise, there’s still time leftover to binge watch Mad Men when you need to.
Still think you don’t have the time? Reread the paragraph above. After each sentence, say: “This isn’t a priority for me,” and see if you feel a little differently. We make time for what we prioritize. For the busier times in our lives, fitness doesn’t have to take you out of your routine. Walking or cycling to work or to the bus can keep your body moving and give you time to calm your thoughts. And then there’s my favourite “exercise in disguise”—dog walking!
If folding healthy actions into your daily life still seems impossible, some serious self-reflection may be in order. If you keep putting yourself last and don’t have your health, you won’t have time to do anything anyways.
Life has no dress rehearsals, which means each and every moment counts. Any moment can be an opportunity to make a change or start fresh. Stop worrying so much about whether you’ll have time, and start taking care of your body today!