Eat, Lift, and Be Happy
We all know that food is one of my favourite things in life. I love eating it, making it, photographing it, sharing it, talking about it... food is an addiction. It is part of our human culture that brings everyone together not only during holidays and gatherings but also on a daily basis.
Your body is your vehicle, and it's important to keep it running during times of need. Fuel it up by eating the right foods and drinking the right liquids, in the right amounts, at the right times. These are all things to consider when trying to practice living a healthy lifestyle. What you eat before a workout helps to maximize performance; what you eat during helps to maintain adequate blood glucose levels; and what you eat after helps to improve recovery.
While food is meant to fuel our bodies, I'm a firm believer that it is meant to be enjoyed as well. Dieting is miserable and leads you to think that you can't enjoy good foods. Healthy eating is all about moderation, and you should be able to have a cheat meal or two without feeling guilty about it. Allow yourself the occasional reward as it helps to curb your cravings and refocus on your goals.
I cannot reiterate the importance of strength training (I have written many blog posts on it in the past if you're interested in reading more). Lifting is important for increasing muscle mass, and not only does it improve the aesthetics of your body, but it also has positive impacts on your health. Do you want to look soft and skinny/thin, or do you want to look toned/fit? The less muscle you have, the more likely you'll end up looking skinny fat -- the combination of too little muscle and too much fat.
Resistance training builds muscle strength and tone, and it increases bone density as well (reducing the risk of osteoporosis). As we age, the rate of muscle loss accelerates, and strength training has been shown to slow this process down by building muscle mass and increasing strength. This helps improve mobility, balance, and stamina to protect your joints from injury. It may increase independence and reduce cognitive decline in elderlies, as well as decrease the risk of falls. Weight lifting also helps to increase metabolic rate and control chronic conditions like diabetes, heart and lung disease, arthritis, pain, obesity, anxiety, depression, and many more.
The hardest part of changing a lifestyle is getting started. However, I promise you that once you get past the beginning, you will look great and feel even better. Your confidence will be through the roof; your mood will be elevated; your stress levels will be down; your quality of sleep will be heightened; and you will feel so vibrant. Fall in love with your body once again.