Thanks to Alicen Ronan for guest posting today on lauren elyse CAN! Here’s a quick bio…
“In 2005 I realized that my lifestyle had led to being overweight and unhappy. Through exercise, eating and lifestyle changes I was able to lose 60 pounds over the course of the next two years. In 2009 I became a certified personal trainer so I could help others make improvements in their lives. You can find me at Former Fitness Flunky where I share my experience and knowledge about fitness and food. You can also follow me on Twitter or find me on Facebook and Pinterest too!”
I will be the first one to admit that, even as a fitness professional, I am not perfect when it comes to fitness. There are days when I am too busy or tired to exercise, too hungry to cook a nutritious meal or I give into a craving or two and get a little derailed. The thing about fitness though is that it’s really more of a balancing act that anything. While some specific situations, like training for competition, require strict dedication, general fitness is flexible and forgiving – which is good news for many of us.
So how do you make the most of balancing fitness with the rest of your life? My best advice is create a set of parameters for your eating and exercise goals. Personally, I like to aim for 80% or more of my meals to be nutritionally sound based on my health needs and goals and I get some form of exercise at least 4 days of the week. I use the 20% or about 1 out of every 5 meals to indulge if I so choose and the remaining 3 days to rest, relax or just get other stuff done.
I like this approach because it takes the pressure off of trying to strive for perfection. It allows for some “cheat” meals or days of rest when you need it, but it also gives you some guidelines to help keep you in check. When I have taken two days off of exercise or have had one too many beers I know I am cruising towards throwing myself off of the fitness path I want to be on and I readjust accordingly.
In your specific situation you may want to adjust the parameters – perhaps making 90% of your meals nutritionally balanced while you allow yourself 10% leeway. Maybe you feel better when you exercise 5 days a week or more. The point is to create a routine that allows you to be fit without beating yourself up because you aren’t “perfect”. Balancing fitness with the rest of your life shouldn’t be a chore, it should be a fluid goal that changes with your needs. As long as you stay aware of the guidelines you have set up for yourself you can allow yourself a little breathing room which I hope takes some of the pressure off of trying to be fit.