After years of struggling with low self-esteem, I’ve learned the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle so I feel good both inside and out, and while I’m guilty of falling off the wagon every once in a while, I’m all too aware how quickly a few unhealthy decisions can have a domino effect on my entire sense of well-being, so I’m usually pretty good at giving myself a pep talk when things start to spiral out of control.
But there’s one thing that consistently gets in the way of my desire to lead a healthy, happy lifestyle.
LACK OF TIME.
Like every other woman I know, I feel like I’m constantly behind the 8-ball, and as hard as I try to do it all, I always come up short.
And when I’m busy, exercise is always the first thing to slip.
So when I found myself struggling to button up my favorite pair of skinny jeans a few weeks ago, I decided to try something a little different.
I stopped exercising.
Okay, that’s not entirely true, but I significantly scaled back on my workout routine and decided I would focus on developing healthy eating habits instead. I was in the middle of a couple of big projects at work that were demanding a lot of my attention, and as much as I like to make exercise a priority and wished I could spend 45+ minutes sweating it out at the gym, the reality was that I just didn’t have the time.
And after reading countless articles over the last 12 months that claim the secret to weight loss is NOT spending hours at the gym, but rather paying attention to the foods you put in your body, I decided to give it a try. So instead of spending an hour and a half driving to the gym, working out, and showering every afternoon, I dedicated a mere 30 minutes to planning out healthy, balanced meals that would keep me feeling full so I didn’t spend my entire day feeling hungry.
I allowed myself to indulge in my favorite treats every now and then.
I drank a glass (or 2) of wine when the mood struck.
And I made sure I was eating consistently so I never went long stretches without food.
I’ve dropped 6 lbs in 17 days.
I’m not kidding.
My clothes fit better than they have in 6+ months, and while I felt hungry for the first few days and wanted to quit, I’ve learned a lot about portion control, and have finally proved to myself that exercise really isn’t the be all and end all of weight loss.
Paying attention to the foods you put into your body is much more important.
And you don’t need to DIET to do that.
You just need to be smart about what you eat.
Now, this isn’t to say you should remove exercise from your life entirely.
Quite the contrary, actually.
Even though I have finally been able to drop those 6 lbs that have refused to budge from my body for the last 6 months without spending hours at the gym, scaling back on my physical activity has had its drawbacks, particularly when it comes to my energy levels and stress management.
So am I going to start working out again?
But I’m going to be much more deliberate with my time at the gym. Rather than spending hours of my week running for miles on the treadmill and then stuffing my face with every calorie-laden food I can lay my hands on for the rest of the afternoon (sound familiar?), I’m going to focus more on strength training (for toning) and doing the activities I enjoy (for stress management) while simultaneously ensuring I stick to a proper diet that’s high in good-for-me foods and devoid of empty calories that make me feel sluggish and gross.
I’m not going to obsess about it.
When I’m too busy to go to the gym, I’ll focus on making healthy food choices.
When I want to indulge in treats over the holidays, I’ll find the time to exercise.
And when I fall off track?
I’ll remember this quote from Will Smith:
‘I’d rather live my life knowing that I’m not perfect than spend my whole life pretending to be.’
Do you struggle with weight loss?
Then I encourage you to sign-up for my weekly newsletter where I share my best health and fitness tips and tricks, as well as a healthy dose of inspiration and motivation to help you become the best version of yourself you ever thought possible.
And as a thank you for signing up, I’ll send my free eBook, 8 Simple Ways to Lose Weight Without Dieting or Exercising.
Because losing weight and feeling good about yourself shouldn’t be a struggle.
And with my help, it won’t be.
If you found my tips to lose weight without dieting or exercising helpful, please share them on Pinterest!
And if you’re looking for more health-related tips and tricks, please follow our Health board on Pinterest!