What does it mean to live a “healthy lifestyle”? Does this mean workouts at the gym at 07:00 each morning, followed by 30 mins of yoga, and then salads all day? NO!
In our family we don’t see this way of living as a sour point. To take responsibility for your health is a free choice that we choose because it gives us a better quality of life here and now. We don’t focus on weight loss or preventing disease in the future, but instead focus on what a healthy lifestyle gives us in the present moment: energy, a strengthened immune system, good sleep, and the enjoyment of using our bodies in a way that they were designed for.
Does this mean that your family should eat organic, raw, or healthy foods all of the time? NO! A good system to use is the 80/20 principle. 80% of the time you eat, play, and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. And the other 20%? Here you can let things be more relaxed, and if pizza and binge-watching Netflix is what is wanted (and maybe needed), then that is what you do. Don’t forget that the body needs downtime to recover. For a healthy individual that eats well and plays hard for the majority of the time, a bag of sweets or a pizza a week is not going to cause major issues.
My own family lives in this way, as I believe that being too controlled and strict is unhealthy. This leads to the fear of failing, obsessions and unhealthy eating patterns. The funny thing is that when we have eaten up the bag of chips, or overdosed on the chocolate brownies, we don’t always feel as good. Our bellies feel bloated, and we are noticeably less energetic. Our choices of food have naturally turned to small portions of sweet treats and large portions of real food.
The most important part of all of this is to not beat yourself up if you have one, or maybe two days of eating less than well. Each day is a new, fresh beginning, and if you only can change one – less than good habit – to a good habit, then you have taken a step in the right direction. And you should be proud!