Today we’re featuring an Ask the FBGs post, where readers like you ask the FBGs for advice. Nothing is off limits, although we do prefer that it’s fitness or nutrition related, so send your undying health questions to [email protected]. You just might see them posted on the site in the future!
I have been overweight for awhile, and I have been really upset lately about how I look and the things I’ve been eating, and I just really need some help with tips. I’m going to let you know that I am not a veggie-lover. I hate cucumbers with a passion; they make me want to throw up, and I am allergic to coconuts, anything coconut. I LOVE SMOOTHIES, and I am a lover of kale and spinach, which I think is good. I love guacamole. Honestly, I am just a very picky eater, and I have grown up with a father who loves his meats and his carbs and starches, which is where my bad eating habits come from because I eat what he cooks for me.
I am 19 now, so I don’t have to eat what he makes me anymore, but I don’t know what else to eat or what to make myself for dinner. I just need some help figuring out what is healthy — what I can use to make for myself, snacks included. Also, I would love some tips on starting exercise. What are some things I should avoid doing while starting out, and what are some things I should do just starting out? I am 172 pounds and I’m not too active, so running is not something I want to do, but I do love dancing and I love squats. So along those lines … is there any advice you girls have???
Lindsey! Our dear, Lindsey!
What a fab question. And how awesome that you’re interested in being healthier — and not looking for a “diet” but rather some tips to get you where you want to be. Love that!
We think that the secret to getting healthy — and finding a healthy lifestyle that works for you (aka one that you can follow forever because it feels good — not like tortuous deprivation). The first step? Finding stuff that you like. So forget the cucumbers and other veggies you don’t like, and focus on what you do. Same goes for exercise and being active. In fact, go ahead and grab a piece of paper and simply jot down all of the fruits, veggies, whole grains, healthy fats and lean proteins that you like. Every single one. Then, do the same with activities. If exercises like Zumba or walking are on your list, great — but don’t limit yourself to just stuff you do at the gym!
The second step of building your healthier life is then to take the list you just made and see how you can sub out some of the foods and activities you currently like for healthier ones. Could you swap out a less healthy snack or meal (or even ingredient!) for a healthier one that you love? Could you replace a sugar beverage with water? Could you swap out a half hour of TV with a walk around your neighborhood? Get creative and see what little tweaks you can make. Aim to make one or two small substitutions a week, each week for at least a month. It may seem like not a lot of change at first, but, believe us, over time, they add up! If you’re not sure where to start, we recommend making sure that you’re eating a nice mix of lean protein, carbs, healthy fat and fiber every three to six hours, whether it’s a meal or a snack. And being active for 30 minutes most days of the week — ideally with some cardio and strength training.
Once you’ve got some changes in place and are in the healthy groove, the third step we recommend is pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone by setting a goal each week to try something new. It could be a new exercise move, a new veggie, a new exercise class, a new way to de-stress, a new recipe — whatever! For inspiration and ideas be sure to check out these pages:
We are always trying new stuff, so just pick workouts and recipes that seems interesting to you. Again, there’s no “perfect” way to do this — see it as going on your very own healthy adventure! Some stuff you’ll love and some you won’t. Keep the stuff you do; ditch the stuff you don’t — but make a commitment to your own personal growth and self care.
And, please, please don’t get too wrapped up into the number on the scale as a measure of progress. Living a healthy lifestyle is about more than that; it’s about how you’re feeling. So once you start making your changes, each day take stock of how you’re not just looking but how you’re feeling. Do you have more energy? Sleeping better? Waking up more refreshed? In a better mood? Fit in your clothes better? Take note of this and be proud of your progress! Be proud of you!
So focus on the good, do the activities you love, move your body in ways that feel good and create a healthy life that you love!
Oh, and let us know how it goes … good luck!