It’s almost impossible to explain how happy I am being healthy. Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly unhealthy foods and activities that also make me happy but when I’m eating healthy and staying active I just feel GOOD.
Not to mention it’s true what they say: The healthier you eat, the easier it is to eat healthy. I’ve slowly been making little tweaks to my food and I love all the healthy options I’m giving myself. The amount of temptations I’ve had in recent weeks has diminished greatly.
Looking back at my unhealthiest times, I find it interesting to explore the concept of happiness. I’ve truly thought I was happy while being unhealthy but that’s just not true.
What Unhealthy and “Happy” Means
We’re all unhealthy for many reasons, one of which is that we focus on the aspects of unhealthy habits that make us happy without any consideration for what the results of those indulgences are. Here are a few examples specific to me:
- Makes me “happy:” A giant bowl of ice cream. Makes me unhappy: The upset stomach and uncomfortable night that giant ice cream bowl brings with it.
- Makes me “happy:” Sitting on the couch on the weekend. Makes me unhappy: The lowered energy level and decreased metabolism too many of those lazy days brings with it.
- Makes me “happy:” Eating more and more of the things I really enjoy. Makes me unhappy: The bloating, heavy, uncomfortable feeling that follows. Not to mention the lethargy that overeating carries with it.
- Makes me “happy:” Mindlessly choosing my food based on what sounds good each day. Makes me unhappy: Seeing the scale increase and my clothes get tighter as a result of the extra calories this leads to.
Turning Unhappy into Happy
The nice thing about changing things up from unhealthy to healthy is that healthy habits can make you happy without the negative side effects. Oftentimes it just means small tweaks, like the following:
- Instead of having a giant bowl of ice cream I now have a small cup. I still get a taste of the dessert I love without the stomachache and uncomfortable.
- Instead of relishing my lazy weekends, I use them as an opportunity to do activities I enjoy that also get me moving, like hiking and rollerblading. If I’m having a truly lazy day I still try to get my steps in by moving around my apartment. That way I can stay in my pajamas! 😄
- Instead of overeating the foods I enjoy, I eat them slower. Eating slower allows me to still savor the food and it also helps me realize when I’m full so I don’t have the negative effects of overeating.
- Instead of mindlessly choosing my food, I focus on finding healthy foods I truly enjoy. Eventually I hope to reach a point where choosing healthy is something I do mindlessly.
The nice thing about reaching a good place with my healthy habits is that there are also a lot of small, daily triumphs I get to celebrate. For example, yesterday I resisted donuts that were right in front of me and it was my third time in less than a week that I did so. It wasn’t even much of a challenge and that is just one more thing that makes me healthy and happy!