Healthy Choices Aren't Always Easy, No Matter Who You Are


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
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I don’t watch much T.V., but I have to admit I’m a big fan of the Olympics.  I love seeing people push themselves to their limits (which is probably why I like running marathons) and reach goals they’ve been working so hard to achieve.  I’m totally in awe of how in-shape these athletes are, and it inspires me to become a little more disciplined and focus on my own goals related to health and fitness.
Olympic athletes don’t get these bodies without a lot of hard work, which includes a strict fitness and nutrition plan.  They are closely monitored by nutritionists who make sure they are eating the right amounts of food at the right times for optimum performance.  It’s easy to assume that because they are being told what to eat and when to eat, it’s not as hard for them to stick to the plan.  But is it really that much easier?  Do you think that having access to someone like this would make your weight loss journey that much smoother?  My guess is “no.”
I’ve heard people say that if they were wealthy and had a personal chef like Oprah, or even if they just had someone to plan and cook their meals, losing weight would be easy.  Keep in mind that sticking to a healthy diet also takes a lot of willpower, especially when you’re first starting out and healthy eating hasn’t been part of your normal routine.  I think if you asked Oprah, she’d tell you that losing weight can be challenging no matter how much money is in your bank account. 
I would love to have someone cook for me.  But that’s not going to make it any less tempting to buy a bag of Tootsie Rolls (my favorite!) at the store, or resist going out for ice cream with my family on a summer evening.  I make choices each day to give my body the foods it needs and deserves because it’s good for me.  I make choices about when I’m going to eat treats in moderation, and when I’m really going to indulge.  I’d love to be more toned, lose the rest of my post-baby weight, and fit into some clothes that are just a little too snug right now.  I’m well-aware that some of my choices have prevented this from happening so far, but it doesn’t mean it never will.   
Although most people (including me) don’t set goals to look like a track-and-field or swimming star and don’t need to follow their strict dieting practices, there are some things we can learn from how they eat to fuel their performance.  Jennifer Gibson is a registered dietitian who worked with many of Team USA’s top athletes for the London Olympic Games.  She has suggestions for dealing with the food-related struggles many of the athletes (and everyday people) face, such as how to deal with emotional eating, and planning ahead.  One of the suggestions I’ve been working on in my own diet is eating as much real food as possible.  I’m trying to cut back on or eliminate most of the processed foods from my diet (so long, Tootsie Rolls….) to improve my overall health and my waistline. 
In a society surrounded by fast food and junk food, a healthy diet isn’t necessarily simple for anyone.  But if you can focus on why you’re making changes and eliminate the excuses, you’ll be on track to reach your goals and get your own gold medal!
What do you think? 

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