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Why eating healthy isn’t just better for your body, but for your mind and soul, too.

Many of us love to eat crap. Pizza. Sugar. Sweets. Fried foods. The list is endless. And, just so you know, I get it: I was once a size 14 and happily spent many nights in my 20s eating a pile of spaghetti and chasing it down with a pint of ice cream. Those days are long gone. I’m now a size four and happily eating healthily. Do I still eat crap? Sure. Every once in a while, I’ll have a treat. But the truth is, eating crap makes me feel like crap—physically and emotionally.

For years, I had no energy during the day. Now, of course, I didn’t blamed the refined carbs, dairy or sugar I was putting in my mouth all day long. Nooooo, it couldn’t have been that. Instead, I blamed my metabolism. “I’m just born this way,” I’d say to myself.

At Handel Group, we call this being a weather reporter—like it’s the weather and you have no control over it. But the truth is, my “forecast” wasn’t true. I wasn’t born that way. I was overeating and eating crap, and that was why I was overweight and had no energy.

It was time to stop blaming my metabolism for my foggy and gloomy “weather” conditions.

What you put in your body (obviously) affects what you get out of it. When you eat processed, sugary, preserved crap, how could you possibly expect to feel healthy, clear-headed and proud?

You can’t. I didn’t.

Trust me, if you go eat a Big Mac and fries tonight, how do you think you’re going to feel in the morning? It’s not going to be pretty. Your body is going to be sluggish and bloated. And if you’re trying to be healthy or lose weight, you’re not going to feel very proud of yourself either.

I’m sure many of you are shaking your head in agreement with me, that obviously eating crap is not good for you. I’m also thinking that many of you may have some other thoughts going on underneath your initial, “Amen,” as well. I bet I already know them.

Doesn’t she know eating crap is FUN?! Especially around the holidays!

Yes, most of us have positive experiences and memories associated with certain foods, and those memories are triggered by eating those foods again and again (no matter how sick you feel after). Holidays and social occasions often center on certain “decadent” foods and desserts. I am not saying it is easy to learn to make your own fun (without lots of crappy food), but you can.

And you should.

Why? Because it’s even more fun to feel fantastic and love your body. The question to ask yourself is what would make you happier? Eating a jelly-filled donut on Hanukkah? Stuffing yourself with stuffing on Thanksgiving? Or fitting into your ideal-sized jeans?

Exactly.

Real fun comes from mastering your mind over what matters, learning how to eat healthy and sculpting the body you want. Don’t knock it ‘til you try. Much better than a food hangover. I promise.

I need crap food to calm me down, feel better, entertain myself and reward myself.

Oh baby, I’ve been there! That was one of my favorite tunes. Celebration and reward are completely associated with crappy food in my family. And I bet you learned your crappy habits from your parents, your siblings, your culture and your TV, right? I understand. But that doesn’t make these connections real or true.

Be a pioneer: Think and act differently than everyone else.

Learn to make yourself feel better with exercise, self-care, regular sleep and healthy, nourishing food. The icing on the feel-better cake is to also have excellent conversations with honest, kind people, telling them the truth about what you really want in your life and making plans to get there. This is a much better reward than any processed food ever could be.

Nobody ever taught me how.

I’m going to let you in on a secret. Nobody is coming to save you, but you. It’s up to you to learn about your health and body so you can teach those around you. If you’re ready to learn how to design your life and body, try our flagship weekend course, Design Your Life, where you will learn how to manage your mind, get out of your own way and take the right actions to—once and for all—design the life and body you want. You don’t have to do this alone.

The peer pressure is insurmountable.

First, I will remind you that you are not in high school anymore. Although, yes, there are food-pushers on the planet—people who like pushing food on other people, especially and ironically on people who are dieting or trying to be healthy. I’ve experienced it myself. In that situation, become the positive peer “food” pressure person. Be the one who tells someone to put the cookie down and pick up the apple. Be a leader in the area of your health. Turn the tables on peer pressure.

It’s so hard, expensive and time consuming to eat well.

It’s true: Picking up pre-packaged processed foods, or eating whatever someone else is serving, is the path of least resistance. But standing up for your health, taking care of your body and living true to your highest ideal heaps way more rewards than doing what’s tasty, fast and cheap. Put in the thinking, planning, communicating, budgeting and discerning when it comes to being healthy. It will give you confidence, self-respect and you’ll feel good about yourself, inside and out.

Take on eating healthy this fall. I know there will be parties, celebrations and many excuses to eat crap over the next few months. But that crap is impacting how you feel in your body and how you feel about yourself. Make a pact with yourself: Cut the crap and eat less crap.

What do you have to lose, besides possibly a few pounds?

Interested in coaching and want to learn more? Visit handelgroup.com/24hourfitness/.

Photo credit: Hill Street Studios, Thinkstock

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