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The Lie Holding You Back

When it comes to living a healthy, active lifestyle too many people believe they can’t do it. It’s too hard. It’s too expensive. I don’t know what to eat. I’m not motivated to exercise. I don’t know how to work out. Underneath all these excuses is a single lie holding them back. I can’t do it.

Yes, you can.

The biggest lie we’ve been fed by the industry is that we’re not enough, and we’ve bought it to the tune of $160 billion dollars a year. Yes, you read that right. Americans spend more on beauty every year than they do on education. So. My question is this: do you believe the lie? Do you think you’re not enough? That you can’t do it? Because a health, fitness and beauty industry is betting on the fact that you do. Or you will. Let’s prove them wrong.

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Here’s the rub. I’m not here to bash the industry. I donate to the cause as much as the next girl, and sure love me some new MAC lipstick when I’m wandering through Nordstrom. I love nothing more than to splurge on my favorite athletic clothes at lululemon, and you can find me in a gym or running the streets almost every day of the week. There is truth in the premise: beauty matters. I’ve gone shopping in sweats with no makeup and my hair in a topknot and you can bet I’m treated different when I’m dressed, wearing makeup, and carrying my Louis Vuitton purse. We judge people based solely on their appearance and we are judged on ours. Attractive people are deemed to be more intelligent, they earn more, and they are more likely to marry. Fair or not, it is what it is.

But beauty really does come in all shapes, sizes and colors. An old friend convinced me years ago that beauty is often a matter of grooming. Everyone can be beautiful. Most women have that part down. Makeup, skin and hair products account for a large portion of our hundred-billion-dollar-a-year spending.

The part killing us are those in the diet and fitness industry making billions of dollars convincing women to hate their bodies. Marketing that sells a lie that we’re one miracle diet, fast or fad eating plan away from losing those stubborn pounds. Promises that if we simply join this gym or go to that class or starve ourselves we could be beautiful. Maintaining a level of physical fitness is something we should all aspire to do; it is good for us in so many ways beyond the size and shape of our body. Eating a healthy diet is vitally important not only for our waistline but for our heart, mind and skin. But what does it actually mean to be physically fit and a eat healthy diet?

In an industry clamoring for your health dollars the formula will always be complicated. Often extreme. Exclusive inside information or rigorous scientific data will support farfetched or hard-to-obtain claims. Even then, the results are difficult if not impossible to maintain. There’s nothing wrong with you, but rather, the hype. It’s a scam.

The bottom line is pretty simple: calories in, calories out. Move. Nourish your body with clean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables and avoid high processed foods with sugar, enriched wheat flour and high fructose corn syrup. You know this. Living a healthy lifestyle is simply applying the very common sense information you already know by heart, into your life, for your whole life, with room to indulge when you want.

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A healthy long-term attitude toward health, fitness and food has to be based in freedom. In 1 Corinthians 10:23 it says: “Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial.” Living a life you love means enjoying it! Celebrating it. We are allowed to eat anything we wish. Nothing is forbidden. A healthy lifestyle is never going to be about deprivation, but moderation. When you begin paying attention to your body, how it feels and responds to different food, exercise and freedom you will begin to see the lie the industry sold and you bought. You CAN do this.

Be free. Free to love what you love, to move the way you move, and to live a life you love. That just might make you the most beautiful of all.


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