Sometimes Healthy Living Means Saying No

Good morning!

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Hello from St. Pete! My mom’s birthday flowers are still in full bloom. What a beautiful thing to look at as you eat breakfast, no?

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Today’s breakfast included blueberry-topped protein oatmeal (oatmeal prepared normally with a scoop of chocolate protein powder stirred in at the end) served with a side of mixed nuts.

My mom and I came up with a genius idea to combat my pecan rampage through the big jar of mixed nuts yesterday. Apparently pecans are my mom’s favorite nut as well and she happened to have a bag of unsalted pecans in the freezer that we dumped into the mixed nut jar. Now pecans are flowing freely again and they’re nice and salty, just the way I like ‘em.

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I actually ended up incorporating a few nuts into my bowl of oats for some added texture and crunch.

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And now for a topic I’ve been meaning to address for a while…

Sometimes Healthy Living Means Saying No

I often receive comments and emails from you guys praising me for my healthy attitude and my ability to indulge “whenever I want” without a thought otherwise. This makes me happy in that I feel like living a truly healthy life definitely includes indulgences.

But, on the other hand, I get a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach because I feel like I may be misrepresenting myself and healthy living as a whole.

Don’t get me wrong… I eat foods I love every single day and say yes to dessert if it is offered to me, but I think that sometimes, in the healthy living blogging community, people never want to talk about moments when they said “no” or walked away from indulgent food for fear of people saying that they’re “depriving themselves.”

But the truth is healthy living is saying “no” sometimes.

This morning, as I stared into parents’ pantry, Raisinets and peanut butter M&M’s stared back at me and my body and cravings wanted to eat them for breakfast. Saying no to candy in favor of wholesome oatmeal was a healthier decision and one I was happy I made in the end.

But it’s not something I’d normally blog about.

You better believe I say “yes” when I probably should say “no” quite often. I eat a third slice of birthday cake. I opt for the side of fries instead of fruit sometimes.

But not all the time.

I don’t want to misrepresent myself or healthy living on this blog and just felt the need to clarify that sometimes I do say “no.” If I pass on dessert because I ate half a loaf of bread from the bread basket, that isn’t deprivation. That’s me trying to be a little healthier.

I guess another way to view this thought is that healthy living is saying “yes” on occasion. Not all the time. But sometimes.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to pass on another cookie. Sometimes it’s not. It’s all about daily decisions with the end goal of living a healthy and satisfying life.

I just wanted to make sure you guys don’t think I’m out there saying “Bring it on!” to every indulgent meal that comes my way. That’s simply not true… though some days it is. Hello, cake for dinner!

Question of the Day

  • If you’re an active blog reader or blogger, do you think there’s apprehension to talk about moments when you “said no” in the healthy living blog community?

Comments

  1. says

    You are so right Julie!
    When I’m offered something delicious, usually the answer I say is yes. But when it comes down to it, something that is better for my heart and body will exceed over something that doesn’t have that great of a nutritional value. :)

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  2. Jenna says

    Hey Julie! I think the reason why your blog is so successful is that it’s not predicated on the notion of denial, denial, denial. Certain blogs, good while they may be in their own ways, nauseate the average reader with their “healthiness.” I have been a healthy eater long before the days of the blogosphere, but that doesn’t mean I don’t indulge, and don’t think others should. What really is SUPER nauseating to me is bloggers who pretend they’re indulging but really their “indulgences” would probably not considered indulgences by many. Something I also usually can see right through is when a blogger claims they’re eating one thing versus another because they “weren’t too hungry” when in reality, if I don’t want to eat something because of health content (or lack thereof), I freakin’ just admit it!

    In any case, what makes your blog so great is that you don’t pretend you’re on a stringent eating plan nor do you pretend you’re eating whatever the hell you want!

    Props, Julie!

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  3. says

    I’m really glad you wrote this post. One of the reasons I love your blog is actually because you DO write about all the times you say “yes.” I think that, to the contrary, a lot of bloggers find apprehension in writing about their “yes”es, or their indulgences. I notice that I sometimes avoid writing about internal battles, for instance, because I don’t want to be controversial. Anyway, I like your healthy attitude, which works for you because your metabolism and your fitness-focused lifestyle allow you to. If we all tried to write about the same exact habits, we’d be boring.

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  4. says

    What a great topic! When I write about my healthy choices, I’m sure others are judging me! People take one look at me and think I’m starving myself because I’m thin(er). I like to eat clean, it’s something I enjoy. But yes, I also eat 3 or 4 slices or even half of my birthday cake! Whatever. There are times to indulge and there are times to eat clean! It’s all about balance.

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  5. says

    I have such a hard time saying no…I really do. Especially because I’m training for a half marathon so I think I can just eat whatever, but I can tell that isn’t the case my looking at my stomach. It’s frustrating because I’m starving from running so much, but I’m not loosing any weight. It helps to know that other people have to say no and I will use this as a reminder that I’m not alone.

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  6. says

    Having lost weight and needing to lose weight now I have struggle with admitting when I say yes because I feel people will judge and say “that’s why she’s heavy.”

    I appreciate seeing it from the opposite perspective of a thinner person saying they need to say no at times instead eating whatever.

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  7. says

    I guess I don’t really take my blog into account when saying yes or no to foods. I just base my decision on my current mood and (like you said) the other “indulgences” I’ve already made that day. Like you, it’s not something I blog about… or even think to blog about.

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  8. says

    Great post, Julie! There will be some blogs that I come across where the author will detail how she’s eating her weekly indulgence of one square of chocolate, and I think, “Oh my gosh, I could NEVER live like that.”

    I “indulge” in something every day, but my “indulgences” to me aren’t fried foods or ice cream; they’re things like trail mix, homemade granola, juicy watermelon, or raw desserts. But, I still love chocolate!

    It’s hard to write about saying no because people are always judging. I think among bloggers there’s the tendency to compare oneself to another person, when in fact we are all different and should listen to what’s best for us, not someone else.

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  9. Rachel says

    This is an awesome post Julie! I am an active blog reader, and try to follow a healthy lifestyle and I find that I’m judged often for it. I do eat dessert, very often, but when I order a salad for dinner and pass on dessert sometimes my own friends stare at me as if something’s wrong with me. There are some days where I do feel I have to say “no”, and cut back on the sugar. That’s why I have days where I CAN eat those less healthy foods. Some people don’t understand that, and it’s frustrating.

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  10. says

    I love this post and believe you represent what “healthy” looks like. It’s unrealistic for the average person to be straight up healthy, healthy ALL the time. Having indulgences makes you human!

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  11. says

    This is great – I totally understand. I feel like as soon as you choose watermelon over cake or whatever, people get “concerned.” Especially after recovering from my ED, I feel like I can’t make a healthy choice without being judged. I still want to be healthy! And that completely means saying no!

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  12. says

    Thank you for your honesty! I think saying no is definitely one of the hardest things about living a healthy lifestyle. I will admit I feel like I have streaks where the word “no” just escapes me. This past week, the one of my Masters graduation and my big move to the city, was definitely one of them. Getting back on track though does bring a sense of balance back. And let’s face it, no may have slipped my mind but I enjoyed every bite!

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  13. says

    I looove you, Julie! Your honesty is such a breath of fresh air here in the blogging community and I can tell that this post came straight from your heart. I actually feel that I really needed to hear this.

    I, like you, am lucky enough to be able to indulge when I want without gaining a ton of weight. However, I’ve noticed that I definitely can’t say YES all the time. I wouldn’t want to, though. Treats are special because they are just that–treats! If we ate treats all the time, they would lose their appeal.

    I appreciate hearing that you make conscious healthy decisions for yourself and don’t go willy nilly on the ice cream every single day. I like the persona you have on your blog and the way you represent healthy living.

    Thanks!

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  14. says

    As a new blogger who is just beginning her healthy journey, I find myself actually hesitating more to admit when I said, “Yes!” I feel like I need to present to my readers that I’ve made big changes in my life. I often find myself taking a step back, looking at a few days’ or a week’s worth of posts, and asking myself if I’m accurately representing my habits. If not, I too feel the need to be sure I change the representation so it’s accurate. When I travel, it seems like everything I post about is unhealthy. Then I get to a point of thinking I need a post like this one.

    It’s beautiful and honest! Thanks!

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