When you talk to your BFFs about getting healthy, how much of the convo is based around how you want to look instead of how you want to feel? My guess: too much. In her June Woman’s Day cover story, which hits the stands May 13, Alison Sweeney talks about how her healthy lifestyle transformed the second she reconsidered the word “skinny.”
The headlines are everywhere: Drop 30 pounds by tomorrow. Burn 3,015 calories in one hour. Banish those love handles in the blink of an eye… all you need to do is fasten a terrifying contraption to your body that costs as much as your mortgage.
OK, I’m exaggerating. But what’s not an exaggeration is how many women use the words “healthy” and “skinny” interchangeably. During her twenties, Alison Sweeney was one of them. It wasn’t until she started hosting The Biggest Loser that she discovered the secret to a healthy lifestyle: “I realized that getting in shape was about so much more than fitting into a certain size,” she says. “I changed my thinking from ‘I wish I were thin’ to ‘I want to be healthy.'”
Ironically, ditching her obsession with the scale is exactly what it took for her to shed pounds and keep them off — but more importantly, she learned what it means to love her body and treat it with respect: “I work out so I can be an active participant in my life.”
Courtesy of Alison, here are just some of the ways you can do the same:
Use fitness as fuel
Alison focuses more on what fitness does for her life as a whole, as opposed to just the physical benefits. It’s become a key factor in spending quality time with her kids, and was a huge part of finishing her second novel. Before you set out for that walk or bike ride, ask yourself: “What’s in it for me?” List all of the benefits being active will give you (you know, besides a hot bod).
Make it social
My biggest struggle is translating the healthy habits I’m creating into my social life. Between my mom taunting me with chocolate cake and my friends taunting me with chocolate martinis, oy to the vey. Alison dealt with this by switching up her social life: Instead of going for lunch or drinks, she and her friend go to a weekly spin class together. (I don’t know about you, but spinning sounds way better than having the spins.)
Purchase versatile foods
Schedule health like you schedule work
When you sit down to plan the following week, you never question having to work or prep meals — so why isn’t the same true for fitness? Add it to your schedule like you would anything else. It’s also a great way to make sure you don’t over-plan and conveniently “forget” to exercise — or is that just me?