The Hard Truths I Had to Face to Get Healthy Without Dieting

Most of my Mondays start the same: with a vow to recommit to my health. I make that early morning yoga class, dive into hard-boiled eggs and avocado for breakfast, stick to one cup of black coffee, stay off the booze, and hit the hay early. Good-bye, indulgent weekend; hello, healthy week.
There’s nothing wrong with a Monday reset, right? In my case… there started to be.
Two months ago, I realized it wasn’t an unhealthy weekend I needed to recover from, it was an unhealthy five months. An international move and a whirlwind trip across Asia had rocked my world, and in the process, my healthy habits were aggressively thrown out the window. Though there’s very little I would change about my experience, there’s also no denying that I’d taken giant steps backward when it came to my health—and was slowly but surely suffering the consequences. I didn’t just need a Monday reset; I needed about 100.
Confronting My Demons
As I lay in bed after another restless night, waking to another upset stomach, I decided it was time to get real. Dear body, it’s not you, it’s me…
After past indulgences—like bachelorette weekends or the holidays—I’d often turned to cleanses, detoxes, and other quick-fix diets to whip me back into shape (and fast). But surprise surprise, they never set me on the right track. Instead, they often sent me into a spiral of binging, which I really didn’t need considering I’d been doing that for the past five months. I think I’ll pass.
So, what was a good option?
I’d done Whole30 before and loved it, but knew I’d struggle without my own kitchen to cook in (I’m currently living with my in-laws—that’s a story for another time) and a limited budget for buying high-quality produce and protein. Without a diet that seemed suitable to my living situation, I had to look elsewhere: deep inside myself. (Oh boy.)
Though I’m all for focusing on strengths, I knew I had to confront my inner demons and focus on my weaknesses. So instead of having a pep talk with myself, I had a real talk with myself and was honest about where I was struggling:
I was an overeater. (What does being full even mean?!)
I loved eating out… all the time. (But it’s a celebration!)
I #treatyoself daily (All day, every day, right?)
Exercise, what’s that? (Insert every excuse imaginable here.)
Phew, now that I had the hard part over with (ya know, being honest with myself), I just had to figure out a way forward—and a way to decrease my desire for “just one” last glass of wine. Because confronting your inner demons is hard and it’s just one glass and red wine is healthy and… stop right there.
Let the Training Begin
When training for a marathon, you don’t start with a 20-mile run. Instead, you start small, gradually adding distance and weaving in strength training to increase endurance and decrease risk of injuries. Though I’ve never actually trained for a marathon, I knew my road to a healthy, happy me was

This article was originally published here by Tara Goodrum