When Food and Exercise Don’t Cut it

A healthy life isn’t just about the food

When we think about creating a healthy lifestyle for ourselves, it’s probably safe to assume there are several components everyone would name. The two most common of those would have to be exercise and eating healthy food. And that’s not wrong- far from it, in fact. The foundation of a healthy life is largely built on exercise and good food.

But what if I told you it wasn’t just about the food? There is a huge component, largely overlooked in my experience, that is the real key to creating a truly healthy life. It’s the difference between begrudgingly eating salads for a couple of weeks and actually incorporating your veggies as part of a permanent lifestyle change.

There are not special, predetermined people in the world who get to have a strong, fit body while you do not. There are NO secrets, NO never-before-seen tips and NO magic diets that will shortcut you to where you want to be, either.

The most important tool that a person who has lived through weight loss, or health improvement, or a wellness-seeking journey is something you have access to yourself, right now, without having to go buy anything or do anything to learn what it is.

It’s your mindset.

Mindset is your magic worker

I get up at 4am every weekday.  I do this because over time I’ve learned my body responds best to exercise first thing in the morning, and 4am is when I need to get up in order to fit exercise in before getting ready for the day. I also meal prep every Sunday. Today I didn’t feel all that great, just a sharp drop-off in my energy level for some reason, but all the meal prep still got done. And my alarm is set again for 4am. If you think these things get done because I must find 4am to be a darn fun time of day, or because I’d rather be on my feet in my kitchen every Sunday instead of lying on the couch in my pajamas, you’d be mistaken.


Lunches for the week: spinach & ricotta tortellini with roasted zucchini, squash, red peppers, onion and mushrooms, tossed in pesto sauce


I do it because of my mindset.

I decided a long time ago that I would never be a person who waffles on commitment. I committed to a healthy lifestyle and I haven’t gone back on it once over the past four years. Giving up on a commitment bestows a special kind of crappy feeling. You know what I mean if you’ve ever given up on a decision, or a goal, or even a New Year’s resolution. Whispering temptation works hard to convince you to go back to the familiar way you did things before, “because come on… this sucks. It’s too hard. Who does this? I can’t do this. It was so much easier to do whatever I wanted. Life is too short to be miserable. I deserve to do what makes me happy, and this is never going to make me happy,” as the thoughts go spiraling on into a million other excuses that sound REALLY good. Really, they do. If they didn’t sound good, they wouldn’t be able to convince someone as smart as you. Before you know it, you’ve listened to the little voice (which is just you, by the way) and you’re right back where you started, or worse – right back where you started and feeling terrible, because you don’t want to be back here, but you don’t know how to move forward once and for all.

You need to change your mindset.

It’s that simple – and that hard

Most things worth doing aren’t easy. Making changes to your mindset does take time, patience and persistence. Much like a healthy lifestyle, you never ‘arrive’ at your ideal and then you’re done. You never ‘arrive’ at your optimal level of teeth-brushing, or shower-taking. No, those get done on a regular basis and you keep doing them and never not do them because doing them is just what you do. It’s second-nature, and you wouldn’t even think of quitting. Mindset is the same way; a daily practice. But once you can master your mindset, which begins with identifying the thoughts you are telling yourself, you can master anything.

What thoughts do you find yourself thinking every day? I’d challenge you to get quiet for about five minutes and listen. Once you know what you’re thinking, you know what needs to change. And that, my friends, is an exciting first step.



Leave a Reply

  1. Awesome post, Kacey. Like Lola said, it was just what I needed to read today, too. You captured what a lot of us are struggling with so perfectly. On a separate note, your lunches for this week look and sound delicious. I’m wondering if you have any plans to share your recipes or maybe some inside scoop on your weekly meal plans or prep? Haha, not that you’re not busy enough already!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Kari! And I’m glad you asked. Very soon I’ll be introducing new aspects of my services here on the site AND on the Kacey Hayes Writes Facebook page and I believe meal prep tutorials just might be involved 😉 plus a few other things up my sleeve! Coming soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s exciting! Honestly, I’d love to get a better handle on weekly meal prep. It would save time, not to mention money (on those nights I think I’m ‘too tired’ to make dinner), but most of all I think it would save energy by cutting down the number of decisions I have to make on a daily basis. (Plus, if I put the meals for the week on the fridge, the kiddos might stop asking what’s for dinner the second they get out of school….) Looking forward to what you’ve got in the works!

    Liked by 1 person

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