Straight up, Health.
To be skinny, to lose weight, to eat organic, to count macros, to eat clean, to exercise and so on, does not mean you are healthy. All of these can add health to your life but not necessarily define you as a healthy individual because they can all be taken to extremes. As well as to have extra fat, to put on weight, to eat treat foods, to not do cardio, to drink alcohol, to not track macros and so on, does not mean that you are unhealthy. These can defientely make a person unhealthy but in the world we live in today, I am a firm believer of moderation/balance. So basically it comes down to what you enjoy and finding that control and balance in life, and not just in food and exercise. If you find either one of these affecting your mind, body and spirit, then it's time to change things. In this day in age, people think that if you have a nice body, you are healthy.
The last 3 months I did an experiment of counting macros, flexible dieting, lifestyle, and no steady state cardio and got great results. The one thing I noticed is that I placed too much emphasis on 1 thing and disregarded everything else. I truly thought this one way is the best, perfect way of doing things but in reality it depends on the person. Everyone wants to judge us, thinks that their way of dieting/eating and exercise is better than anyone else, and we fail to open up to listen. Yes, some ways are more beneficial than others and yes there is non sense out there but whatever works for you, is what you will continue to do. If that doesn't work, then it's time to ask for guidance or try something else. Nothing is set in stone. I was one of those people where, it was my way or the highway but sometimes it just doesn't work for people's lives or they enjoy other things than what I give them. I 100% fully agree and back up my way of training/dieting BUT these last few months I've learned a lot and have opened up my horizon.
I LOVE powerlifting, squats, deadlifts and bench, they are insanely great for your body, as well as burn tons of calories but it's not the be all to making changes on your body. The past 3 weeks I haven't been able to because of my knee, sucked but I've been able to focus on things I would never think of doing. I'm working towards muscles ups, planches, levers, pylo push ups, handstand push ups and so fourth, I'm becoming more diverse in my training. Still love my powerlifting training but I won't die or lose gains if I don't do it as often. Another thing I learned is that I was a advocate of not doing steady state cardio because it is true your body adapts to it very quickly BUT it still gives you that extra burn in calories. You don't need to do it every day for a hour, that is making it to the extreme side, what I've learned is that the less hate and judgement you have towards something, the easier and more enjoyable it is. True story. I will be incorporating 3 days a week of steady state cardio, read a book or listen to music while I do it and I have a feeling I will enjoy it. It's also a time where I can think, have some me time and get some more energy burned.
The one thing that I have learned that has started these changes and life lessons, is that everyone judges or is in your business of what you are eating, what you are doing for exercise, what your are drinking and so on. The only person you need to worry about is you, if something is going great, keep doing it and if it's not working, then change it. Too many people are worrying about others, who cares if someone wants to eat low carbs, eat donuts, do steady state cardio or HIIT and so fourth. I've come to accept so many ways of doing things and if that's how you want to do it, go for it. I have my ways of doing things that I promote, if someone wants to know. I'm very educated and know a lot of things but you also have to have a open mind, & let your opinions go.
To conclude to all this, do what works for you and stop worrying about others. One thing may work for someone and it won't work for you. Find a balance in your eating habits and exercise. Healthy is a way of life that revovles around your mind, body and soul so take care of it all. If dieting is stressing you out, take another approach with it. The ultimate change is to enjoy what you do in any aspect of your life, sometimes you can change your perception on it and boom it's a whole new world. This is how I feel with steady state cardio, I don't go into it hating it, I don't go into it just for the calorie burn, I go into it so I can be healthy all around. This will open up new areas of my thought process, making me a better person and being overall healthy because I sit at a desk all day.
Stay Balanced my friends - It's healthier on this side!