You can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet

You Can’t Exercise Your Way Out Of A Bad Diet

Here at Happiness Series we are so excited to have our new fitness contributors, Kerri Gedert and Rebecca Swenson. They have shown us quick and fun exercises we can do everyday and that fit into our busy days.

This also gives me the opportunity to remind us all, that YES, exercise is a very important component to a healthy lifestyle, but you can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet (I wish I could remember the doctor’s name who said that).

I know this first hand. I would run daily, take Pilates, Yoga, and I have been blessed with great personal trainers. Every one of these have been wonderful and beneficial to me, not only physically, but mentally as well. Yet, real change didn’t occur with my health or noticeably with my body until I consistently started eating healthy food. I started seeing better results from my workouts. That loose jiggle (especially in my tummy and thighs) started to go away.

That’s when I started to read everything I could get my hands on about nutrition, and I let go of all the fad diets. In fact, the freedom of not being “on a diet” gave me so much incentive to develop my own healthy eating habits, which, in turn made me want to exercise more. My vanity also played a part. It felt so good to walk in my closet and grab whatever I wanted to wear. None of that binding or pinching feeling. My energy was 10 fold. I wasn’t exercising to combat the not-so-good food I was eating. Instead, I was exercising for how healthy and strong I was feeling. I know I’ve said it before, but I felt better after quitting sugar than I’ve ever felt after I quit smoking (that’s not an excuse to keep smoking…. it’s bad, bad, bad for you). These are some of the reason why I believe  food is so important.

I have proven this theory, yet again. This past week I went to my niece, Maggie’s national field hockey tournament (She rocked…Go G Force!). With her mom, my dear friend Mary, who has also changed her eating habits for the better, we embarked on a 7 hour drive to the tournament. Needless to say our old favorite, McDonald’s, which used to be a familiar stop for Mary and me, was revisited (more than once). This also became a “food” downward spiral for me that lasted about 6 days. We indulged in our usual cheeseburger, fries and vanilla shake. Neither of us could remember how long it had been since we last ate like this. It was definitely the start of a sugar and bad food fest. It triggered all the old bad habits. Just like that, I was eating horribly and feeling horrible. Even though I had exercised that doughy, bloated and uncomfortable feeling was still there. Exercise would’ve helped greatly had I stopped eating that food. Is it better that I at least exercised? YES! But, there’s a big but (no pun intended). There is nothing that can replace putting good food in you.

I have had times where I haven’t exercised for a week or 2, and I only ate healthy foods and still felt great!

It’s time for me to get back to that consistent healthy eating. With spring in the air it makes it easier to want to get healthy and get/stay in shape. Start now, that way there isn’t that mad rush when summer hits to start working out like crazy and only eat salads for two weeks, so you can feel good about yourself. Plus, it’s so fun to partake in summer activities when you’re feeling good. Not to mention summer clothes and bathing suits.


The main point is… we need them both. Balance is always key! So, as you’re doing your favorite physical activity give yourself the gift of healthy eating to support your healthy lifestyle.

Eat well, live well!




Filed Under: BlogsSpotlight


About the Author: Sheila Heylin, the knowledgeable host of Happiness Series, lives in Chicago and Los Angeles. It was in LA where Sheila discovered healthy living. She realized that “what you’re not used to and what you hate are two different things.” She and Tania partnered to create Happiness Series and build an online and offline community that fosters wellness and happiness.



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