Living healthy and happy isn’t always fun. Sometimes it’s just way too easy to reach for the Cheetos and watch T.V. instead of grabbing a banana and heading to the park. Here at CCFCU we have many amazing employees committing to a better lifestyle. We decided to sit down with one in particular and share her story. This is our interview with Hilari Paniagua and her story about living Happy and Healthy.
What first sparked your motivation to live a healthier lifestyle?
I was always very active in sports and various activities growing up, but I ate nothing but junk food and had no concept of proper nutrition. I felt tired and weak all of the time and just never felt
that great. I started researching better ways to eat and discovered lots of really interesting information about nutrition. I started making small changes here and there, but quickly realized, you cannot just go from 0 to 100 overnight with your health changes. It has taken 10 years of setbacks and trial and error to get to this “healthy lifestyle.”
What are some of the things you enjoy most about it?
I love the way I feel every day! There is no better feeling than finishing a hard work out and fueling your body with nutritious foods the rest of the day. I also love that I can definitely still enjoy cake and cheese fries, but I just don’t desire to have those things every day. It’s all about balance. I also really love doing CrossFit! I never thought I would enjoy lifting weights, but it is so much fun and really strengthens me mentally and physically.
Has the journey always been easy for you?
It definitely has not always been easy, but so worth it! This lifestyle is always going to be a work in progress. I had a lot of setbacks in the beginning because I didn’t have a good understanding of what I was doing. I had setbacks in college when I spent money on ramen noodles and zebra cakes instead of fruits and vegetables. And I still have setbacks now when I don’t want to wake up early for workout or don’t eat enough throughout the day. But the important thing is to just keep getting back on track. Being healthy is a life-long, ongoing thing, not just something to do for a few months and then stop.
Do you have any tips for people who might be trying to live a healthier lifestyle as well?
A few things that were life-changing to me were cutting out processed foods as much as possible, understanding macros (macronutrients), learning how to meal prep, and realizing your body needs LOTS of food and good nutrients to function properly. It is also crucial to always do plenty of research on what is good for you. Your diet and exercise regimen will not be the same as the person sitting next to you.
But I think the most important thing is to have a really good understanding of WHY you want to be healthy. Then think about that reason every single day. As long as you have that goal in mind, whatever decisions you make day in and day out can either help you reach that goal, or hurt you. If that goal is really important to you, then you will make it happen. If it isn’t, then you won’t.