Have you ever heard of the saying “just live a little”?


Usually, it goes a little something like this:

‘Just live a little’ and have one drink with us” …. When you are trying to not have alcohol.

‘Just live a little’ and take off work to go on vacation” …. When you are trying to make the next big leap with your business.

‘Just live a little’ and have this one piece of chocolate” …. When you are trying to lose weight.

‘Just live a little’ and miss this one workout” …. When you are trying to get to the next level in your strength.

However this phrase is used, either in conversation with others or during self-talk, it almost always is a way to say “relax, chill out, this one occasion that keeps you from your goals is not a big deal.”

It’s true, ONE thing that slows you down from your goals will likely not hurt you.  But, let me tell you a story.

As you read this story, I am intentionally leaving out certain details as my goal is not to promote my eating habits or supplement regimen, but rather to share an important learning lesson for me.

I have always been “healthy.”  I exercise, I try to eat well, and I certainly “live a little” by having sweet treats, only on occasion.  But, something I have had for as long as I can remember is daily headaches.  Headaches that start when I open my eyes and continue until I open my eyes the next day.  It’s hard to understand what this is like if you have never experienced it.

Through the years, I have done many, many, many unsuccessful things to try to relieve them.  In the past year, I have come across something that has greatly reduced my experience of headaches.  This thing is eating extremely low carb and low sugar foods.

This headache changing effect did not happen overnight.  It actually took me about 4 months to experience the change in sensation (without a supplement).  To maintain this state of hugely reduced headaches, I have to be really strict.  One night, I “overdosed,” as I like to call it, on salsa, a product that is made with tomatoes (a fruit with natural sugars).  Needless to say, after the event, my headaches were back.

It took me a few days to get back to normal plus the use of the supplement I was taking to help me get back to headache-reduced days.  Obviously, diet (meaning the foods you eat) is always a choice.  I choose every day to completely cut out as much sugar and carbs as possible.  While I am choosing to not “live a little” and not let loose, what I am really choosing is to not live with as many headaches.

This reduction in headaches is fairly miraculous for me!  Have you ever woken up with a headache?  It’s really not fun.  I didn’t know what it was like to wake up without a headache until just recently.

Is the diet easy? Some days, NO, and some days, I don’t mind.  But!  I mind more if I have terrible headaches.  For me, the strictness of the diet is completely worth it.  With the change in my headaches, I can do so much more.  I can focus more at work, give more to my clients, have more quality time with loved ones, and I can stop buying Costco-sized jars of Advil!

The result is completely worth it.

To get this result, I had to stop “living a little”.  I had to stop giving into my lenient self-talk. I had to stop giving into the suggestions of friends and colleagues.  And, I had to stick to my plan.  

By giving up “living a little”, I gained the opportunity to live big!  

What I have realized is that when people “live a little”, they do so consistently.  The consistency of “living a little” will take away from your ability to live big.  We all have a finite amount of time.  Stick to your plan, pursue it, stop “living a little”, and start living big!

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Julie Cates

Julie Cates is an experienced, certified, and insured National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Certified Personal Trainer and mastery level Resistance Training Specialist® (RTSm). She is also a Muscle Activation Techniques® (MAT®) Master Specialist (MATm). Julie specializes in training new exercisers that have never exercised before. As a personal trainer, she is excellent at communicating the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of each and every exercise in an effective and understandable manner. She also often works with individuals with chronic illnesses, joint issues, and muscle issues. Julie graduated cum laude from the University of Florida. She earned her degree in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology with a specialization in Exercise Physiology. In her free time, Julie loves to dance! Julie is still active in a dance company with yearly performances of tap , lyrical, jazz, and hip hop! Julie can be reached via e-mail at julie@matschaumburg.com. Follow her on Instagram at @julcates!