I am learning (and living) that being healthy isn't a pill you take at the end of the day, or choosing a pear for dessert instead of ice cream (after eating 2 plates of pasta for dinner!), or eating junk all day and then spending an hour at the gym. Those are all things you do to try to make up for a lack of "built in" healthy choices.
On a web forum for abused women I used to frequent we called that sort of thing "fruit stapling." Taking a dead tree and stapling pretty fruit on it to make it look good doesn't make it a healthy, vibrant tree. Underneath you still have a dead tree that isn't producing the good fruit!
This is true for food itself, too. When the nutrition is "baked in" - healthy, whole, organic, natural - it tastes good and feeds the body what it needs to fuel us. When it's food that's been stripped of its natural goodness (bleached, processed, etc.) and then sprinkled with vitamins .... it's just not the same. It's "iced on" but not "baked in." And our bodies absolutely know the difference!
I'm really trying to make my healthy lifestyle "baked in" from the inside out - and I can feel the difference. Good choices are becoming automatic - I'm not having to stop and calculate or wrestle so much with good choices; they are becoming natural. I'm not having to hit the treadmill to atone for bad choices. I'm getting on the treadmill because it feels good physically and mentally and I like that feeling!
I used to always hear people say "don't diet...you need to make this a lifestyle change" and I thought I understood. I didn't. I do now.
A dear friend of mine always says that over time, we become our choices. I agree completely. Through tiny daily, sometimes hourly, choices, I am becoming healthy from the inside out. My health is getting baked in. And I am starting to really feel the difference. :-)