Sounds simple enough, right? But really ask yourself: "are you happy?" Being healthy is more than just being physically healthy, there is also a huge mental component, too. Getting healthier won't automatically make you happy. There is a component of being healthy and taking care of yourself that can make you feel happy. Also ask yourself, does the urge to get healthier come from you or from someone else? Sometimes it can come from both. Maybe you want to be healthier, so you can be more active with your grandkids, which is great. However, many times the urge to become healthier comes from those unrealistic expectations that I spoke of above. If your motivation is coming more from others than yourself, it will be hard to make a lasting change. Also, if you are currently happy with yourself, maybe you really don't need to make a change. So before you make dramatic changes in your life, ask yourself the actual reason you are doing it.
Healthy does not equal Thin
Health can come in all shapes and sizes. People think that being thin equals healthy, which is not always the truth. If you’re really concerned about your health, go to your doctor and get a physical and blood drawn. Let the numbers speak for themselves.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
I cannot stress this enough. Every BODY is different. Everyone has a different genetic makeup. Like the AA prayer, accept the things you cannot change. With all the different health magazines telling you which exercise to do or what foods to eat, it is easy to get caught up in that and think that if you do what one celebrity does, you will look like that celebrity. Again STOP with the unrealistic expectations. Your body is different from others’ bodies and what you need could be completely different from what someone else needs.
Be Gentle with Yourself
This goes with every aspect of your life. We are often very hard on ourselves. So you ate a pint of ice cream for dinner last night, or you can’t walk as far as you did when you were younger because of physical limitations. You are exactly where you need to be and should meet yourself where you are. Be gentle, loving and forgiving to yourself. I see clients all the time pushing themselves beyond their limits and punishing themselves. Don’t hurt yourself, be kind yourself.
Back to expectations. We can’t go back in time and lifestyle changes don’t happen over night. Make realistic expectations for yourself. Don’t focus on the number on the scale, focus on one thing you can do to make your life healthier. Is that drink more water or eat more vegetables? Maybe you have a bad soda habit or you smoke. Maybe you don't take enough time just for you. Focusing on one habit will make change easier to manage. And remember, everyone loses focus every now and then and that’s okay. Be gentle with yourself and remember that tomorrow is a new day.
I am always reluctant to write about weight loss. We live in a society that puts unrealistic expectations on people’s appearance. There is an expectation that we should all be thin, young , wrinkle free, (fill in the blank here). Instead of letting society dictate the expectations, start creating your own expectations.
More and more I have been asked about “weight loss and health tips.” I can promise you that I am not an expert in health or nutrition. There is no magical solution to health and weight loss. However, I do believe that health is important, but that doesn't just include physical health. Humans are more complicated than that. If you are wanting to improve your health, here are some things to take into consideration: