Health is not always about dropping pounds.
Tell anyone you’re focusing on getting healthy, and they are likely to assume you’re trying to lose weight. But there’s more to getting healthy than achieving a specific number on a scale. Seeing “healthy” as purely a number or size can lead to unhealthy behaviours like disordered eating, depression, and anxiety.
If you’re determined to live a healthier lifestyle, keep these tips in mind as you set your goals and work towards them.
Focus On Quality Of Life
When you focus on improving your quality of life versus attaining a specific weight-related goal, you’re more likely to consider all aspects of your life and not just the physical weight. Maintaining a healthy mindset is critical, especially if you’re entering this new phase a bit disappointed or frustrated with your current lifestyle.
Instead of setting goals like getting in a workout every day, incorporate time with mates and family as part of your fitness routine. Schedule an after-work walk in your favourite local park or sign up for a new yoga class with someone from the office. Monitoring calories burned is acceptable, but if the movement made you happy, that’s a win too.
When you learn to enjoy moving your body instead of simply logging hours at the gym, you’re more likely to stick to the habits long-term.
Resist The Urge To Compare
Nothing can hamper a fitness journey like browsing Instagram and playing the comparison game. Resist the urge to compare yourself or your progress to others. Social media can lead you to believe that everyone is doing better than you and no one is having a moment of weakness, but this simply isn’t true.
When you focus on improving your self-confidence and working toward your unique goals, what you see online won’t have the power to derail you. If needed, unfollow or mute accounts that leave you feeling frustrated, jealous, or otherwise unhappy.
Celebrate the non-scale victories
Depending on the type of exercise you’re doing, your age, your genetic history, and various other factors, your progress on the scale may be a very poor indicator of your overall health.
Your fitness journey is mental, emotional and physical, and there are plenty of non-scale victories that will help you track your forward progress.
A healthier lifestyle is likely to lead to a lower resting heart rate, fewer days of feeling ill, lower blood pressure, and lower cholesterol numbers at your next doctor’s visit. Staying hydrated and making time to move your body every day is known to improve gut health and result in clearer skin. (Remember that taking care of your skin and using quality face cleansing products is an essential part of your health, too!)
Set realistic goals
Your goals should provide a good challenge but also incorporate building good habits. For instance, if you’re hoping to run a 5K, setting a realistic goal of running one mile with no breaks is a significant first step. Or, building the habit of taking an evening walk after your last meal is an even smaller goal and place to start.
Work with your physician to set realistic goals if you’re not sure what your priorities should be. And, remember to take a holistic approach by incorporating your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs into your new plan.
Lots of Love,