Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial when working to improve overall health. This is no surprise to anyone. Whether you feel too “fat” or too “skinny”, too “soft” or too “muscular”, struggling with body image is a pervasive problem in society today.
Many factors will contribute to why we choose to either maintain the status quo with our weight or make changes to improve our bodies. Perhaps a life event like a wedding or a big vacation are coming up. It is not unusual to use these events as motivation to make some significant – even drastic lifestyle changes to improve our appearance. Likewise, a sense of stagnation in our lives can lead us to feel unmotivated to make any changes. i.e. It is winter – who cares if I eat this pizza? I’ll wear a bigger sweater.
We have all been on both ends of this spectrum. However, making a mental change in the way we see our bodies can be a great first step in how we approach strategies towards healthy weight management.
Be Grateful For The Body You Have
No one body is perfect – but your body is perfect for you. I has everything you need to live a full life. Your job is to be proud of the body you have and to treat it as the special gift that it is.
Eat To Live – Don’t Live To Eat
When you start to see your body as a gift, you will begin to want to feed it proper nutrition. Obviously, this is not going to be an overnight event. We all struggle with making great food choices, but small changes in mindset will lead to amazing results over time. Start thinking about if the small amount of time that you enjoy the taste of the food in your mouth is worth the calories. Contemplate if you are choosing the food out of real hunger or boredom. Determine if the food is going to power you through your day or leaving you feeling sluggish. See food differently. It doesn’t need to comfort you – it needs to fuel you.
Making good eating choices isn’t just hard, it can be downright tricky. For example, everyone thinks of smoothies as healthy, right? However, a commercially made smoothie can be hiding hundreds of sneaky calories in the form of added sugars. You can think you are doing everything right and unexpected calories are sabotaging your goals. Spend some time researching your food and the calories it contains so you can stay in control and on track.
Don’t Be Afraid To Start Small
No one is perfect – body or mind. Starting an extreme diet and/or exercise plan to change your body rarely lasts for the long term. Your time is better spent thinking about what changes you can realistically make now with the goal of broader changes in the future as you adapt to the new habits. Everything counts! From eliminating one soda a day to taking the steps at work, these small changes do add up.
“Love your body and your body will love you back”. I love this thought because it is so true on so many levels. Don’t be afraid to smile at yourself in the mirror. You’re great! Be proud of the steps you take everyday to better yourself! It’s hard work and you should be proud of it!