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Components of Healthy Living | Part One

The term “healthy living” is such a buzzword right now. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but with the health trend comes some danger. Everywhere you look there’s a program, supplement, workout routine, or exercise machine being marketing to you. Not all of them are bad, but the amount of options can be overwhelming and can send people into a downward spiral of dieting.

I’ll be honest- aside from the “we’ll send you your food” plans, I’ve tried almost every diet out there. MyFitnessPal, IIFYM, Weight Watchers, even low-carb/keto- which lasted all of 3 days because your girl loves carbs. I know, I know,  “it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle,” but, let’s be real- they’re all weight loss plans. I could write a whole post on what I think about weight loss plans, but that’s for another time. Long story short- diets aren’t for me and I need to remember that. I know some people may not be in the same boat as I am so, instead, I want to focus on the core components of a healthy lifestyle.

I know what you’re thinking- healthy food, exercise, and water. Those are important, but those aren’t the components of a healthy lifestyle we’re going to talk about. In this mini-series, we’re going to talk about the components of a healthy lifestyle that will allow you to be excited to choose nutritious food. We’re going to get to the root of why we should practice those healthy habits. We’re going to talk about how we can keep health at the center of our lives without it coming from a place of guilt or “being better.”

Ready? Let’s get into it!

The first thing we’re going to talk about in this mini-series is going to be the root of what a healthy lifestyle really is all about. Accepting what is.

I’m sure you’re brain is pumping the brakes right now and saying,” What in the world is this quack talking about,” but hear me out.

I don’t mean “accepting what is” as a way to be complacent. It is 100% ok to want to improve. What is VERY important, however, is to accept yourself the way you are today and be open to what your body is supposed to be. We often have lofty goals of what we want to look like, but every single body is different and, like it or not, you may not have the body type to achieve whatever look you’re going for without doing damage to yourself. You were given your body. You can spend your life hating it and wanting to fix it, or you can learn to accept, love, and appreciate the body you have.

Don’t get me wrong- I completely understand the desire to lose some weight or gain muscle or get rid of some fat I’ve got stored here and there. I think that’s natural and if you can find someone who loves every inch of their physical body all the time let me know cause I have questions. It is so important, however, to make sure that your will to improve is coming from a place of love and respect, NOT a place of hatred or discontent. You will never, ever be happy with what you see in the mirror if you are trying to change yourself because you don’t like yourself. On top of that, your version of a healthy lifestyle will be miserable.  How often do we crash diet and then binge? After our binge we miss our morning workout which starts the day on the wrong foot so we think that the day is a wash and we’ll “start again tomorrow.” When tomorrow comes we may restrict our calorie intake and eat super healthy foods all day, but that night or maybe even the next night we are so hungry that we end up ordering the dollar menu from McDonalds and the cycle starts over again. Not only is that exhausting for your body, it’s exhausting for your brain! How much guilt do we feel during this cycle? On the other hand, when you are implementing change out of respect for your body, it will come much more naturally and you will enjoy the process more. We will dive deeper into this in the next post.

You may be wondering how to start this process. It’s a hard one to start since it seems like we’ve been taught to obsess over our features for forever. The first and easiest way to start accepting your body the way it is is to remember what your body can do for you. Maybe you can’t run a 7 minute mile, but, at the very least, your body is functioning at the cellular level to keep you alive and that is pretty freaking cool. You can also start by taking pressure off yourself. You don’t have to be perfect and no one is expecting you to be. Seriously. Did you know that stress can physically cause weight gain? Cortisol levels rise when you’re stressed which leads to a drop in blood sugar. When your blood sugar drops, you gravitate towards foods that will help it spike again- often greasy, sugary, and fatty foods. You already have enough stress in your life around work and family and school and whatever else you have going on. Why contribute to that by stressing about the way you look? This next tip sounds silly, but looking in the mirror and telling myself- out loud- “I accept my body and love it for the way it is today” has helped me immensely. I don’t always believe it when I say it, but the idea becomes true the more I do it. Fake it til you make it, am I right?

This week I challenge you to do one thing each day that can help you accept your body the way it is right now. Not in 15 pounds. Not after your weekend bloat is gone. Right now.

In the next post, we’re going to talk in detail about what the right goal for health is and the fail proof way to reach it!

 

Question for you:

What are YOU going to do this week to start the path to acceptance?

 

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