If you know me personally, you might know that body image is a constant battle for me. It’s not one I have ever let control my life but it’s certainly frequently on my mind. Unfortunately, it’s always been that way, my entire life. To say the least, 2017 has been helpful for my body image, not because I’ve lost 30 pounds or feel “skinny,” but because I have a new and improved idea of what healthy looks like for me.
When I fuel my body with the proper foods and get to the gym 4-6 times a week, I feel good about myself. I’m less stressed, more in tune with my mind and body, and feel well overall. However, not every month is like this. Sometimes I binge eat, sometimes I eat out more often than I can afford, sometimes I don’t get to the gym for weeks at a time. But, each time I come back to my healthy habits, I don’t regret it.
So in today’s post, I want to talk. Let’s talk a bit about what I do (and what you can do too) to become “healthy” and get back on track if you’ve fallen off. Keep reading below!
So what do I consider healthy to mean or be? Well, the first word that comes to my mind is moderation. I’m a huge believer in balance and I’ve certainly learned it from my mama and her own journey with weight loss. I often remind myself that it is more than okay to go out with friends and drink or have some pizza, I just aim to do it all in moderation. I mentioned before I’ve had a tendency to binge in the past, so now I’m incredibly conscientious about only having two slices of pizza and no more, for example.
At the end of the day, just try to eat clean (whatever that means for you, for me it means whole foods when I can) and work out when you can, but don’t sacrifice your social life. I’ve been there and it’s miserable, trust me. Ultimately, being healthy and practicing balance is a lifestyle change, this isn’t just some fad diet. Remember that and let it guide you!
Don’t beat yourself up.
This is tied to practicing balance in some ways, but don’t worry about missing the gym for a whole week. In the past, I’ve found myself feeling guilty for having that slice of chocolate cake or skipping leg day, but it’s not worth beating myself up over. It also doesn’t have to completely derail me or lead me back to those bad habits like binging or self-loathing.
Now, I simply don’t let it get that far. I focus on pushing myself forward instead of worrying about one small mistake I made that ultimately doesn’t have much of an impact on my health and wellness goals. Another great way to avoid this is setting realistic expectations for yourself. Don’t set a crazy goal like working out every day for a month if you know you won’t reach it, otherwise, you’re likely to become disappointed with yourself for failing.
Listen to your body.
Busy week ahead? Don’t stress yourself (or your body) out more by forcing yourself to follow a strict workout regimen and/or meal plan. The coming week is a lot busier than normal for me as I have a blog dinner Tuesday night, a work event Thursday night, and my friend’s wedding festivities Friday and Saturday. I’ll probably only make it to the gym twice and that’s okay! If I forced myself to go on top of all of these social obligations, my body would definitely feel the stress.
This one also relates to eating. If you don’t feel hungry, don’t eat. Mind you, it sounds a lot simpler than it truly is and I’ve struggled with this a lot more than I care to admit in the past. I’m a bored and stressed snacker. I often feel like I need to be eating when I’m watching TV and so on, but when I eat intuitively and when I’m truly hungry, I feel so much better. Now, I try my hardest to be intentional about what I put into my body.
Encourage positive habits.
When you’re consistent, you’ll see results with both working out and eating well. Again, easier said than done, but it’s still true. So, celebrate your hard work. Tell your friends and family your goals so they can hold you accountable. Lost 5 pounds? Be PROUD! Gone to the gym consistently for two weeks in a row? Pat yourself on the back! Reminding yourself of these successes, no matter how big or small will ultimately aid in your progression.
When it comes to working out, I find it helps me a lot to view my progress visually so that includes progress photos of my body and tracking my workouts on the app, Today. It’s just a habit tracking app so you can use it to keep track of any habit you can think of. I personally use it to mark what days I went to the gym.
What does healthy mean to you? And how do you stay the healthiest version of yourself you can be? Let me know in the comments below! Have a great week, everyone 🙂