Want to improve your health and feel better in 2019? Then rather than setting a goal based on weight or how your body needs to look, instead shift your focus to self-care and taking care of yourself from the inside out.
Here are 5 ways to shift your mindset for achieving the best version of yourself this year.
1. Weight alone does not define health
You are so much more than a number on the scales
We need to stop seeing bodies at their face value and focus on health, and happiness first. Just because you are a ‘healthy BMI’ doesn’t mean you are necessarily healthy overall. Focusing so much on weight and the pursuit of an ‘ideal size’ can often mean that other factors of your health and happiness are ignored. Being a healthy ‘weight’, or feeling good shouldn’t mean that you yo-yo diet, restrict, crave, binge, and restart the cycle again months later.
2. Go with what works for you
Find a way of living that feels good
It’s easy to get sucked into trying to meet society’s standards of the ‘correct body’, but this doesn’t mean it’s right or for the best for you - especially if it harms our mental health.
Find your own individual way of self-care and do things in a way that works for you and your health. The right solution is unlikely to come from a bunch of pills, diet shakes and detox supplements, despite their promises.
Be strong within your autonomy. Just like you pick what underpants you wear in the morning [with no one else’s input] you get to decide what to do with yourself and how you shape your life.
3. Acknowledge and accept.
While we get to choose some things, we can’t change it all
The way we look will inevitably change as we mature. Each of us has a natural body shape and size, predetermined by genetics and our environment. Sadly, just like this, we can’t change how the rest of society behaves, meaning it’s up to us to how to we react to the phenomenon.
What you can do is to acknowledge body diversity and start to question, re-evaluate, and re-learn how you think about bodies. Make this the year that you notice all the GREAT things about your body and be grateful for what you have and how amazing your body is rather than constantly comparing yourself to someone who is airbrushed and is just genetically different to you.
4. Use positive motivation.
Let’s be honest, negative goals are emotionally unattractive.
When we set our sights for the new year it’s easy to choose something to stop, to cut out or to restrict, especially when it comes to weight. Any type of deficit-based goal, or act stemming from guilt or shame, is likely to turn south, really quick.
Visualise this: you go to the gym to lose weight, life gets busy, you miss a day, your weight doesn’t change, and you beat yourself up. Any goal like this that arises from body shame is probably going to harm your relationship with food and movement, triggering distrust and confusion.
Compare this scenario to someone choosing to move for their mental clarity, sleep quality, mobility, or just the way it makes them feel. Finding a pure purpose like this is more likely to get us out of bed in the morning or help us to get back into it on a day that we feel off. You never know, adding something in, may finally end up pushing something else out…
5. My body, my business.
Spread the word and chose a better conversation.
Change the way you talk about your body and leave weight out the picture. Encourage conversations that appreciate that we are all different, that health is more than size and that feeling good and having strong physical and mental health is the goal, not a number on the scales.
We need to stop thrashing our bodies with detox regimes, hidden diet rules, and exercise programmes we loathe and look after our bodies and minds better.
Find what fits for you - with food, movement, sleep, stress and social connection. Hold space for yourself, give yourself time to listen to your body and figure out what you need.
Whatever goals you have for 2019, please be kind and show yourself some compassion.
If you are looking for help to fix your relationship with your body, I would love to help you. I’m a qualified nutritionist based in Wellington. With my blended education of nutrition and psychology, I can help you find the right tools that enable flexibility and freedom so that eating well is easy and enjoyable. Get in touch to book in and see me HERE.