This is a topic I am wildly passionate about. The idea of what it actually means to be healthy or fit. It is in my tagline and something I talk about frequently and something the industry talks about frequently. But what do those words mean for YOU. Because in my opinion, they can’t be the same definitions for everyone.
1) When you think of the words ‘healthy’ and ‘fit,’ what comes to mind?
Do you think of losing weight, or eating more fruits and veggies? How about more exercise or 6 pack abs? Do you think of size 0 and no sweets for the rest of your life? Does it mean fitting into a certain pair of pants? How does your everyday life, what you read or see, influence what those words mean?
2) HOW are you reaching ‘healthy’ and ‘fit?’
I used to say “if only I can reach x weight I will be fit, I can be healthy..” but the process I was using to get to that end goal was damaging. I was not eating, I was yo yo dieting, I was spending hours upon hours in the gym with no to little recovery time, I was living a lifestyle that was unsustainable for the long run. I was mean to myself and seeking an end result of becoming “good enough.”
What does your process look like? Are you cutting food groups out of fear of the calories, are you finding yourself bingeing on the things you have deprived yourself from? Are you skipping meals, feeling hungry the majority of your day, and finding yourself on the “on track, off track” mentality? Do you find yourself craving and thinking about food 99% of your day? Do you jump on a diet the moment you hear of a new one?
Do you HATE your workouts and yet force yourself to do them? Do you feel exhausted and drained and overworked? Do you find yourself ‘falling off of the wagon’ for long periods of time?
Do you feel bad about yourself right now and think that you will be happier when you reach x size? Do you hate your body.. Do you hate yourself??
I’ve been there ^ but there IS a different way.. I promise.
Let’s, for a second, block off everything you have been hearing. Put a wall between you and the diet/exercise industry for a moment. Close your eyes and go into YOUR body. Now imagine what the following would feel like.
1) What if instead, you learned to FIRST appreciate the body you have RIGHT NOW.
Now, I am NOT at all forcing you to love and be happy with every single part of you every single day, or to settle, or to give up on a goal you may have, or that wanting a change for yourself is wrong. But I am asking you to appreciate what your body is today. To appreciate what it has gone through, what it has allowed you to do in this life, what it currently gives you the opportunity to do.
To learn to appreciate ALL of your feelings. To know that there is no right or wrong way to feel. That everything about you is good, valid, and okay. That you are allowed to feel frustrated, upset, and sad about things or yourself. BUT you are also allowed to feel good, proud, and excited, and to choose things and a path that actually feels good and resonate to you.
Because if you don’t learn to appreciate yourself now and throughout your entire journey, you will still not fully appreciate yourself when you do reach your goals. If your entire process is run out of FEAR (I must do my workout otherwise I will never be good enough) rather than LOVE (I really want to work out because it makes my body feel so healthy and it is fun) it will feel forced and definitely not fun and the end result will still feel not good enough.
2) What if you could feel beautiful and healthy at any moment?
Those things are not an end result. Remember that you can define and shape and mold what you want the journey to feel like. You are allowed to feel healthy and beautiful even before you have reached your goal.
3) What if instead of cutting out food groups and labeling food as good vs bad or instead of dieting and binging and depriving and obsessing you just started noticing?
What if you could decide for yourself what foods make you feel alive, healthy, vibrant and energized rather than trying to follow someone else's food plan that works for THEIR body. What if you let yourself make decisions based on a single moment in time (will this food fuel me in the way I need it to right now?) What if you could experiment with all foods and decided what works for your body? What if you didn't have to feel guilty or bad or wrong for eating?
4) What if your workouts didn’t have to feel forced? What if you found moment that made you excited to be alive and to move your body?
What if your workouts energized you, what if you craved them not because they were “good or required” but because they were fun and they made you feel joy? What if you could feel proud of a day off because your body was asking for some rest? What if you could decide how you wanted to move your body each and every day?
What I have learned through my entire journey thus far is I get to decide my truth. I get to decide what lights me up and I can choose things that feel resonate and good to MY body.
Healthy can be a body that feels radiant. Healthy can be eating foods that fuel. Healthy can also be taking some rest days or eating some cake or spending some time alone. Healthy can mean a size 6 (or 10 for me). Healthy can mean no 6 pack abs and touching thighs. Healthy can mean finding activities and dreams and goals that make you feel alive.
What if the way you felt, right now and always, was enough?
What if society didn’t tell you how you should look to be considered healthy or fit?
What if you put yourself first?
What if you decided what “good enough” or worthy or approval or self acceptance was?
What if all of this, the exercising, the eating, the approval and worthiness, was your choice, your decision?