It’s almost that time of year when we start making New Year’s resolutions (sorry, I cringed a little, too). If you’re one of the MANY people who want to get fit, be more healthy, or lose weight, please read this first!
I’ll be right there with you signing up for a new gym membership in January, but I wanted to share something that I think can benefit everyone, no matter what your fitness goals are.
And that’s to start from a place of self-love. I believe it’s the key to creating sustainable change (in your body, mind, and the world at large).
How is your relationship with your body?
On a scale of 1 to 10, where does your mind go when you think about your body? Are you super negative and critical? Or do you think you have a rockin’ bod? If that’s you, great! If not, let’s work on getting that number a little higher on the positivity scale.
If you’re unsure exactly where you are with your body image, just stand in front of a mirror.
Right away you’ll notice your thoughts go somewhere. Do they start to go negative? Do you see all the things you don’t like about your body? Or are you more positive? Do you instantly smile and flip your hair back?
Maybe you are on the positive side but not quite hands-on-hips, admiring your fine self. That’s okay! We can probably all stand to improve our self-image a bit.
What are some practical tips for learning how to love your body?
I’m glad you asked!
It’s really easy, in theory, to say we should all love our bodies and be compassionate and nurturing. But it’s actually super challenging in real life to look at yourself in the mirror and see a body that you love, without seeing all the things you wish were different.
Write down three things you love about your body. It can be anything! Maybe you really like your eyes or your hair or you think your legs are super strong and you appreciate that about yourself. Whatever it is, write it down.
Now take that piece of paper you wrote on and tape it to your mirror. That way, every day when you get up, you’re reminded to see the positive. The more that you do this, the more your mind will just naturally go in that direction and the more you’ll begin to love the skin you’re in.
True health begins with a love of self.
We can make all the recommended changes – what we eat, what we drink, how often we workout – but for it to be sustainable, for it to take root and become a lifestyle, it has to begin with a sense of self-love. It has to start with a desire to nurture your body in a way that makes you feel good and makes you a healthier person.
Practical Tips for Getting Healthy
Our bodies are designed to be active. For a lot of us, we spend a whole lot of time sitting at a desk, or on a couch, or wherever. The predominant lifestyle that we live these days is very sedentary. So we really need to get moving. It can be just a walk in the evenings or maybe walking to work or riding your bike to work. Even just stretching every day and taking time to get up from our seat every now and then is a healthy way to tend to your body.
Get enough sleep.
Sleep is crucial for our overall health. It is challenging to do when you’re really busy and have a lot of people depending on you. But it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough sleep. When you’re sleeping, your body is able to recover, rejuvenate, and restore. All of these things are what we need in order to continue living a healthy lifestyle. So maybe you go to bed a little bit earlier; set a bedtime alarm and go to bed a half hour earlier. Creating an evening routine that helps your mind and body get in that mode of going to bed and winding down for the night can be super helpful.
For help getting a better night’s sleep, check out this book.
Drink more water.
Staying hydrated helps your whole system operate at its optimum level. Most of us don’t drink enough water. It’s not usually in the forefront of our minds – we’re busy and working and going about our business. But staying hydrated can be one of the biggest improvements you can make in your health journey. Set a goal to drink a certain amount of water every day. They say drinking half your weight in ounces of water is a really good place to start. Write that number down and figure out how many water bottles you’d need to drink in a day to reach that goal.
Grab my favorite water bottles here!
Fresh air keeps your energy levels up, helps you breathe deeper, and rejuvenates your mind. Step outside every now and then. If you work in an office, it’s really easy to get stuck inside all day without even thinking about what’s happening outside or getting sun or fresh air. Try having lunch outside or go for a quick walk on your break. Anything to get some fresh air in your lungs.
Keep track of those steps with this Fitbit Charge (also makes a great gift for the fitness junkies in your life!)
Listen to your body.
It’s important to assess what your body needs. There is no one-size-fits-all here. I’ve tried so many different diets and a lot of different workout programs. Some work for a period of time and some don’t work at all. It’s really about finding something that works for you, something that feels good, something you enjoy. Really tune in to what your body needs. That’s going to look different for everyone and that’s okay! To really be successful in creating a healthy lifestyle you need to find things that work for you.
Use this Fitspiration Journal to record your workout reflections and find what works for you!
Think before you eat.
I tend to be an emotional eater. If I am stressed or upset, I automatically find something to eat, usually something sweet. That’s kind of my vice. So what I’ve learned to do is to pause before I put that cookie in my mouth and ask myself, “Is this going to nourish my body and help me feel good?” Before you eat that cookie, cook a meal or order off the menu, take a minute to think about what that food is and how it’s going to make you feel. Is it healthy? Does it have a lot of nutrients? Is it going to give me a stomach ache? Is it fried and greasy? Taking a moment to think about it will help you make better decisions.
Try this Eat, Drink, Be Healthy food journal to help you focus on how food affects you.
What will you do this week to create a better relationship with your body?
Maybe you decide to go for a walk every day or maybe you’ll drink an extra water bottle at work each day. If there is something in this post that spoke to you a little more than others, go after that thing. Make it your own.
Bonus Tip: try this Self-Love Yoga video from Yoga With Adriene. Trust me, you won’t regret it!
Be sure to download the free Self-Love and Fitness Guide for additional ideas and resources. Fill out the actionable steps calendar for this week and let me know how it goes!