Do you believe that losing weight will improve your self-esteem? Here’s the catch-22: you need some level of self-esteem to stick with a diet and exercise program to begin with. If you’ve been beating yourself up for “letting yourself go” over the years, or for not looking like you did at age 25, it’s time for a little bit of kindness toward yourself wrapped in a reality check.
Healthy Weight Week was January 16th-20th. During this week, we celebrate diets that respect your body’s needs and achieve better results, both for your physical and mental health. The truth is, any mindset that promotes hunger, deprivation, and low self-esteem does more harm than good.
Have you kept up with your New Year’s fitness resolutions? Thankfully, goal-setting and a focus on healthy weight isn’t limited to just one month.
Step 1: Understand the Range of Healthy Weight
The number on the scale, and even your BMI, doesn’t tell the whole story. Many factors contribute to your weight, including bone density, body composition, and body type. The key is to avoid comparing yourself to others.
Step 2: Compete with your current self, not your past self
Your time of peak fitness can certainly inspire you to set goals. However, your current self has far more to teach you. Listen to signals like pain, shortness of breath, and hunger. Thank your body for being more active than it was yesterday. Then give it some rest, and get back at it tomorrow.
Step 3: Follow habits, not diets
We brush our teeth twice a day for good oral health. No one would recommend brushing your teeth like a maniac to make up for days that you missed brushing. Diets that instruct you to cut calories and increase exercise like a maniac aren’t sustainable compared to making small changes that become healthy habits.
Step 4: Listen to doctors, not salesmen
The diet industry capitalizes on our insecurities. The doctor’s office, on the other hand, has a vested interest in your good health. Your doctor might advise you to lower sugar or salt intake, and the reason for the advice would be, respectively, to prevent diabetes and heart disease. Your doctor might also advise you to lose weight or exercise more, but this advice stems from desired care outcomes. Losing weight can ease strain on your joints, and exercising more prevents many diseases and disorders. Focus on how good healthy habits make you feel, and how good it feels to be in control of your health. That matters much more than being in control of your waistline.
Step 5: Love your body
Your body has worked hard over the years. Perhaps your body has brought children into the world, or carried your children and grandchildren around on your shoulders when their feet get tired. Perhaps it has labored at a desk, a manufacturing plant, a counter, or elsewhere. It’s done a lot for you and deserves appreciation. By implementing healthy habits, you will see results in the form of a stronger, slimmer, happier you.