No matter what you read on the internet, there’s no one way to achieve health. While every expert has an opinion, the perfect recipe for health cannot be defined for the general public because there are too many variables that make each person’s life and body unique. The first step to determining what will work for you is to determine why you want to be healthier in the first place. What’s your intention behind having more energy or trimming up?
All that time spent in a bathing suit or avoiding them all summer reminds us why it’s important to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. But the truth is, too often we focus on looks or external factors as the sole reason to eat healthy which, truthfully, is probably why most people who try fail. Looking great comes in all shapes and sizes and is just the proverbial icing on the cake.
What’s your why for creating a healthy life? Determining your true motivation for why you want to be healthy adds feeling and emotion to your goal, making it physiological easier to achieve. Most people are not motivated my numbers on a scale, but they can picture themselves having more energy for their kids, being less stressed at work, or feeling attractive to their spouse.
Of course, there are many reasons tied to the increase of disease that could lead you to want to be healthy, like lower risk of…
- developing heart disease, the number one killer of women
- forming Type 2 diabetes
- having high blood pressure
- having a stroke
- developing certain types of cancer
- having a heart attack
- an untimely death
We know all these maladies are exacerbated by an unhealthy lifestyle, yet we still focus on health as an aesthetic issue when we should be focusing on it as a internal issue. With westernized diets composed of convenience fast, packaged foods—all of which are rife with hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, and a plethora of chemicals — and lack of mental health education, it’s no wonder so many people are lost.
It’s a good time to get healthy especially if we’re feeling overwhelmed by mixed messages served up daily by diet culture. Stop. Breathe. And listen to your intuition (and see your doctor for a yearly check-in!). It will not lead you astray.
Is your intuition being a little quiet? Here are just a few very important reasons to be healthy — see if your reasons made the list:
- Increased energy to do what you love
- A sense of balance and awareness with your life
- Ability to choose what you eat, instead of being controlled by diets
- Feeling more comfortable in your own skin
- Serving as an example to others
- Living longer and with more joy
- Lower risk of disease
Focusing solely on appearances or the number next to “lbs” on your chart at the doctor’s office will always leave you tethered to your scale, analyzing the results and calculating your next move. Health is so much more than a number.
As a Holistic Health Coach, I believe that counting calories is more a method of control over food rather than true balance. It’s just another way to fit food into the “numbers game”, but when we do that, we miss the bigger picture. Food is fuel, not a mathematical equation. Food nourishes us on a very deep level and goes far beyond an ounce, a calorie, fat gram, or point.
Learning to listen to your body and discovering what truly nourishes you is the key to healthy eating and living a life of wellness. Freeing yourself from the endless cycle of nutritional number crunching, willpower, and deprivation is the way to truly balanced eating and feeling more fulfilled. And once you get there, you’ll never look back.
If you’re a calorie counter and scale stepper, imagine for a moment what it would be like to completely relinquish those activities and be able to trust yourself. When you learn to listen to your body, you will learn naturally how to choose food based on the amount of energy and nourishment it will provide you. It’s a whole new way of eating and living…and it feels great!
Starting by determining your own why is an important mindset technique that will support you with your health. Let your why serve as the foundation to help you reach your goal.