The New Year is in full swing! By this time, most people have thrown in the towel on their New Year’s resolutions. Whether your goals were to lose weight, give up junk food, go to the gym, or quit smoking, the overall goal is to be healthier. Most people get so overwhelmed by the strict guidelines they place upon themselves, that they become stressed and disappointed by their lack of discipline, so they in turn, give up and binge.
This is a harmful pattern to follow because it is the opposite of what true health and wellness is. What does healthy actually mean? To some, healthy means a jean size, a number on a scale, a good blood pressure reading, or a body free of disease. What does healthy look like? To some healthy is fitting into size 2 jeans, 6-pack abs, or bulging biceps. Many times we judge and criticize ourselves and others for not fitting into our ideals of what we believe healthy looks like. The truth is, healthy is a mixture of physical, mental and spiritual components. There is no perfect picture of health.
Our bodies are a creation of what we eat, what we do, and what we think. Healthy eating does not mean depriving your body of specific food groups or limiting your calories to dangerous levels. Healthy eating is mostly consuming foods that are nutritious, free of artificial ingredients and make you feel good. Most importantly, it is eating without beating yourself up or feeling guilty afterwards. Nothing good comes out of verbally abusing yourself for having dessert or a slice of pizza. The negative effects of the pessimistic self-talk lasts much longer that the effects of a slice of chocolate cake.
Our bodies are created for movement. Exercise is definitely a good habit to incorporate into your life. There are numerous health benefits of exercise, including building stronger bones, strengthening muscles and reducing the risk of a large number of diseases. Exercise improves mental health and mood and increases longevity. Healthy exercise means knowing what your body needs. Pushing your body to the limit of pain and exhaustion is not healthy for your body. One needs to find a healthy balance of that works for them. It may be walking around the park or power lifting. Figure out what your body needs and get moving.
The body responds to the way we think, feel and act. Positivity in mind and spirit gives you a foundation for building habits and perspectives for health in any area. Happy people are healthy people. When a person is happy and loves themself, they choose habits that will benefit them. Stress, depression and low self esteem all lead to an unhealthy lifestyle. There are many things one can do to heal the mind and spirit. Speak positive affirmations to yourself, focus on solutions for what’s bothering you instead of the problems themselves, and reach out to friends, family or professionals for support. Prayer and meditation can help create inner peace. Forgive others and forgive yourself. When your spirit and mind are happy, your body will be healthy. Health starts from the inside out.
In conclusion, there is no scale or measuring tape that can measure health. Make a resolution to yourself this year that you will learn to love and care for yourself from the inside out. Make a promise to your inner self to not criticize, demean or withhold the love that you truly need to thrive. Have a happy, healthy and blessed 2015!