Being healthy can be a complete mind game if we allow it to be. The ups and the downs. The goals reached and the goals missed. The days of “I look great” and the the days of “ughhh.” We all play this game from time to time but for a lot of people, it is on the forefront of our mind consistently. That can be exhausting and nerve-racking!
I’m just like anyone else. At one point (back in my college days), body image, weight loss or gain and food consumption totally consumed my thoughts. But I learned to let that go and stop trying to micromanage my body . . . and that is where my fitness journey began.
My fitness lifestyle involves giving up 4 things that use to weigh me down (mentally). Here’s what they are:
- Weighing Myself . The pesky scale . . . while the scale can create great accountability when used in moderation, it can also be your main source of discouragement at times. I was a total scale addict, weighing myself every day (sometimes more). But I learned to look past those numbers and see the more important things like, how do I look in clothes? How do I feel through the day. How many reps of an exercise can I do. The scale can’t tell me how fit I am, but how I look and feel can.
- Counting Calories. Calories get way too much attention considering they only tell part of the story. So many things have a direct effect on our bodies – for example, hydration, sleep and stress levels affect how well the body digests and metabolizes. Popular fitness gossip makes us think that low-calorie is better. But that isn’t necessarily the case. Tons of nutrient packed foods are calorie dense, and on the flip side, so many low-calorie foods are nutritionally lacking. Food is fuel. Quality counts. Not calories.
- Eliminating Food Groups. Actual food aversions and sensitives aside, cutting out whole food groups is not sustainable and is sure to lead to grumpiness. Our bodies are designed to take in quality fats, protein and carbs and each play an important role in body functionality. Of course there are certain foods that don’t make me feel the greatest – like sugar candy gives me a headache and fried foods make me sluggish. But that occasional pizza dinner or homemade gooey brownie will not destroy my inner peace. I will fill my days with healthful foods and enjoy the other stuff on occasion. I’m in control. . . not the food.
- Not taking a day (or two) off – Perpetual body fatigue was something I use to pride myself on. If I didn’t work out every day, then I didn’t earn my day. But our bodies are made to self-heal, and sometimes they just need a little rest to do that. So my regular weekly fitness routine includes a day or two off per week. Those are my recovery days – days I give my body a chance to rebuild, adapt and grow stronger.
Forfeit your games and you end up winning!