Healthy isn’t a size. Healthy isn’t a shape. It isn’t a gym membership, a workout plan, or a specific diet. It’s not vegan, keto, marathons, Zumba, or the 15-minute booty buster you just saw on Pinterest. Healthy is a lifestyle. And YOU get to discover how to live it.
For me, being healthy has looked different at different times in my life. At times, it has been pushing the stroller for a run with baby in tow. It has been running out the door with a smoothie in my hand, heading to early morning volleyball practice as a coach. It has been modifying workouts to keep moving during the last few months of pregnancy. It has been training for races, enjoying the outdoors more, becoming a toddler jungle gym as I learn the practice of yoga, eating more whole foods, consuming less sugar, and working on my own happiness, confidence, and love for my body.
But maybe that’s not what it looks like for YOU.
That’s ok. Because guess what? YOU get to decide. You define healthy for you. My goal with this project is not for you to do things like me. It’s not for you to try to turn into somebody else, because let’s face it, you can’t. And why would you want to anyway? You are unique and beautiful and wonderful. Project Love Your Body is simply about loving yourself enough to create a healthier version of YOU.
So here are five tips for figuring out just what practices will help you become a healthier version of you.
- Know your WHY. Why do you want to become healthier? Is it out of fear? What will others think? How much more weight will I gain if I don’t do something? How will I look in my bathing suit on vacation? OR is it out of love? Are you wanting to be healthier because you love your body and want to take great care of it? Do you love yourself and want to feel healthier and more confident? Do you love your family and want to be healthier for them? The most motivating WHY will be one that is based in love.
- Meet yourself where you are. Basically, know where you are and be realistic. If you can’t remember the last time you worked out, then maybe deciding you are going to work out six days a week isn’t very realistic at this point. Start small and work your way up. If you rarely eat vegetables, challenge yourself to try just one a day and go from there. You will feel more successful if you are realistic, and then as you become comfortable, you can set new goals. At the same time, if you are already very healthy, try incorporating something new and challenging. Sign up for a race, learn even more about nutrition, or incorporate meditation into your daily routine.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment. We live in a world of mass information. There is so much out there about nutrition, exercise, and healthy living. Don’t be afraid to try something new. What feels healthy to you? You will never know if you don’t give it a try.
- Develop a plan. While you may try some experimentation from time to time, don’t get caught up in trying a whole new list of things every single week or month. Use experimentation to find out what does and doesn’t work well for you. Then write a list of things that you will do daily, weekly, or monthly. Maybe you want to drink 8 cups of water a day, exercise 30 minutes 4 days a week, get 7 or more hours of sleep each night, eat a whole foods diet, and get a massage once a month. Be specific. What will truly help you become healthier and is doable, given your current lifestyle?
- COMMIT! Being healthy is not just an 8-week challenge or a 21 day fix. It is a lifestyle. Sure, there will be times that you miss a day, or a life situation comes up that seems to derail your plan. But when you are committed, these things don’t mean that you quit. They mean that you get right back to it tomorrow. If you struggle at times with motivation, remember your WHY. There is nothing more motivating than love. So go back to that thought!
Becoming a healthier version of you is so doable. But remember, your body and your life are not exactly like anybody else’s. And your definition of healthy shouldn’t be either. So forget the cookie cutter mentality of healthy and create your own version. You are worth it!
Love your body, and your body will love you.♥