Maybe it’s because it’s the start of the year but I’ve had more than one conversation with clients this week about wanting to “get healthy” this year.
I have nothing against wanting to get healthy. My problem is that “getting healthy” is usually code for losing weight and has shame and judgment embedded in it.
Not to mention all the pressure to do the right things. Eat the right food, exercise for the right number of minutes, the right number of days of the week. So. Much. Pressure.
If you want to get healthy this year, I have a challenge for you. Rather than fixating on the number on the scale, or getting to a particular dress size, what measure would YOU like to use to decide you are healthy?
Healthy ≠ Skinny
Too often being healthy equates to being skinny. Yet, there a plenty of people in plus-size bodies doing things that defy that narrative. Like this woman who regularly paddle boards, mountain bikes, and is a HIIT workout instructor.
If you shift away from the narrative that you have to be skinny to be healthy, then what becomes your new intention?
Maybe it’s to improve your endurance.
Or, maybe it’s to eat at home more than you eat out.
Maybe it’s to increase your flexibility.
There are so many other ways that you can measure success in this area than a number on the scale. Once you’ve identified what “being healthy” means for you (and I REALLY encourage you to NOT tie it to a number on the scale or a dress size) then the question becomes what are the baby steps to get you there?
Baby steps count
The temptation is to take the big giant leaps as a sign of your commitment. However, for most people, lasting change happens one small baby step at a time.
So, rather than committing to 30 minutes of cardio, 5 days a week, maybe you do 5 minutes, 2 days a week increasing in 10-second increments. Baby steps!
Instead of rushing to the grocery store and buying ALL THE VEGETABLES, maybe you commit to eating one more serving of vegetables than you might normally for one meal a week. Baby steps!
I don’t want to take your goals away from you and this is not me telling you that wanting to be healthy is a bad thing. I only want you to think about what you really mean by those words. To consider where that messaging is coming from, and to decide if that is what you truly want.
Your body is sacred
One of the questions I ask in this year’s Visioning Guide is how will you honor the sacredness of your body this year? Ultimately, that’s where I want you to start. Your body is holy, and it is sacred, no matter what size it is.
Your body has been with you your entire life. It has born the burden of your entire life’s experiences. Is beating yourself up, restricting calories, and forcing yourself to the gym the best way to honor that sacredness?
Change can’t happen based on other people’s expectations and that includes society as a whole.
YOU have to decide what you want and then YOU get to decide how to get there. Your body knows. Listen to the wisdom that lives within you and allow that to be your guide.
Whatever intentions you set for yourself this year, may they be yours and yours alone.
From my heart to yours,