I’ve been thinking lately about the reasons why we can find it hard to lead a healthy lifestyle even if it is something that we really want to do. We make resolutions at the start of each year, and many of us have probably just made a vow to get ourselves toned and fit for summer.
We can picture ourselves being the epitome of health, and would love to have the energy to bounce out of bed in the morning. But somehow the days go by and nothing changes…
Instead of taking positive action towards our vision of a healthier self, we find ourselves landing in front of the telly after work, loading up on booze on the weekend and/or buying takeaway when we had planned on making our own lunches.
It’s all in the mind…
Whatever your health goals, your mind has probably given you multiple reasons as to why you haven’t seen them through.
Perhaps you don’t have enough time, you don’t have enough money to join a gym, you’re way too tired after work to go for a walk and/or you just hate preparing food.
On the surface these sound like reasonable reasons for putting off your plans. But have you ever considered that maybe these are just excuses used to mask the real cause to your inaction?
After all, all of these excuses above have workable solutions if you were seriously committed to yourself and truly felt worthy of putting in the effort it would take to achieve your goals.
Self criticism – the underlying cause
The fact that we do not love and respect ourselves enough to make a commitment to our health goals could be an underlying reason why many plans to stick to healthy eating and exercise fall through.
We often feel that to keep our healthy habits consistent, we need to develop a strong sense of self-criticism.
This is that voice inside our heads that tells us off whenever we eat something ‘bad’ or stay in bed instead of going to the gym.
It’s that voice that tells us we will fail before we even start to make a change, and as such, we don’t even want to try in the first place.
This is not very helpful as a healthy lifestyle is one filled with give and take, and most of all, self-love.
Living in a world where you are either good or bad depending on what food you’ve eaten or how you’ve exercised will only lead to resentment – and most likely see your good intentions derail not soon after you’ve gotten started.
A healthy lifestyle needs to be one of balance in both body and mind if it’s to be maintained. Be ready to cut yourself some slack if you slip up and just get straight back into living the life you want for yourself.
Honour your body and your goals
I’m starting to believe that the best way to begin building a sustainable healthy lifestyle is to first and foremost practice self-love. Go easy on yourself. Realise that Rome wasn’t built in a day and that you are only human!
Many of us go gang busters and go on a ‘health kick’ but fail to see that leading a healthy life is just that – a lifestyle, not a fad to be turned on and off.
By all means, set goals and work hard towards them but understand that at the end of the day if you are kind to your body and feed it with the nutrients it needs (including indulging it in the treats it loves), and exercise it with the movement it craves then it can only love you back with good health.
Seriously consider this concept of self-love before embarking on another diet or attempt to get fit. It may just be the key you need to creating a healthier, stronger you!
Image courtesy of the ever talented ‘meaningful word’ – http://instagram.com/meaningful_word