I’m sure there’s a more eloquent way to say this, but I’m fresh out of eloquence at the moment and I can’t think of a better way to articulate my feelings other than just coming out and saying it: I’ve been feeling pretty blah about my body lately.
While a version of this post has been sitting in my drafts for far longer than I care to admit, I was pushed to finish it after I read this comment from a new blog reader (hi, Cait!) earlier in the week:
“I’m a new reader, and felt compelled to leave a little comment. I discovered you on Instagram and this is my first time checking out your blog (i LOVE it, the layout is gorgeous!). I was reading your ‘about me’ and came to this post. You are such an inspiration! I especially love your healthy outlook (your comments about the word ‘diet’ and that size doesn’t necessarily equal health/fitness). Thank you for being courageous enough to share your story and your weight loss journey. I’m excited to continue following you on social media and your blog!!”
I realized at that point I felt a little bit like a fraud – as if maybe I’m portrayed as someone who got healthy and then automatically started living life sans free of any inner turmoil (which ultimately led me to lose weight and get in shape in the first place). My mind and body are just as connected and intertwined now as they were back then, and I’ve continued to experience mental and physical setbacks – I just haven’t talked about it, until now.
For me, being happy and healthy means leading a balanced life, an even hover on the scale between the order of my day-to-day and the excitement behind a random, weekday girls night (chock-full of decadent truffle fries and half-priced bottles of rosé). Feeling balanced means more days where I feel proud of all the things my body can do (like powering through 60 intense minutes of spinning or making it through Jon’s Dynamic Duo class without throwing in the towel) and less days where I poke and prod at the flaws I see staring back at me in the mirror.
By definition, balance is an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady. Living a balanced life is a highly coveted status and while I realize it stems from having a healthy mind and body, I’ve fallen off course. It’s one of those things where I know what I need to be doing, I’m just not doing it and I’m finally at a point where I’m ready to get myself back on track.
I’m reminded that losing weight (and if I’m being honest, maintaining my weight) and finding my balance wasn’t easy. I’m not one of those people who can cut out carbs and watch the weight melt off like ice cream in the hot summer sun. I have to work hard when it comes to fitness and I have to pay attention to the food I’m nourishing my body with (the latter of which has been a real struggle lately).
Below are a few things I’m going to implement (and reimplement, in some cases) to help me get to a better place both mentally and physically.
7 HEALTHY HABITS I’M SETTING FOR MYSELF
1. Strive for 10,000 steps a day and generally, just move more. It’s scary how sedentary I am at my day job. Like looking at my Fitbit to see I had only walked 856 steps from the time I woke up until noon one day last week kind of scary. They say you can’t make up for that lack of movement/activity with a workout, so it’s imperative I make time to take a break and get the blood flowing throughout my workday.
2. Avoid the elevator at work at all costs (which, of course, will help me log more steps). I’ve been doing this for a few weeks now and it’s such an easy thing. Also, I swear it takes the same amount of time to walk up the stairs as it does to wait for the elevator and then ride it up. I work on the fourth floor of my building and the ice machine where I fill my cup of water is on the first floor which leads me to…
3. Drink (even) more water than I already do. I don’t drink coffee or pop and that means if I’m drinking anything throughout the day, it’s water or tea (save for a random Saturday when I sing, “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere” and get the party started early with a boozy brunch), so I have that going for me! But I think it’s easy to overestimate how much you’re actually consuming.
4. Another way I plan to get more healthy fluids: Wind down in the evenings by sipping warm water with lemon. I tried to incorporate this into my morning routine but that lasted all of a few days. I’m a morning person to the extent that once I’m up, I’m up, but I’ve been soaking up every minute of sleep I can get lately and have been doing the bare minimum to get myself out the door.
5. Change up my socializing strategy. I’m rarely one to turn down dinner and drinks with friends and quite frankly, I’m usually the one suggesting it. I’d really like to get better about taking a workout class, going for a walk or even grabbing a juice as a means to catch up with the people I love spending time with.
6. Get back to logging everything in MyFitnessPal. I realize this may sound tedious to some, but it truly helps me. If I eat something indulgent at lunch, it’s a reminder I need to reel it in at dinner time – opposed to saying “to hell with it” and going all out at dinner, too. I’m an extremely picky eater which doesn’t help the matter, however, I can still be making healthier choices than I have been as of late.
7. Shut down the negativity when it starts to creep in. It’s embarrassing to admit that I have days where I look at myself with anything less than approving eyes. I recently remembered a quote from an interview with Olivia Wilde in Shape Magazine where she said, “I believe there is space for exercise to be as much a gift to your brain as it is to your body.” I know the key to eliminating this type of mindset is to gift myself that escape each day and make it more of a priority than it has become.
I realize these aren’t revolutionary ideas and that’s the glory of being healthy – it’s about a lot of little things that add up to a whole!
If you take anything from this post, I hope it’s the fact that everybody has bad days, but if you find the bad days are outweighing the good, let that be a sign that it’s time to make positive changes for yourself.
Image via Love Yoga Balance