Do you feel like you are engaged in a relentless battle with the scales? Impatiently waiting for the number to plummet or you get discouraged and frustrated if it doesn’t budge or, what feels worse, it goes up…well it is time for a change. Your health is so much more than just a size or appearance and it is important to reshape your perspectives. If you are wanting to become more aware of things to focus on instead of weight, then this is the article for you.
Focus on Habit-Forming Actions
We become what we repeatedly do. Don’t simply think about the outcome you desire (less body fat, more muscle definition), but rather, ask what you must do repeatedly to get there and bring that goal to fruition. Need some ideas to get going? Start with performing three weekly strength training workouts. Schedule them on a calendar and treat them as cannot-miss appointments. Even if you ‘only’ have 30 minutes to dedicate to the gym, you can achieve great results and solidify the workout habit with short workouts.
Your body comes with complex and sophisticated mechanisms to help you thrive, so trust that it will help you no matter what. Rather than trying to control your body, work on listening to your body. Do you need to slow down? Do you need to move more? Do you need to drink more water? Do you need to eat more veggies? Try practicing intuitive eating, which involves letting go of foods rules and restrictions, and focuses on tuning into your body’s internal hunger and fullness cues.
When you come from a place of acknowledgement rather than judgement, you’re well on your way to a healthier relationship with your body. If you feel like there is no way you could love your body today, that is ok too. Try neutrally observing your body first, without any preconceived notions of what’s ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Consider buying clothes that fit your current body and help you feel comfortable. Hit your local thrift store or search online for body-positive ethical and inclusive clothing companies.
Make a point to pay more attention to the present moment. When you’re stressed out, it’s often because you’re worried about something that happened in the past, or something you think is going to happen in the future. When the desire to diet or lose weight comes up, dig deeper and ask yourself what’s really behind that desire. What can you do today to help yourself feel better? And what does ‘better’ mean?
Self-care doesn’t have to be bubble baths and massages, it’s whatever helps you feel good physically, emotionally and mentally. Make a list of what helps you unwind, feel energized or get centered, and work these things into your daily and weekly routines. Consider adding more sleep and time in nature, and less time on screens and social media.
Set Performance-Focused Workout Goals
Shifting your focus from how your body looks and how much it weighs to what it can do creates a powerful dynamic. This is one of the beautiful benefits of strength training. Can you deadlift your bodyweight for five reps? What about one and a half times your bodyweight? Double bodyweight? As you can see, there are lots of milestones you can strive for with performance-based goals depending on your current strength and experience. Proudly discover what your body can do, then go do even more!
Focus on Things That Make You Feel Great
Too many health and fitness journeys are defined by obsession, deprivation, frustration, guilt and negative body image. Screw that. Do what you enjoy and do more things that make you feel good about yourself. Avoid resources that constantly have you comparing yourself to others or otherwise don’t help you become the best version of yourself.