The health and wellness industry has managed to keep us focused on one thing.
Being beautiful. Being thin.
They offer us shakes, programs, miracle cures, and cool machines to help us reach our goal of being thin and beautiful. And we buy it, every single time – if not with our cash, on some level, we buy it in our minds. We start to believe that to be healthy, we have to do this, or that, and the real goal of health is to get cover girl model looks.
When we finally get brave enough to take control of our health, that’s what we tend to focus on. “I want to lose weight. I want to be thin”.
Well guess what? They got it wrong. And now we’re focused on the wrong thing.
If you focus on weight loss as your goal, you are bound to run into issues of feeling like a failure, of feeling like you’re not doing good enough, of feeling like you’ll never be what you’re supposed to be.
Because we don’t all look like cover girl models. We weren’t meant to.
Weight fluctuates. Period. I don’t’ care who you are – weight will fluctuate. Some peoples weight will fluctuate more than other people’s weight. But still… it changes.
While having a goal to look like a hot sexy mama in that dress is tempting and may even feel amazing when you accomplish it, let’s be real. When you’re ninety years old, are you still going to be thinking about being ‘a hot sexy mama’ in that dress? Maybe? But probably, most of us at ninety years old are going to be thinking about more important things.
At ninety, we’ll be thinking about things like: can my body move like it used to, can I walk on my own, do I have good balance, can I make it up the stairs, can I sit on the toilet?
We’ll be thinking about whether we have the energy to get through our appointments, or if we can get to the other side of the grocery store, or if we’ve got the umph to enjoy a visit with our family.
The point here? When we’re ninety – we’ll think a whole lot more about how we feel than how we look.
So, my thought for today is to…
Take a closer look at your image of health. Lose that picture of health that was conveniently placed in your head by the marketing people – that image of a thin person or a “sexy hot mama in a dress” person.
Begin to shift your picture of health and build it around other things. Things that have more value than how you look.
It doesn’t mean that you can’t take care of yourself, and it doesn’t mean that you can’t look good. But for health goals? There are other things you can consider that may be even more important.
Look to a broad range of characteristics that speak to the health of your body overall and don’t completely revolve around weight or image.
Physical things like; the ease of getting up and down the stairs, not running out of breath walking up a hill, the clarity and glow of your skin, the strength of your hair, the way your nails grow, the puffiness (or should I say lack of puffiness) in your limbs.
Energetic things like; feeling vibrant, having abundant energy to do what you want to do in a day, a clear and active mind, sleeping well and sleeping easy, not being affected by the negative energy or wonky attitudes of others.
Emotional things like; feeling happy, having a stable mood, enjoying a positive outlook, and experiencing a deep joy that comes from your being connected with your soul and it’s needs.
You can ask yourself questions like;
How does my body move when I walk? Is my body moving well or can I look for ways to help my body move better?
How does my body feel? Am in pain? How can I help my body experience less of that?
Do I have energy? Do I feel joyful? Do I have the ability to do the things I want to do with my time? What can I do to change or improve that?
At the core of this discussion, is the idea that you start to define your picture of health around what it is you want in your life – where do you want to spend your time, what do you want to be doing – and then you make choices based on that to help yourself do those things with more ease.
It’s easy to get stuck in the industry idea that being thin is the big IN – and it can leave an imprint that you can’t do anything unless, or until you meet that ‘thin is in’ criteria. So, you waste your life away trying to BE that made up idea of health – instead of really living.
So, start to think about what health means for you. What it means in your life, in the action of creating the life that you want to be living now. Day by day – not when, not if, not someday.
Don’t continue to be driven by an industry that wants your money. Don’t get drawn into being so hyper focused on crazy exercise and crazy diets trying desperately to get to your body to look a certain way.
There is nothing wrong with being fit and thin and trim and a ‘hot sexy mama’ in that dress. But don’t make that the ultimate goal.
The ultimate goal is to help your body be in a state where it can support you in living the life that you want to live. A state where you can participate in activities that you enjoy doing. A state that will ultimately keep you going well into your nineties.