A new year is finally here – and you’ve probably made a few resolutions to go with it. Most of us make promises to change our habits, get healthy, get a better-looking body, or maybe even a whole new life. There is a feeling in the air that anything is possible. Media will give us their best advice on how to lose weight and get in shape – however, most of it is far from healthy. Changing your habits can be a positive thing, but it is crucial that your starting point is love, not hate. Make loving your body a priority, and everything else will fall into place.
1. Focus on health – not looks
Lately, there has been a misconception spreading in social media where the image of health is the body of a fitness model. A fitness model can be healthy, but so can a person who does not have a six-pack. Strive towards healthy living, and a healthy body, and ban all desires of having “the perfect body”. It doesn’t exist anyway (even Cindy Crawford says she’d love to look like Cindy Crawford).
2. Listen to your body
In order to be healthy, you need to learn how to eat right and exercise according to what works for your body. Concentrate on finding out what your body needs – and stop dieting. Learn to listen to your body’s signals – it knows when it’s full, and it knows what it needs. Every person is unique, and fitness advice can be helpful at times, but should never be followed to the letter.
3. Don’t compare – get inspired
Fitness models and celebrities make a living on their looks and spend most of their days at the gym or planning their meals. You should never compare yourself to them. Ever. They look amazing – but so do you! With or without toned arms. Purge the thinpso and fitspo from your social media feeds – these images do nothing but make you feel bad about yourself. Find healthier role models – you know, the people around you who are happy and do what they love. If you’re passionate about something, do it. It till make you healthy and happy. Don’t go to the gym if it makes you feel uncomfortable.
3. Stop with the guilt
Many people have problems with eating. You may not have an eating disorder, but maybe you find it difficult to eat a cookie without feeling guilty. Normal eating is essential to your well-being, but it’s not nessecarily the easiest thing to do. Don’t apply judgement to food. Yes, it can be healthier to choose an apple instead of a cookie – but you are not unhealthy and you will not become fat if you choose the cookie. Think of it as soul food, and move on. This applies to exercising as well – do what you can and feel good about that. Don’t work out because of guilt – work out because you want to and because your body needs it.
4. Take control of your self image
Your self image is affected by how you think other people view you. And even if it may be hard to do – it’s possible to change it. You decide what you see in the mirror, and you actually decide what to think of other people’s opinions about you. Make sure you always listen to positive things about you, and ignore any negative and destructive thoughts.
5. Know your worth
Your value as a human being is consistent, and should never be based on looks or achievement. The number on the scale does not determine your worth, and it should not be allowed to affect how you feel about yourself. Your self-esteem should not be based on your looks, either. Surround yourself with people who love you for who you are, and be the person you want to be. And most importantly – don’t bully yourself. Think and say nice things about yourself and about your body. Always know that you are precious.