When attempting to overhaul our personal health, it’s tempting to focus on our looks. However, focusing on how we feel will lead to more success and long-lasting interest in a journey towards health. We have to show ourselves respect and gently make suggestions of change to ourselves. Harsh judgments are not taken well, whether it is our own voice in our heads or the voice of another speaking judgments on us. Sometimes the most painful part of these judgments are the fact that they are partially true. However, while it may be true that we have x number of pounds to lose to reach a healthy weight, we are not defined by that number. That number does not make us good or bad, smart or ignorant, kind or unkind, attractive or unattractive. It is simply a fact that we have the choice to either accept or choose to change.
When we ask the questions, do I feel healthy? Do I feel under control? Do I feel well? Am I happy? we give ourselves positive goals to reach for that can keep us motivated. Reaching these goals aren’t part of a multi-step process because you can’t ever fully reach them and be done. They are a continual part of each and every day we are alive. Every day we have to wake up and make the choice to be healthy or not, to be happy or not, and to be under control or not.
If the answer is no to these questions, try making a list of the things that are keeping you from feeling under control, healthy, happy, or well. This new list can become a to-do list. These are the tangible things that you can work towards changing so that you can be the person you want to be and feel the way you want to feel.
Imagine the person you have always wanted to be: the best version of you. Purposeful, self-disciplined, loving, gracious, peak physical condition, etc. (fill in whatever you think should be on this list.) Now imagine all the external things in your life that are keeping you from being that perfect version of you. Many of these external things can actually be controlled: spending too much time with people who have a negative influence on your life, not spending enough time and energy on the people and things that truly matter to us, eating out too often, or even not getting enough sleep. If any of these controllable things are keeping you from being the healthiest version of you, taking care of these issues within your control are the first steps to becoming healthier and happier. Begin small, focusing on one day at a time, and remember, perfection is not the goal. Being aware of the things that are keeping us from feeling well can help us take control of our lives if we are willing to make changes.