Living in a diet culture, we’ve unfortunately learned that the greatest (and only) thing you can do for your health is lose weight/go on a diet.
We’ve learned health comes from food restrictions, from avoiding entire food groups and trying our best to summon the willpower to resist a cookie.
We’ve learned health is created by obsessing over every bite we take, and getting enough “superfoods”, green smoothies and expensive supplements.
We’ve also learned health is a result of “shredding the fat”, “no pain no gain”, wakig up at 5am to go to the gym, “no excuses” and other catchy, but harmful phrases.
Following these rigid rules diet industry presents us with quickly creates disordered eating habits and/or eating disorders, unhealthy relationship with exercise and our bodies.
The approach diet industry takes is deeply fatphobic and harmful for many people. Health is seen as binary, and purely as a result of weight loss.
Luckily, health journey is actually beautiful, joyful and fun.
When we’re working on healing our relationship with food, our bodies and our health, we learn that health is determined by many factors, only some of which we can actually control.
I cover everything you need to know about determinants of health and how they truly affect you in Health For All, so you may want to check that out – the entire course is absolutely mind-blowing, if I say so myself.
We also learn that health is subjective and individual. Your health is yours. You’re the only expert of your body and health.
And the meaning of health changes for each of us, as we ebb and flow in life.
Therefore, it only makes sense to approach health without restrictions, rigid rules. Your unique, healthy lifestyle needs to fit your life, not the other way around.
Just like your clothes should fit you, not the other way around.
Health is created by healthy behaviours, not by getting to a certain weight (or looking a certain way at all).
Health needs to consist of self-compassion, joy and freedom. Otherwise, it becomes stressful – and the moment something is stressful, it’s no longer healthy for us.
Your healthy lifestyle must be flexible – your life changes.
Sometimes, you’re at a peaceful, slow phase where you can afford the time to cook all your favorite nourishing meals, take long walks through the forest or beach and meditate for an hour daily. And that’s beautiful, healthy lifestyle unique to you at that phase of your life.
Other times, you’re at work all day, then you come home to a crying toddler and million things that need to get done, and everyone is starving, so you order a pizza, give your best to put them all to sleep, and take 3 deep breaths before passing out yourself. That’s also health, you doing what you can considering the circumstances.
Just like nutrition, health is a longterm game. One phase will not make or break it.
Whatever you can do is enough. You’re enough.
With that being said, I’d like to offer you some quick ideas to incorporate in your lifestyle if you’d like, that will help improve your health longterm – because that’s what matters.
- Quick chat with a friend
- Dance through one song
- Also, twerk that ass, and move your hips
- List 5 things you’re grateful for
- Watch a few funny TikToks (A few, not 5 million. Note to self, mostly.)
- Track your menstrual cycle
- Read a chapter from one of your favorite books
- Play with your pet
- Spend time with your favorite plant
- Walk barefoot through your garden, forest, beach, sea
- 10min chair yoga
- Spend some time alone, doing nothing
- Drink a cup of herbal tea
- 5mins foam rolling
- Go for a short walk
- Bake your favorite cookies
- Throw away clothes that don’t fit you/make you feel bad
- Journal for a few minutes
- Educate yourself on intuitive eating and weight neutral approach to health
- Put on some makeup or anything that makes you feel pretty and confident
- Follow a few body positive accounts on social media
- Go to your favorite coffee shop, enjoy your favorite coffee and pastry
- Sit in the sun, maybe meditate
- Visualize some of your dreams coming true
- Hug someone for a minute
- Take a few deep, slow breaths
- Schedule sleep time and make sure to sleep enough
- Help someone
- Give compliments to yourself and others
As you can see from this list (and there are many more options too), cultivating health in your life doesn’t have to be all about restriction and endless discipline. Health is more than food and gym.
Hope this list inspired you to see your health in a new way and to explore the ways you’d like to nurture yourself with weight neutral approach.
If you enjoyed the list, feel free to share it with people in your life. Let’s spread a more positive (and healthy) way to approach health.
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