When I started out on this journey to eat right and exercise, it was all about achieving an unachievable body image that had been so deeply engrained in my head. I thought once I arrived at this place, that I would finally be happy with myself.
But somewhere along the way I had an "a-ha moment". All this time, I had been going about it all wrong. I was setting unrealistic expectations, never stopping to think about how I was completely sabotaging myself with my mindset. What I really needed to do was change the way I was thinking about myself, food, exercise and the world around me. Once I started to work on healing my mind, the rest seemed a whole lot easier.
Sometimes you just need to take a moment to pause and look at things through a different light. These 5 simple mindset shifts have changed my entire life.
#1. I can't and won't be perfect
One of the biggest mistakes I made when setting out to live a healthier life was demanding perfection from myself. No matter how hard I tried, I could never be perfect and I always ended up feeling disappointed in myself. This weighed on me heavily for years before I realized I won't ever be perfect.
I'll repeat that again: I won't ever be perfect.
Once I released my desire to achieve perfection, I felt like a massive weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Expecting yourself to adhere to a strict diet or hit the gym 7 days a week, isn't sustainable, nor will it make you happy. So set realistic goals and expectations for yourself and let go of perfection. Just do what you can, with what you've got, wherever you are.
#2. I am the only one who is in control of how I fuel my body
I wasted years "trying" to eat healthy but somehow always found excuses. Once I realized that I was the only one in control of the food I was putting in my body, my mindset shifted. Eating healthy is one of those things that no one can do for you. You have to do it for yourself. Accept that you are the one on control, take the wheel and drive.
#3. When I eat better, I feel better
When I started out on this journey, it was all about looking better in a pair of skinny jeans. But as I got more into it, I noticed a huge difference in the way I felt about myself and the world around me. I used to be so lethargic, bloated, depressed and miserable. But when I started to fuel my body with real food, it changed everything. I now spring out of bed in the morning full of energy and never feel the need for a mid-afternoon nap. My digestive system works beautifully and I'm more inspired, creative and motivated.
Moral of the story: Eating healthy is about so much more than looking good in those skinny jeans. It's about being in your best health, because life is too short to feel uncomfortable in your own skin.
#4. My body is strong and incredible
Like most women, I've always struggled with body image. I used to really hate my body. I'd look in the mirror and say horrible things to myself. These thoughts of self-hate manifested themselves in so many awful, negative ways.
But then one day I read something that said, "Be kind to your body. It is the only place you have to live." My eyes opened wide as I realized how true it was.
Today I'm thankful for my strong thighs when they carry me safely from point A to B. Instead of groaning about going to the gym, I'm thankful my body is powerful enough to carry me through an intense workout. This is the body you will be in for the rest of your life whether you like it or not, so learn to love it.
#5. If I'm miserable doing it, then I am probably doing it wrong
I spent way too many days dieting, starving, depriving and feeling crappy about myself. I wanted to be healthier, but I was miserable doing it. But then I discovered healthy food I truly enjoyed, workouts that were actually fun and learned the power of positive thinking. The sky seemed to open up as I realized how sweet it could be.
Living a healthy life can be simple and fun if you let it. So let go of perfection, accept responsibility, realize the potential, be thankful and enjoy the continual work in progress.