It wasn’t too long ago that I remembered seeing the word “healthy” right next to a box of Oreos at the grocery store. Seriously? I think healthy is such a broad term, kinda thrown around a bit, and sorta blah, but I also think it kinda lives up to its name.
We hear it all the time “oh, she’s healthy” or “no, don’t eat that, it’s not healthy” but what does that REALLY mean? What does it look like to you? I think it’s easy to correlate healthy with lean, fit, low body fat and super clean eating but in all honesty, healthy is so much more than that. I have women that I work with that are considered overweight by medical standards but they are ridiculously strong and healthy. Their blood work comes back terrific every time and they never get sick.
Being “healthy” isn’t just about eating well and exercising. You throw in our mental state, regulation of our emotions, relationships, fun, fulfillment, working towards something greater than ourselves and enjoying life into the mix and now we’re talking a different game.
I know I used to be that person that thought if I could keep super low body fat, remain tight with my diet and do hours on end of exercise then I was good to go. However, I couldn’t figure out why I was tired, ALL. THE. TIME. Why I was no longer getting my period, why I wasn’t laughing as much as I once did or why I was so consumed with fitting into my size 2 jeans. To me, that’s what I thought health was. The truth be told, I thought my mission was to be an elite athlete my entire life and solely focus on my body’s achievements. Sad I know. I was so fixated on the desire to look “fit” and the means to get there didn’t matter. I was exhausted.
Here’s the thing, I’m not trying to judge or put down those that love hours of exercise, only eating certain foods, etc. If you enjoy that by all means continue, but for me I was f’ing miserable. My hormones were so off, I had no sense of self-trust and my relationships were in the toilet. It really wasn’t until I slowly started to relinquish some of the control and allowed myself to embrace my flaws and struggles and really come at things as authentic as I could.
Over time, I began to slowly trust myself like: “what foods did I like?”, “what movements felt best to me?” “what exercise did I actually enjoy? vs. what did I feel like I had to do?” that little bit of self compassion started to pay off.
To be perfectly honest, I pretty much look the same as I did when I was training for hours on end. Sure, I might have a little more body fat but I can tell you one thing…..The amount of mental and physical energy I put into obsessing about food and workouts has now been transferred into so many more positive things. Hey-I’m not trying to say that I don’t enjoy working out or that I sit on the couch all day eating donuts. I still take care of myself because it makes me feel good and have more energy! What I don’t do, however, is constantly take up so much mental space in my brain for the obsessive nature of how my body looks and what I’m going to eat. People ask me, what made the switch to not be so obsessive about your food and body? You know, I can’t name one specific thing but I can say that over time my body got so dang tired and I literally couldn’t push it as much as I once did. That was part of it. I think the other part was me slowly choosing other important things in my life rather than worrying about food all the time.
Now, I make time for my business, which I love, my husband and family and other joys in life. Now, I make a conscious effort to give myself self-compassion and I find there’s so much more joy and fulfillment in the small things.
This shift didn’t happen overnight and at times of course I still want to pass judgement, reach for a new way of eating, cut some calories or add a little more exercise in my routine. I’m human but now I ask myself WHY. Why do I want to workout a little more? Because I’m into it and I feel good or because I need to rid of those cookies I ate. Seriously, it’s tough but the more we can begin to develop that self-trust, do the opposite of what we want to do, those behaviors overtime create more breathing room for self confidence.
It’s kinda like a new shift in our thinking and in our brain, that slowly over time the obsessions that once consumed us, no longer have the power they once did.
I’m super pumped you guys, I’m launching my 8 week WholeME coaching program NOW! So much of this mindset stuff around food and exercise obsession will be covered in my group. I currently have 4 slots left so we would love to have you! You can check out all the details –>HERE.
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