We all make mistakes. It’s part of the human experience and I am most definitely human so I make a lot of mistakes. Shocker, I know. People hear the word mistake and immediately associate it with something negative, I do it all the time. But I have started to look back at my mistakes and realize that they were important parts of my journey and helped move me in the direction that I needed to go, even if I resisted at first.
As a blogger, it is so tempting to only show you the good stuff. The happy stuff. The stuff that spreads my message beautifully. But it isn’t the only stuff that goes on in my life. There are messy parts, ugly parts, not so good parts that I am glad the whole world can’t see. It’s the combination of all these stuff and parts that make me who I am.
When it comes to health, I have made my fair share of mistakes. I have done things that did nothing to help me and if I had kept up with them would have ultimately hurt me. I want to share these with you so you can avoid the same problems or maybe realize you aren’t alone. Here are three things I did to try and be healthier but were all wrong.
1. Severely restricting my calories
This is usually some of the first advice you get when you want to lose weight and be healthier. Eat less, move more. It seems so simple and we want weight loss to be simple. On the surface calories in vs. calories out makes sense and it is true that if you eat more food than your body has a need for, you will gain weight. But there is so much more going on. We are learning more and more that calories aren’t all the same and we don’t use them in the way we previously thought. I know when I first started to be serious about losing weight, I demonized calories. Calories were the enemy. They were the things that were making me fat. They were the evil demons that I had to battle every day. The less the better was my mindset. Here’s the thing, calories are not the enemy. You need calories. They are the things that fuel your body. Literally every function of your body requires calories, from blinking, breathing, just being alive. I had to work to flip the switch in my brain that made calories bad and focus on finding the right food to fuel my body and allow me to accomplish my goals. Which leads me to my next mistake…
2. Putting food into a “good” or “bad” category
Ok so I figured out that calories aren’t the devil. But there were definitely good food and “bad” food. I had to avoid the “bad” food at all costs or my body would revolt and instantly fall into a pit of unhealthy shame. Dramatic? Yes. What I whole-heartedly believed? Totally. Food is food. There are better choices but in the end bad food won’t completely end you. A healthy diet is what you consistently eat, not what you treat yourself to once in awhile. Eat the chocolate and move on. Don’t dwell on it, don’t feel guilty about it, and keep eating the real food that makes up the majority of your diet. I still struggle with this every now and then, but it is getting better.
3. Thinking my weight was the end all be all to health
I used to weigh myself every single morning and I sadly let the number on the scale dictate my rule and mood. If it was what I believed was acceptable then the day was a good one and I was happy. Anything higher than what I wanted was grounds for a horrible mood, more food restriction, and feeling guilty. It took me a REALLY long time to get over this one, but I can say that I have not weighed myself for over a year and have no clue my number is. And you know what? The world hasn’t ended. I haven’t gained 50 pounds (I literally worried that would happen when I retired my scale) and my self-worth has not gone down. What you way is in no way the best measure of your health or the entirety of who you are. If you weigh yourself all the time, try taking a break and see how you feel. Go about your day and see if not knowing what you weigh affects you in a negative way. I bet it won’t. Your family will still love you, your co-workers won’t ignore you, and life will not stop because you don’t know your weight.
These are three of the bigger mistakes when it came to my health, but once I started working through them it got better. I realized that good health isn’t static and changes from day to day. There are times when I’m less than perfect and that is ok. I’ll learn and move on.
If you’re just starting out with your health journey, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You will learn more about yourself and be able to adjust your habits to find the best health possible!