3 Things I Did In The Past That Did NOT Better My Health

We3 Things I Did That Did NOT Better My Health | Life Healthfully Lived 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.

3 Things I Did That Did NOT Better My Health | Life Healthfully Lived

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…

3 Things I Did That Did NOT Better My Health | Life Healthfully Lived

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 Things I Did That Did NOT Better My Health | Life Healthfully Lived

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.  3 Things I Did That Did NOT Better My Health | Life Healthfully Lived

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!

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One slip up and everything I’ve worked for is ruined.

 

How many of us have that mentality, especially when it comes to health?  I know for a lot of people that it is all or nothing when it comes to eating better or exercising more.  If you fall off the wagon just one time, the whole cart tips over.  Ate a candy bar when you meant to eat an apple?  Oh well, the whole day is ruined and you might as well continue with your downward, junk-eating spiral.  You’ll have to start all over again next week.  Missed one workout?  Now you’ll have to sit on the couch and binge watch Netflix all weekend and start fresh on Monday.

Or maybe you’re like me and you’re so terrified of failing with your health and not being absolutely perfect that you essentially stop living life.

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When I made the decision to start eating better, I knew that I would have to be super strict at first.  I love food and I have the habit of eating even when I’m not hungry.  I’m a bored eater and will put food in my mouth if it’s in front of me.  Because of this, I had to relearn what real hunger felt like.  I also had to retrain my tastebuds to eat real food instead of the processed food-like products I normally ate.   This was all good and fine at first.  By switching to a whole foods diet and tuning into the signals my body was giving me, I was able to finally see a lasting change in my health.  But one vice got switched for another and soon I was striving for a food perfection that is nearly impossible to maintain.

I was so worried that if I slipped up with good eating habits, even just a little bit, all my hard work and progress would come crashing down.  So I tried to keep myself in this tiny box where I could only eat the best foods possible.  This inevitably cut me off from normal life because NO ONE eats like that day in and day out.  Life is not perfect and you are not expected to be perfect.  You are expected to live as healthfully as possible for you.  You need to define what that means, because your healthy is different from everyone else’s.  That’s a good thing and a balance you should strive for.

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Deciding to be healthier is a major step.  It’s important to actually take charge and make that commitment.  It’s hard too, so don’t make it even harder on yourself by chasing perfection and closing yourself off from others.  I’m learning each day to live as healthfully as possible, but to not be bogged down by worries of spiraling out of control.  I’ve been eating well and exercising regularly for the past five years, and I haven’t suddenly gained all my weight back.  Be conscious of your decisions, but don’t let one little slip-up determine the rest of your day, week, or month.  Don’t let it totally derail your efforts.  Use that slip up as a learning moment and move onto the next thing.

By taking your health one day at a time and not focusing on absolute perfection, you have a much better chance of sustaining your healthy journey.

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