Health & Wellness vs. Weight Management

If there’s one thing I’ve learned on my fitness journey it’s that there’s more to it than meets the eye. Often times, the biggest triumphs of all can’t be measured in numbers.

Most people will say they want to “live a healthy lifestyle,” when what they really mean to say is that they want to lose weight through diet and exercise. But does this weight management approach to wellness work in the long-term? Is their lifestyle actually changing? I’d argue that it’s not. Not really.

The way to achieve optimal health and wellness is to bring awareness to how the combination of mental, physical and social health affects your overall wellbeing. (These can be broken down into several other categories, but for now we’ll focus on these three.)

Wellness Wheel

It’s easy to dismiss how our mental state impacts our physical and vice versa—don’t get caught in a vicious cycle of one negative component influencing the others! Here are some ways to promote healthy habits in each category:

  • Mental: Short breaks from work have been proven to increase productivity and work satisfaction.
  • Physical: Small changes mattergoing for a daily walk and eliminating unhealthy foods from your diet are great steps toward positive physical change!
  • Social: Human beings are naturally social creatures. Take a step outside your comfort zone and start a conversation with your neighbor or join a local fitness group. Community support goes a long way in staying focused on achieving your goals.

A great way to get started is to take a personal health assessment. By answering a few questions, you can get a look at what areas in your life you should pay more attention to. This insight will lead to a development of life-long healthy habits, for a healthier AND happier you.

Renewing Your Vows

As we slide into the holiday season, I thought it would be a good time to talk about evaluating the personal goals we’ve set for this year. These goals can come in many different shapes and sizes, losing weight, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, saving money, getting a new job, etc.

They’re things that make you say to yourself – I can do this! I pinky promise I will do this! But are you keeping those promises?

I usually set too many goals for myself – my New Year’s resolution list (yes, list) is usually 5-6 items deep. And, if you’re like me, you also get really, REALLY disappointed if you haven’t kept those promises to yourself.

This year I was better – I set one big goal and several small ones. The big goal: finally going to the dentist. I can proudly say that I have conquered my fear of the dentist’s chair and now have beautiful teeth!

I’m still working on the smaller goals. It’s such a cliché to say this, but LIFE HAPPENS. You get sick of working out. You don’t want to eliminate all carbs from your diet anymore. Sometimes, you REALLY want that slice of cake and/or that glass of wine.

So, here’s an assignment:

Step One:

Think about the goals you’ve set for 2016 and evaluate your progress. Are you where you want to be? Where you thought you would be? Write it all down. And, yes, use actual paper – typing doesn’t give you the same sense of personal responsibility as a handwritten note does.

How do you feel? Do you feel better now that you can actually SEE how your year has played out? Even if the paper is filled with negative things, it can still be helpful. You can see the bad habits and get a better understanding of why you’re not where you want to be.

Step Two:

I want you to throw that paper out. (Yes, toss it.)

Get another sheet out and write down your goals again. But this time, be realistic. Focus on the things you know you can accomplish before the New Year.

I want you to renew the vows you made to yourself. Be truthful and honest with yourself and take responsibility for your actions. This honesty is the only way you’ll get to where you want to be. It’s the only way you’ll be able to believe in yourself and start kicking ass, instead of sitting on it.