Clients I have the privilege to work with routinely have within their set of goals to “get healthier.” As their Eating Behavior Coach, I teach them how to be more specific and narrowly define it for themselves based on the lifestyle they’re seeking. This way, they will know once they’ve arrived and achieved their goal.
This process of getting specific and defining “getting healthier” get really interesting. Uncovering what it uniquely means for an individual is almost always an eye opening and soul exposing exercise.
So play along with me right now. STOP and think of how you define “getting healthier.” Be specific and use identifiable measures and terms in your definition.
Got it summed up in your mind? Good. Read on.
Were any of these included in your definition:
1. Unshakable feeling of comfort and confidence in your own skin
2. Consistently elevated energy and stamina
3. More restful and greater quantity of sleep
4. Being at ease around food and with food choices
5. Optimal digestion (eliminating gas, bloat, stomach upset)
6. Clear mental focus and highly efficient productivity
7. Experiencing freedom to eat what you want and with pleasure
8. Consistent positive inner dialogue about your self-worth and body image
9. Daily physical movement that is enjoyable and increases strength and stamina in the body
10. Ability to manage daily stress so effectively you become truly present with others thereby greatly improving your relationships and life satisfaction
11. Reduce or eliminate prescription drugs. Replacing drugs with new beliefs that support your health, practicing mindfulness and meditation and using food as medicine.
New clients of mine find that only a few of the above are within their definition of getting healthier. However, by the time we end our coaching work together, they are ALL within their long-term definition of being and staying healthy.
So, what about you? How many were within your definition of getting healthier?
On the flip side, sadly, in the world we live in which is dominated by diet culture and the media’s portrayal of what constitutes beauty and thus synonymous with what defines health, the following is actually how the majority would define getting healthier:
1. Lose weight to fit within the BMI range; or if you don’t believe in the BMI scale, then at minimum your high school weight or pre-childbirth weight; the point is, healthy means lose enough weight to be “back to what you used to be” at “x” point in time (spoiler alert: you probably thought you were fat back then at that weight too)
2. Fit into attractive, single digit size clothes because that means you’re not only healthy, but thin by society’s standards and therefore beautiful (for some however in the size 8-9 range, they may doubt they are passable as thin, but can pull it off if clothing choices are figure flattering enough and suck-em’up-em undergarments are worn)
3. Eat foods in public that others admire, consider healthy and praise you for eating thus validating you are health conscious (a moral standard of worth)
4. Exercise 3-4 times a week, for at least an hour each time, at a fitness gym (unless you’re a runner or cyclist, then it can be outdoors and still count)
5. Lose weight
6. Wear some form of tracking device on your wrist – preferably a bright color to show others you’re serious about being healthy
7. Weave into as many conversations as possible all the ways you make efforts to get healthy so others know you self-recognize you have a serious problem and you’re actively working to fix yourself
8. Join/try all the latest diet programs (especially go after the one’s with the best before and after pictures and claim you can lose 20 pounds a month without changing what you eat or how much you exercise) and be sure to weigh yourself daily!
9. Have a very restrictive list of bad foods you can never eat again and white knuckle it as lost as possible not to eat them to demonstrate you have willpower
10. Lose weight
Ok. Ok. I got a little carried away with some of my commentary. Or did I?
No, actually I didn’t. These are real descriptions of what I and my clients have described within their definition of what getting healthier means and how they will know once they’ve arrived and achieved their goal.
Evidence shows, having the second definition of getting healthier will always lead a person to the miserable road of yo-yo dieting and health decline, not improvement.
There is hope. There is a better way. Getting healthier is possible and even sustainable!
It takes being willing and open minded to try a different approach based on the principles of eating psychology and mind-body nutrition which teaches you how to eat, how to enjoy food, how to use food as medicine and how to trust your body’s feedback to tell you what foods make you feel your best and lead you to becoming healthy and sustaining good health.
Success isn’t the before and after picture; it’s how you feel inside and how connected you become to your body’s feedback.
You have everything you need to get healthier within you already once you learn how to listen and consistently respond to the messages your body sends.
It is my belief and my coaching approach that the ultimate determination of health is how you nourish your mind, body and soul and you can only do that when you tap into your body’s wisdom.
Tapping into your body wisdom leads to learning how to align your intentions with your beliefs, then taking consistent daily action based on the pursuit of continual life long progress and improvement towards your unique definition of health and lifestyle goals.
So for anyone looking to “get healthier” but has been operating under the flip side definition for way too long, today’s blog is intended to invite you or them to contact me to explore how my Eating Behavior Coaching services can genuinely lead to getting healthier…not just in your mind-body, but in your spirit as well.
I'd love to hear from you - so please leave me a comment and tell me what you think. If you think someone else can benefit from today's blog, please share it with them.
In good health,
Coach Rusti Q