Be yourself – 10 steps to a healthier you
Do you measure your happiness only by acceptance from others? It’s time to adopt new measures for a happier and healthier you.
Enjoy being unique
Like your fingerprint, your body is one of a kind – the result of genetics, lifestyle and experiences. Stop comparing yourself to others and focus on the best possible you. Adopt a healthy attitude for life.
Recognize that healthy bodies come in different shapes and sizes. Celebrate those unique qualities that set you apart from the rest. Love and appreciate yourself – body and mind.
If you stray from your eating or activity goals, forget about it and carry on with your plan. A chocolate bar cannot break your overall spirit! Celebrate your successes.
Turn negatives into positives
Recognize how people or events trigger negative feelings about your body image. Develop coping strategies to deal with these situations. Don’t let others control your happiness – only you have that power.
Remind yourself of all your skills, accomplishments, relationships and interests. What matters most is how you feel on the inside.
The fashion world isn’t reality
Advertising, fashion magazines, the entertainment industry and the media promote an unrealistic body shape. Look around you – there are a lot more people like you than like “them”. Feel good in your own size.
Make a list of the things you really like about yourself and focus on them. The list can include traits like humour, intelligence, kindness or enthusiasm. Have a healthy attitude and focus on what’s on the inside.
Make time for yourself
Strive for balance at home, at work, in relationships and in life. Set aside personal time every day – even if it’s only 15 minutes – to care for yourself.
When you achieve one of your healthy eating or activity goals, reward yourself with flowers, a leisurely bath, a good book or soothing music. Appreciate yourself.
Sleeping well, managing stress and feeling good about yourself are as important to your health as eating well and being active. Deep breathing, walking or talking to a friend are all good stress relievers. Experience the joy of relaxing your mind and body.
© 2003 Nutrition Resource Centre, OPHA. Reprint permission not required.
Image: Peathegee Inc/Blend Images/Corbis
Winston Waterton – Life Coach, Thai Massage Practitioner, Social Worker and the founder of Wellbeing Vision. He is passionate about promoting health and wellbeing, and helping people to appreciate their inner gifts and talents.