(and it’s definitely not a number).
Have you ever sat down at the end of a long day and reflected on your daily health? Try it – what have you done today for your health?
When I ask this question to my Health Coaching clients, 90% of the time, the answer is, “I had spinach at lunch” or “I went to the gym”. It’s rare that I get an answer which looks outside the scope of nutrition and exercise. Of course, these are important – but are they everything we need for our health?
It took me, probably until my early 30s, until I realised my body, and mind, were worth more than just energy in, energy out. I needed to rest. Physically, emotionally. Stop, think and take stock. Look at all I had achieved and appreciate myself. Establish my own health balance profile, and identify where my priorities were, set some health goals and identify the best way to achieve those which worked for me.
That’s when I discovered “backwards dieting”. I realised I needed to eat less clean – so I could have meals with my husband every evening. I had to workout less – so I could spend more time with my daughter. And I needed to rest more – to just have some time as “me”. It’s a radical approach I know – in a society where we’re constantly being told me need to eat less and move more – I’m doing the opposite. Well, it’s only for now – because my relationships are my priorities right now. One day, the time will be right again to concentrate on my physique. But right now, my health balance profile is telling me to focus elsewhere. So I’m just making small positive health choices to make sure I keep on the right track, whilst doing what is right.
Of course, backwards dieting isn’t right for everyone. As a Health and Wellbeing Coach, many clients come to me with weight on their minds; 10lbs, 7kg, 2 stone – whatever it is, all too often an initial goal is a number. I aim to educate, inspire and motivate clients to realise that that number does not define you. That number does not tell us if you’re healthy. That number does not reflect YOU.
Through educating clients to make small positive health choices on nutrition, movement, rest and mindset, your ultimate goals are achievable – but steer clear of “that number”.
So let’s try it again – what have you done for your health? Have you spent 10 minutes practicing mindfulness? Have you got an early night? Have you done something that has ultimately made you happy? If so – you’ve made progress towards your health – great work – keep it up!