3 Mindset Changes for a Healthier & Happier You

January 9, 2019

We are all aware that moving our body more and eating a balanced diet is a sure way to feel healthier and happier; but what about our minds?

It is so easy to forget how powerful our mindset is when it comes to health and fitness. If you aren’t in it mentally, it will be hard for any changes to be sustainable. I have found that an unhealthy mindset can end up sabotaging all of your progress.

My journey with my mindset has been a tricky one. In 2015 I was going through a rough time and my self-confidence was at an all-time low. I became obsessed with working out and what I ate. 2 hour workouts six times a week became the norm and I barely ate over 1,000 calories a day. My confidence on the outside went up, but internally, I still wasn’t satisfied. I had bout after bout of tonsillitis and was incredibly exhausted all of the time.

Someone may look ‘healthy’ on the outside, but remember, you never know what is going on internally.

Below are 5 mindset changes you can try right now for a healthier and happier you:

EXERCISE IS NOT PUNISHMENT

Thanks to calorie counters and exercise trackers, it is easier for us to see what we are consuming and how much we are moving every day. For some people it can create a dangerous and unhealthy relationship with exercise. Exercise should not be a form of punishment in order to ‘burn off’ whatever you have eaten that day, and if you don’t hit your goal steps in a day you are not a failure. Life happens. You may feel crap one morning and want to sack off the gym. That is totally ok!

Exercise should also not feel like a chore. If it does, maybe you haven’t found something you enjoy or are comfortable with just yet. Remember, exercising does not necessarily mean going to the gym. There are hundreds of other ways to get moving more. Sign up to some new classes or try out different activities to find something you will actually look forward to doing. If your mindset is not there, it is going to be very hard to keep a sustainable relationship with exercise.

QUIT LABELLING FOOD

At the end of the day, food is food. Every type of food contains different levels of carbs, fat, protein and micro-nutrients. Are some foods more nutrient-dense? Yes, of course! But that doesn’t make other foods ‘bad.’ Of course, if you ate fast food for most meals in a week you would probably feel a bit rubbish due to the lack of micro-nutrients, but nothing drastic would happen to you unless you did that long-term.

When we start labelling food as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ we are establishing an unhealthy relationship with food. When I was barely eating 1,000 calories a day I had demonised certain foods and practically banned them from my diet. These included white bread and pasta because of all of the nutribollocks around carbs = weight gain. In the media today we get so many mixed messages about ‘foods that will shorten your life’ or ‘superfoods you should be eating,’ it isn’t hard to see why so many people struggle.

The biggest lesson I have learnt is that restriction never works and only takes away the joy out of eating. Bread is not the devil and chocolate will not ruin your fitness progress. Eat what you love within a balanced diet.

ERASE THE SELF-DOUBT

Social media has us believing that ‘fitspos‘ out there are at the gym every day, giving their all at every session, all whilst looking like they have just come from a photoshoot. Is that reality? No, it’s not. It’s crucial to remember that these sorts of posts have been curated and set-up so it is totally ok to not be living that ‘Instagram fitspo life.’

When I work out I have little to no makeup on, probably very red in the face and have a sweaty upper lip. It may not be Instagrammable, but it is real. Never feel bad about yourself for not looking like what you see on social media, as most of the time it isn’t reality.

Your mindset is such a powerful tool when it comes to living a happy and healthy life. If your mindset isn’t there, it will be hard to keep up a sustainable lifestyle. Changing your mindset doesn’t happen overnight, but patience and persistence will get you there eventually.

H x


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