Calorie counting and yo-yo dieting—we all try to manage our weight in different ways. But some habits do more harm than good, writes Jessica Morris.
Do you struggle with your body image and weight? No matter what size, shape or how healthy we are, many of us feel the need to be ‘better’—more beautiful, skinnier, more filled out or have more muscle.
In themselves, these goals are not bad thing, but sometimes we can take things too far. Have you ever been in complete denial of your health or, focusing so much on it that you yo-yo diet, over exercise or obsess about your appearance?
Here are five unhealthy habits to consider breaking in 2018:
1. Calorie counting
I’ve downloaded the app, tracked my food, and felt the guilt and shame of exceeding my (minimal) daily goal. I know firsthand that when health becomes all about numbers, you forget that your body is a wondrous and beautiful thing.
Calorie counting can be useful if you have a certain goal, but before you begin, make a commitment to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Don’t starve yourself to meet your goal, and don’t binge if you struggle to reach it.
2. The guilt cycle
How many of us have a treat and then mentally beat ourselves up for doing so? Guilt has no place when it comes to your health and wellbeing, and in the long run will just heighten your yo-yoing exercise and dieting habits. Break the cycle by celebrating when you meet your goals (even the small ones) and use self-talk such as, “Food is not bad,” and “Balance is good.”
3. Binge eating
Do you ever go a whole day eating rabbit food and then celebrate at night by bingeing on a block of chocolate? Bingeing can happen when we attempt to go ‘cold turkey’ from things and live without balance. It is often also linked to our own emotional wellbeing and need to curb an inner psychological need. If you struggle with bingeing, consider talking to a friend or counsellor about it.
4. Being a gym junkie
If you’re at the gym more often than you’re at home, think about your muscle mass more than the average person, and miss social engagements because you have to work out, then you could be taking your health and fitness too far. By all means, live a healthy and active lifestyle, but don’t become so obsessed with it that it consumes your life.
5. Living in denial
The Bible tells us that our body is a temple, and this is clear when it comes to our health and wellbeing. We need to care for our bodies, whether or not we show the signs of eating unhealthy food and lack of exercise. In 2018 it’s time to stop shoving away the guilt and anxiety about our health.
Make a commitment to eat nourishing food this year, and find a form of exercise you enjoy. Health doesn’t have to be guilt-inducing or hard, just a day-by-day decision to care for the bodies we are given.