and how to build one starting today
Whether you're just starting your health and wellness journey or you're well on your way towards reaching your goals, cultivating and maintaining a healthy relationship with your body is an incredibly important part of living a healthy and happy lifestyle. Read on to learn why, and discover five steps you can start taking today to get started.
Positive Body Relationships 101
While Body Positivity is becoming a more and more popular movement, the idea of cultivating a positive body relationship extends beyond self-image and insecurity. A positive body relationship should include acceptance and comfort with the way one looks, absolutely. But it's also about living in harmony with your body, listening to what it wants and needs, and nourishing/caring for it in meaningful ways.
Consider your other relationships: How would you describe them? Healthy? Mutually-beneficial? Loving? Or maybe toxic, dysfunctional, or abusive. In the same ways we have to work to maintain strong relationships with other people, we need to put effort into cultivating and maintaining a healthy relationship with our own bodies.
What does that mean? Well, it's different for everyone. We're all unique people with different fears and aspirations, as well as different circumstances, skills, and comfortabilities. As such, there's no one way to have a healthy relationship with your body—you need to decide for yourself what that looks like and the specific actions you need to achieve that goal.
What a positive body relationship is not:
- Self-care. It's a part of having a positive relationship, but self-care alone won't be enough for longevity.
- Overindulgence. Making room for favorite foods that may not make the top ten health lists is important, but while overindulging might feel great at the moment it will cost you in the future.
- Obsession. Setting goals is important, but obsessing over them and working relentlessly often leads to burn out. A positive body relationship should be just another part of a healthy lifestyle, not something you obsess over maintaining.
That said, there are some fundamental ways you can get started so that you're set up for success. Here are our top five steps you can take today to get started towards having a positive relationship with your body.
Step One: Make a Goal and Set Milestones
As we said, what a positive body relationship means is unique to every individual. But you can start by setting this universal goal: "I'm going to learn to cultivate and maintain a positive relationship with my body." Write it down somewhere you can refer to it regularly, and as you begin each day remind yourself how important this goal is. Set a lengthy, reasonable timeline that includes specific milestones you can work towards to continuously improve your relationship with your body (ie, lose 10lbs of body fat in one year, or start cooking more plant-based meals at home).
Step Two: Establish a Baseline
Trying to map your way to Point B is going to be unnecessarily difficult if you don't know where Point A is. With the milestones you set up in the first step, you can start to plan what kind of work you'll need to do to reach them.
For example, if one of your milestones is to lose 10lbs of fat before the end of the year, you can use your FitTrack smart scale to determine how much body fat you currently have so that you can properly plan the best way to reduce. By choosing whether you want to lose subcutaneous or visceral fat, for example, you can better form a strategy. Next, ask yourself what techniques you're aware of when it comes to burning fat. Our blog is a great resource for healthy weight loss tips that you can use as a guide.
If one of your milestones is to start cooking more plant-based meals at home, you can write down how many you're currently cooking, how many recipes you know, and look for ways you can change your recipes to become plant-dominant variations!
Step Three: Be Kind to Yourself
Depending on where you are in your journey, you might have a lot of work ahead of you. And that means there's a good chance you're going to slip up occasionally along the way. The good news? Everyone else does, too. Maybe your body fat goes up instead of down one day. Or one week, you don't make as many of those nutritious meals you planned to make. It isn't the end of the world. Admit that your progress stalled, try to investigate why, and if you can, make it up the following week. That's why it's important to set reasonable deadlines when establishing milestones.
Step Four: Forget About Dieting
The number one reason diets fail? They're too hard to adhere to. That's why we always advocate for making changes to your lifestyle instead of trying on different diets. Instead of eliminating certain foods or strictly limiting your calories, pay close attention to how different foods affect your overall health by monitoring your FitTrack Health report. Use your reports to discover how your physical activity levels affect your body, too, and make plans to adjust them accordingly.
Going on and off strict diets might generate short-term weight loss but have been shown to have negative effects over the long-term. Having a positive relationship with your body includes making sure it's nourished in the most effective and efficient way possible. That brings us to our last point...
Step Five: Revolutionize Your Everyday Habits
You need to nourish your body in order to have a healthy relationship with it. There are some universal truths (processed carbs and added sugar are both bad for you), but at the end of the day, you need to learn to pay attention to your body to make sure you're treating it the best you can. Some people respond well to low-carb lifestyles, while others feel better consuming only fruits and vegetables. Paying attention to how you feel is the first step, the second step is using your FitTrack Health report to monitor your various health metrics, isolate the ones that are most important to you, and learn how your everyday habits affect them.
Make sure you have the fundamentals dialled in first. Establish a regular grooming routine, and make sure you're going to bed at the same time (or close to it) every night. By practicing the most basic forms of self-care, you can prepare yourself to make bigger changes towards cultivating a more positive relationship with your body.
- Set a goal to cultivate and maintain a healthy relationship with your body, and establish milestones you can meet along the way to track progress.
- Establish a baseline so that you know exactly where you are and exactly what you'll need to do to hit your milestones.
- Be kind to yourself along the way. Allow room for error, because your overall progress is more important than the short-term.
- Avoid restrictive dieting, and focus on changing your lifestyle as a whole instead.
- Start with the fundamentals, and then look for ways to revolutionize your everyday habits into routines that only serve your overall health and help you get closer to your goals.
We designed the FitTrack Dara specifically to help you cultivate a healthier relationship with your body so that you can start living the lifestyle that's perfect just for you. By monitoring your 17 health indicators, you'll be empowered with everything you need to know to reach your health, wellness, and weight loss goals holistically. Ready to start your journey? Grab the Dara today!