Achieving Optimal Health: Mission Impossible?
What is “Optimal Health?” and is it possible to achieve such a thing?
Is being healthy the absence of disease? Is it the appropriate range on the BMI? Is it a daily mindset? The term healthy is used all the time but what does it really mean to be healthy? What does it mean to be in “Optimal Health?”
I have encountered many people over the years that at first glance I would say, “Wow, they are in optimal health!” At a closer glance I recognize that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I have met fitness instructors that look picture perfect on the outside but are completely unhealthy on the inside. I have met people that by BMI standards would be labeled as overweight but that are really healthy. So it makes me wonder what does it mean to achieve “Optimal Health?”
This is what I have come to realize. Health is not determined by the number you see on the scale. Health is not determined by what you look like on the outside. Health is not just the food you are eating. Health is holistic in every sense. It involves the whole self- the mind, the body and the soul.
Here are 6 tips to achieve “Optimal health” and well being and it isn’t impossible, it just takes awareness and work to achieve it!
1. Love Your Self.
Seems simple right? But how many people can honestly say they love themselves? It takes way more than just losing excess weight or eating well to be “healthy”, it takes a deep personal connection with your self to achieve optimal health. Not the B.S. pretense that we see all the time with gym selfies and duck faced picture perfect poses. That’s as fake as they come. Self love starts when you no longer need external validation from anyone. You become comfortable in your own skin- really comfortable, without pretenses. When you love your self, you learn to shift your relationship with food. You eat to nourish your body. You feel comfortable in your skin and feel the benefits!
2. Become Self Aware.
The more you learn about yourself, the more you take responsibility for yourself and your life (this includes your health). We all think we know ourselves very well, but we really don’t. Until you invest in your personal development there will always be things that you don’t know about your self. With self awareness comes great knowing and realization of how your actions affect all areas of your life- so learn to get “really real”. Really honest, really aware and really open. You’d be amazed as to how quickly self awareness blossoms into self- love and self-love blossoms into optimal health.
3. Stop Dieting! It’s Complete BS.
Optimum health comes when you learn to live a healthy lifestyle without diets! Quick fixes and fad diets don’t work in the long run. Yet, we look for quick solutions to drop weight quickly. We look for quick fixes but we end up feeling deprived and obsess more about weight loss than we need to. Life isn’t about food and our body image- although sometimes it may seem that way. Life is about living with freedom. Freedom to do what you love- when you want! Free from worrying about the weight on the scale, your next meal, body shaming or guilt. Dieting is based on deprivation. The dieting mentality shifts your focus away from self awareness and self love and keeps you stuck on the hamster wheel obsessing about “fixing” something that isn’t broke! When you can have a healthy balance, you will feel optimally healthy.
4. Check your mindset.
Your thoughts become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits create your lifestyle. What thoughts are you putting in your mind every day? Do you look in the mirror and focus your attention on what you need to fix or what you wish looked better? Do you focus on what you don’t want? Do you hear yourself saying things like, “I don’t want to be overweight” or, “I don’t want to feel frumpy!” Reframe your thoughts to include what you want instead. What you focus your attention on grows. Make sure you focus on what you want. A positive and conscious mindset sets you up to experience optimal health
5. Aim for small changes on a daily basis.
Get rid of the “all or nothing” mentality. “Small hinges swing big doors”. When you make small changes in your daily habits you will make progression slowly. Slow and steady wins the race. Slow and steady progress will create a life time of healthy habits. Try something new every day. Try new recipes, try meditating, try different workouts, try increasing your water, and getting more sleep each week. Those small changes will become healthy habits. Those healthy habits will create a ripple effect in your life. Being in optimal health doesn’t have to be grueling or hard. You just have to be willing to make slow and steady changes every day. You have to be willing to take action and accept that small every day changes in your habits, although seems like a slow process, will create great results.
6. Be patient and try and tune out the “clutter”.
Being in optimal health means letting go of preconceived notions that healthy living is impossible. Be patient with yourself and never give up. There is a lot of conflicting information about what it means to be healthy. Everywhere you turn there is a different article about “How to live a healthy lifestyle”. It seems almost impossible to keep up. We compare ourselves to others and fall short of our expectations and give up. It’s hard to clear out the clutter and know what to do, who to trust and where to turn for help when you are stuck. Trust your intuition. Your gut will lead the way. It’s never too late to start. It’s never too late to get on the healthy track. Just take action and know “You Got This!”- with patience.
Achieving “Optimal Health” is a life long process of letting go. Letting go of resistance, letting go of negative thoughts, letting go of self doubts and embracing health as a choice. Embrace health as the freedom to live your life while nourishing your body and loving yourself. I wish I could say, “I am in optimal health”. I know I am not. But making healthy conscious choices every day, I realize that one day I will get there and so will you!
If you are ready to live a healthier lifestyle but aren’t quite sure where to start, let’s book some time to chat. No risk. No obligation. Let’s figure this out once and for all. Connect with my calendar. https://meetings.hubspot.com/info1390/30-minute-discovery-call
Tina Brigley (B.A. Ed.; B.A. Psych.; Cert Health and Transformational Coach)