By Callie McBride
For the past couple of months, I’ve recommended certain foods and exercises to help you lose or maintain your weight so that you can live a healthy, happy life. But one large component to feeling good that I have not shed enough light on is your mental health.
This is equally important, if not more important, to achieving an overall healthy lifestyle. So while that power smoothie you had this morning or the zumba-pilates-yoga-insanity session that you somehow managed to survive last week is great, they may not bring you a healthy mind.
Some food for thought: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Let’s be honest, whoever penned this brilliant statement had his shit together. Think about it. Haven’t all of us fallen into the trap of wishing for or expecting change but not doing a single thing about it? Whether it’s relief from an unsatisfying job, extra unwanted pounds, a failed relationship, or an ignored sense of something missing, it’s probably safe to say that each of us has, at one time or another, desired change but taken no action toward it.
Maybe it’s the place that I am in my life right now, or maybe it’s something in the New York City water. Whatever the cause, lately I find myself mulling over why I do the things I do. It’s actually kind of exciting and refreshing to analyze all of the different aspects in my life, ensure that there’s a balance, and focus in on my goals. Want to give it a try?
Make a list of all the things that you do during any given day. Here’s an example:
Shower; study; eat; sleep; clean; talk; sing; email/text/Tweet/Facebook chat/Instagram shamelessly; run; read; laugh
Take your list, however long it is, and then go through each action and consider why you really do it. I could say that I study because it’s what you do in college, but why I truly study is because I want to learn more. I use technology because I want to stay connected at all times. I laugh because I see it as 100% necessary to a sane lifestyle.
As you perform this mini self-quiz, what do you find? That your actions align with your beliefs and your goals? Or that you only do certain things because you are expected or told to? If anything, I hope this helps you to take a step back and look at how you spend your time. It’s precious, and unfortunately, it’s limited. So why waste time doing things because you “should,” when you could be doing a whole list of things that you want to, and that you know would be beneficial to your mental and physical health?
Here’s your homework: take that vacation. Throw away the processed food and go buy that intimidating juicer. Switch to the career that you want. I urge you to step out of reality for an hour or two, dust off your thinking cap (first grade flashback) and reflect on what will satisfy you right now in your life and how you can improve your mental health.
You may be thinking, “what does this have to do with weight loss?” This is Weight Loss Wednesday after all. While weight loss is great if you need it, what we’re really striving for here at iEG is a healthy, happy body which INCLUDES a healthy happy mind. So get happy!