Do you step onto the scale in the morning and gauge the state of your health by whether the needle sits on that certain number? I see it all the time. Many people torture themselves, physically and mentally, to stay at an arbitrary, elusive number. And yet, once we de-emphasize the outcome (the weight) and place the emphasis on uncovering and erasing the triggers that fuel unhealthy choices, we become happier, healthier and have a much easier time maintaining our ideal weight.
15 Signs You’re Healthy That Have Nothing To Do With The Scale
1. You eat real, whole foods rather than processed foods. You enjoy lots of fruits and veggies. You eat whole grains, like quinoa, faro and barley, rather than breads, chips and crackers. You veer away from deli meats and closely examine the nutritional panel of anything that comes in a package.
2. You recognize and understand your cravings and have effective ways for dealing with them. “Oh, that ice cream in the freezer is screaming my name.” Okay, but why? What’s going on and what’s my strategy for making it stop … right now?
3. You eat regularly and as a general rule do not skip meals. Eating is a pleasurable and necessary part of your day. You might plan your meals and you know the value of healthy “snacks” to fuel you between meals.
4. You do not make arbitrary rules about your food. For example, “Well, if I fast all day then I can go out for dinner and eat anything I want.”
5. You eat when you are hungry. You recognize hunger signals and make the time to eat real food when hunger strikes.
6. You stop eating when you are full. That second bowl of pasta is too much of a temptation or can’t help but clear your plate? Changing your relationship with food, stops the compulsion to eat.
7. You exercise, either through traditional means, like going for a run or going to the gym, or functionally, such as gardening, going to the grocery and carrying the bags, cleaning, or walking to work. Exercise is a key to just about everything … heart health, bone health, musculature, brain health, mood, and better sleep. It’s a stress-buster, energy-booster, combats loads of health conditions and diseases … and helps you lose/maintain weight.
8. You don’t categorize food (or your behavior) as either “good” or “bad.” You understand that dessert or the occasional fried food is a healthy choice. When you have power over your food, rather than food having power over you, foods like ice cream and fried calamari just become another healthy choice.
9. You have social connections — friends, as well as community-oriented relationships. Research shows that close relationships are crucial to our happiness and overall well-being. It has also been found that people with strong social connections have less stress-related health issues, lower risk of mental illness and faster recovery from trauma or illness.
10. You sleep 7-8 hours a night. Sleep, or lack of, effects everything, including learning and memory, metabolism and weight, your safety and the safety of others, your mood, cardiovascular health, and it prevents disease.
11. You have powerful strategies to deal with stress. Do you recognize when you are under stress? What do you do? Eat? Shop? Gamble? Put the covers over your head? Or, do you confide in someone, go for a walk, exercise more, slow down and breath? Putting in place strategies that work for you is the key to mitigating the damaging effects of stress.
12. You celebrate your accomplishments. You focus on what you have done as much as you focus on what you haven’t done. At the end of the day, do you say to yourself, “Oh my gosh, look at all the stuff I still have to do” or do you say, “Wow, look at everything I accomplished today?”
13. You schedule self-care regularly. Do you take care of yourself as well as you take care of everyone else? From attending to necessary doctor’s appointments to haircuts to having lunch with a friend, making time for you is a healthy must-do.
14. You’re willing to push the limits of your comfort zone. We get “stalled” when indecision, fear of the unknown and limiting beliefs put up roadblocks. Having the awareness and ability to break through these obstacles creates growth and increased levels of happiness.
15. You make the most of your weekends. Do you sleep away half of your weekend or do you make the most of your time? Taking time to slow down, creating “fun,” seeing friends and family, does wonders for our physical and mental health.