I have been reading some books about getting healthy recently. One is called Lighten Up*. It has 365 tips for getting healthy. I don’t read it every day but every couple of weeks, I will pick it up, read, think and work through 20 or so. The tips are structured into 3 categories: motivation and mindset, good food and move more. I have taken to underlining and making notes about the bits that strike a chord with me and I want to share some of them here.
One that I really liked is called ‘Solve your own weightloss puzzle’. It talks about how getting healthy and losing weight is different for every person. That something which is not an issue for me might be a struggle for someone else. It groups the puzzle pieces into different areas. There are food related parts of the puzzle: portion size, fat type, binge eating, emotional eating, social eating, alcohol, food variety. And there are activity related parts of the puzzle: incidental exercise, transport, planned activity, frequency, duration, injury, metabolism, fatigue, laziness, muscle mass. And then there are other parts of the puzzle: genetics, stress, medication, disease, age, history, gender, family commitments. (There are about 40 pieces listed in the book, I have just listed some to give you an idea)
I found it really useful to look at what I find easy and what I find hard. An easy one for me is that I don’t really drink much alcohol (I have had 3 drinks this year). I don’t miss it, I have not banned it but I just don’t want it. For me, alcohol is not a problem piece of the puzzle. I struggle with why I eat (social, stress, boredom, emotional). My genetics are against me. I am really bad at incidental exercise and last year I was really doing no exercise at all. I was able to see some areas that I can work on and this made me feel that I have more control. I don’t need to worry about all the puzzle pieces, I just need to work on a few to see changes. And it was interesting that not all my problem pieces were food related. There are a few from each group that are an issue.
Looking at this also reminded me that everyone is different and I should not compare myself to another persons’ struggles. This is my journy, it is my path. I need to find my own way. And a quote from another tip in the book applies ‘Aim for improvement, not perfection’. I am healthier today. I did not have a perfect day food wise. But I am healthier and more aware today then yesterday.
*Lighten Up (365 Ways to Lose Weight and Feel Great) by Andrew Cate