Can you identify with the following scenario? …
I heard about this great new diet fad that was working for all kinds of friends and family. I decided to jump on the bandwagon as well. If it works so well for everyone else, it should work for me too!, I reasoned.
But after the first couple of weeks, I didn’t feel so great. And I actually gained weight even though I was eating so well and following the plan perfectly. I started wondering if something was wrong with me. Instead of feeling light and confident, I was discouraged and embarrassed.
New diet fads are exciting. Often, we’re looking for the next thrilling thing to shake up our health world. Yet we don’t always get the results we want from these fads, just like I didn’t in my story above.
There’s a perfectly good explanation for this. There will never be a health plan that is “just right” for you. This is because no health plan will meet you in just the right mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual way that you need it to. You are not a diet.
You are you.
You are unique.
Each of us is created with different preferences, passions, and physical composition. Psalm 139:13 reminds us that God “created my inmost being” and “knit me together in my mother’s womb (NIV).” Each of us is created with uniqueness that colors this world with variety.
There are foods commonly considered healthy that some people just can’t eat. I know more than one person who can’t tolerate avocados or potatoes.
Some people gain more energy from diets high in protein. Others need more complex carbohydrates.
If you’ve ever experienced the frustration of hitting a brick wall on a health plan, this is why!
What you need is your own health blueprint.
The idea of creating your own blueprint may be daunting. But it’s simpler than you might think. We are often so busy rushing here and there in our lives that we don’t pay attention to what our bodies need. Here are three easy tips to help you get started in discovering how to create your best health:
Tip #1: Move in a way that moves you!
Sometimes a health plan, or other people in our lives, will prescribe certain types of exercise for us. But these types of movement may not be enjoyable to us. And if it isn’t enjoyable, we’re less likely to do it. Find ways to move each day that you look forward to. If you would rather have a root canal than go for a run, trying to force yourself into a running program will be a big struggle. But if you get excited thinking about yoga, then roll out your mat!
You may choose to challenge yourself into certain types of exercise. But if you are having trouble moving at all, then choose activities that you can get excited about and work up from there.
All movement counts! So, take the stairs up to the third floor. Park farther away from the store entrance. Chase your kids. Keep moving!
Tip #2: Keep a food journal
Keeping a food journal is a great way to figure out which foods work best for your body. Keep a list of the foods you eat throughout the day and how you feel after you eat them. Keeping a journal gives you a rich history to flip back through to notice patterns.
You may notice that on days you didn’t have much water, you felt really tired. Or you may notice that after skipping breakfast you had a lot of energy.
You may notice you feel nauseous after eating a certain type of food. Or you may notice you don’t sleep as well after eating a certain food.
I recommend keeping a journal for at least 30 days. Then flip back through the pages and see if you notice any patterns. Make changes that will help you feel more energized and settled. And remember that our bodies change over time. Stay curious and compassionate with yourself.
Tip #3: Decode cravings
Our bodies are great at telling us what they need. Yet we don’t always listen … or know what we’re listening for!
You may be experiencing poor health because your body is craving nourishment in one area or another. In my book, TRUE Health: A Woman’s Guide to Loving Her Body, Loving Her Life, and Loving Her God, I share information on why we crave certain foods. For example, cravings for salty foods may point to adrenal or thyroid issues, that we’ve eaten too many sugary foods, or mineral deficiencies.
To learn more about what your cravings may mean so you can work with your unique body to find the health balance you need, check out this free, printable PDF on decoding your cravings.
We won’t achieve our greatest health by imitating others. God made you unique. Instead of falling into comparison or frustration, let’s celebrate that uniqueness. Your health blueprint won’t look like anyone else’s and that’s okay. True health is freedom … freedom to be you!
What are your thoughts? Comment below
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