Mental Fitness


Did you know that nearly 50% of Americans are on a diet and that 95% of them will gain back the weight lost, plus some, within 1-2 years? Now, there are a lot of reasons for this. Mostly being that people choose diets with an expiration date rather than making permanent lifestyle choices. Nonetheless, this means that at least half of us are unhappy with ourselves.

When we hear ‘fitness,’ images of bulging muscles, washboard abs..lean legs…sweat dripping down…….sorry where was I? Oh yes. So ‘fitness’…Just as physical fitness is key for overall health, mental fitness is important too!

We tend to be so critical of ourselves and especially our bodies. But, before you can ever think about the goals you want to achieve for your physical self, you have to whip that nagging self criticism into shape. Contentment stems from the satisfaction you feel about yourself. There can not be proper balance in your life if there is any negativity surrounding how you feel about YOU. So, how do we find satisfaction with ourselves? There are steps we can take to get there.

First, think of how you describe yourself. Either make a list in your head or write it down if it helps. Start with all of the positives. Dare to bring out everything that is already a part of you, even if it has been in hiding for a while. What are your dreams, goals, values? What would you be if you could do anything without consequence or judgement?  Once you are done with your list, keep the positives at hand whenever you are feeling down about yourself. This may sound silly, but I tell ya, it works! Repeat these positive mantras whenever you need to.

Next, look at the negatives. Really study them. Are these negatives fleeting or superficial? For example, you may write down “I’m overweight.” This is something that is not an innate part of who you are. Being overweight does not at all describe YOU. Instead, really analyze what it is about being overweight that bothers you. Break down the true meaning that is stopping you from being the wonderful you that you are. It may turn out to be something like: “I am tired, and unmotivated. I am self conscious about my body and feel I am not getting the recognition I deserve because of it.” Now, don’t beat yourself up! This is good! You are going to the source of what is bothering you.

Lastly, make a plan. Break down the rest of the negatives. Brainstorm how to defeat these negatives because, most likely, these are things you can defeat or change your attitude about. If there are things that you can’t change, there are ways of accepting them. The most important of which is to remember that we are all perfectly imperfect: this is okay! We are all flawed. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be human. We’d be some kind of robot species wishing desperately to feel some kind of human emotion. So you see, you just can’t win.

Health and happiness is all about the attitude. Begin to incorporate the positive mantras about yourself into your routine. Make a plan to change the negatives if possible, or actively change your attitude about them by telling yourself that we are all perfectly imperfect. After all, nobody likes a Debbie Downer *womp womp*

With a little pro-activism, we can all see just how healthy, strong, and beautiful we can become.


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