This year while all the decorations of December are being stored away, and everyone is feeling sluggish from the holidays we will start to think about the next year. It is a good time to reflect back on accomplishments and goals achieved. It is also common for people to set new goals and think of new expectations for the coming year. But this year, I have a new challenge for you: Be more loving to yourself.
Many people get intertwined with goals like “I will lose weight,” “I will join the gym,” “I will eat more healthy,” or “I will stop eating sugar.” While these health goals are certainly achievable at least short-term and do seem quite positive, I encourage you to look a little deeper behind their meaning. Is the real goal that you lose weight, or that you feel great about yourself? It would only make sense to ask yourself before every meal, is this food going to fuel and nourish my body? Be kind to yourself.
Exercise seems like a chore to many. If we go back to the idea of being kind to yourself, working out fits right in. The body was meant to move. In fact, the less you do the more stagnation can build up. Circulation from exercise helps every cell in the body get more oxygen and get rid of toxins. Each day I encourage you to ask yourself, how will I get out and move my body today? Love yourself more.
Stress certainly creeps back in at every moment it gets. From work to home life, family and finances it can overwhelm you. As we are following a trend of being nice to yourself first, it is OK to say no to obligations that overwhelm you. Think about responsibilities you can decrease so life is manageable. If a person or thing is taking up too much of your valuable time, stop interacting with it. It is ok to rest, it is ok to say no, and you deserve that and so much more. Be kind to yourself.
The last thing I would like to mention is how obsessed we are as a society with the idea of losing weight. Yes, the body index is a great indication of height to weight ratio among other things like health status. However, checking the scale everyday in an attempt to measure your self-confidence with it can consume us. Focus on loving your body the way it is now, and the direction it is going. If you eat with intention to nourish, look for outlets to move your body, and let yourself rest I can almost guarantee the scale will start to drop on its own. Check your weight once a week versus daily, and measure other things like body fat percentage and clothing size. Wear bright colors and smile every day at random strangers. This year, love yourself and share that gift with others.
Allison Apfelbaum is a primary care naturopathic doctor at Tree of Health Integrative Medicine clinic in Woodinville. To learn more go online to www.treeofhealthmedicine.com or call 425-408-0040 to schedule an appointment.