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Discover new ways to measure health progress.

As a health and fitness coach, if I could remove one item from the average modern day bathroom to improve our mental and physical health, it would be the scale. I know this is a big ask and I understand the resistance around this topic in a world consumed with goals, excess and the pressure to constantly perform.

It can be easy to get lost in the life or weight you feel is expected of you. How many of us hold onto the weight we were in high school as a benchmark for adult daily lives? It is much healthier mentally and physically to learn how to appreciate how your body feels compared to a number on a scale.

Unfortunately, we live in a society that is willing to suffer as long as they don’t have to change their lifestyle. We value low quality food and high quality productivity. We also value objective measurements, like weight and blood tests, over those that are subjective, like our own thoughts and feelings. This is were we can teach ourselves new tools to create sustainable health not just a temporary decrease in the numbers on the scale.

Remember, sometimes you have to subtract things from your life to add order. We all get weighed at the doctor’s office so obsessing on the number daily can only cause more harm than good. Imagine how you would feel each day if you truly loved your body. You may already be there but loving our bodies isn’t always easy. I’ve known too many women who weigh themselves every morning and judge and criticize themselves the rest of the day depending on the number. How can this be loving? This only fuels the instant gratification mindset and short term results, those that further build a barrier surrounding our health. We need to build habits that allow us to realize sustainable returns on investment.

Loving our bodies can be a lifelong journey that takes daily patience, self-compassion and grace. When we reframe how we think about our bodies and challenge our habits and patterns, we can learn to love our bodies for all they do for us every day.

I am a huge believer in healthy movement for the mental and physical health benefits and not focusing too much on weight loss or the numbers on the scale. It’s ok to want to lose some weight to feel more confident in your skin. In my body, healthy movement is THE most important component to my daily mental health. Appreciating and understanding the positive emotional effects movement has can help to reinforce the mindset that leads to sustainable healthy habits.

In the past I have used exercise as a punishment I needed to endure to ensure the numbers on the scale represent my unrealistic goals to be a certain weight.

It is ok to want to reach a “numbers” goal as long as you do it with the right mindset and in a healthy way and remember that just because the scale isn’t going down, doesn’t mean you aren't making progress. There are SOOOOOOO many other ways to measure progress, yet most of the time we solely focus on those numbers. The key to a healthier perspective is to measure progress that has nothing to do with the numbers on a scale like more energy, getting stronger, clothes fitting better, losing inches, sleeping better, less bloating, fewer cravings, more confidence, more food freedom, and feeling confident about your lifestyle change.

One of the things I love about Yoga is that it has little to do with how flexible we are or the numbers on the scale. Numbers are entirely irrelevant to the practice. In fact, yoga teaches us that our obsession with our bathroom scales is just another example of the kind of negative attachment that causes suffering and holds us back. Yoga allows us to connect with our bodies to consciously feel the benefits of our daily practices. It helps us to remember all the other reasons we move our bodies. More confidence, sleeping better and getting stronger are all benefits of practicing yoga.

Yoga and mindfulness can be used to shift our mindset to reset our core values and methods of holding ourselves accountable in a world obsessed with numbers on a scale. You have more substance than numbers and yoga and other mindfulness practices help us to focus on these greater than numbers health improvements like sleeping better and having more energy.

Meditation is another great way to connect with our bodies with the intention of learning what fuels and inspires us. Meditation will help you to deeply align your intention and your “why”.

By resetting our mindset around numbers we can shed the burden of the pressure that diet culture imposes on us to be perfect and pushes the idea that we need to be thin, smaller, thin, cellulite and stretch mark free, and wrinkle free. Meditation is also

a powerful tool and can be used to focus on other benefits of healthy movement like getting stronger and sleeping better.

I've had so many conversations with driven, intelligent women who want to lose that last 5 pounds. Those extra 5-10 pounds is the place where most of our bodies naturally want to be ~ that is your beautiful life. It’s the late night chocolate with your man, that Sunday morning bottomless brunch, your favorite cookie just because you wanted to treat yourself. What if we think of those 5-10 pounds as your favorite memories, your unforgettable trips, your spontaneity, your freedom, your love. Don’t be afraid to value alignment over acceptance.

So, remember that it is not your skill set that is holding you back, it is your mindset. You have the power to use tools like yoga, meditation and mental resets to shift your mindset towards healthier wellness goals. We are not made of numbers. We are not the percentages on tests, likes on a social media post, or pounds on a scale. We are made of love, happiness and all the little things that make us special.

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