Adopt a Healthy Mindset

Five simple tips to help you on the path to a healthier mindset

May 6, 2013
Adopt a Healthy Mindset

As women we are bombarded with visuals of how we should look, and what the expectations are for being a “fit” women. Some of these visuals or cover girls who we look at and our children look at as healthy are not always healthy. Changing our mental mindset from “I want to be skinny” to “I want to be healthy” is not easy. As a mother, competitor, and fitness enthusiast I try to focus less on the body image and appearance and more on how I feel. So how do you make this mental switch?

1) Set healthy goals that are less focused on a specific number and more focused on specific health goals. For instance, instead of aiming to lose 5 pounds aim to fit into your favorite pair of jeans or go a little further on your morning jog. When we focus more on our physical health it’s amazing how our mental health will improve. Setting realistic healthy goals is critical to maintain good mental and physical health.

2) Reward yourself, and NO not with food. I often hear women say “if I reach my goal weight, I’m going to celebrate with a nice meal out.” I understand this and I am not saying that you can never eat out or indulge in a treat from time to time, but food should not be used as a reward. I often reward myself for meeting fitness goals or accomplishments with a new pair of workout shorts, or shoes. These rewards also help keep me motivated to keep pushing.

3) Stop viewing food as the enemy. It’s not about what you “shouldn’t eat” but what you “should” eat to fuel your body appropriately. Finding a healthy balance and maintaining a healthy relationship with food is crucial. If you find yourself over eating journal your thoughts and feelings so that you can pin point what triggers an eating episode. Understanding what triggers your binge sessions can help you learn to avoid and cope with them. For instance, if you find that when you come home from work after a stressful day you tend to hit the pantry, maybe change up your routine and go on a nightly walk to avoid the binge session.

4) Stop looking at exercise as a chore and learn to embrace your time in the gym. When you view your workout sessions as a stress reliever you will learn to enjoy the time you spend working on YOU. Find your favorite music, and your favorite exercise machines and you may be surprised.

5) Don’t be so hard on yourself. Embrace your flaws (we all have them) and find things about your body you do like. When you learn to think positively about your body, positive changes will take place. The mind-body connection is powerful!

Making the mental switch may seem like a hard task but if you change the way you view food, the gym and your body it’s possible. Keep goals attainable, reward yourself for meeting healthy goals, and stop viewing food as the enemy. Embrace your flaws and learn to love your body!

IFBB Pro Sandi Forsythe
Team MHP Athlete
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