No matter how far you’ve come, or how far you have to go, it’s crucial that you truly enjoy the journey toward achieving your best body. When you focus on the endpoint only, you often neglect to appreciate each small improvement you make. As a result, you may end up being overly critical of how you look and forget to acknowledge how good you feel. It’s difficult for goal-driven perfectionists (such as yours truly!) to break this pattern.
Instead of realizing how awesome it is to run five miles and how energized I feel afterward, I still focus on the fat around my waist and bra line. This constant criticism can be self-defeating.
Here are four steps to help maintain a healthy perspective on the body you’re in and the body you want.
See the big picture. We tend to zoom in on our trouble spots when we look in the mirror. Focus on your body and fitness as a whole, rather than just your love handles.
Balance your mind. Every time you think a negative thought, replace it with a positive one. Remember that you’re constantly improving.
Concentrate on health. A fit body includes a strong heart and healthy blood pressure and cholesterol. Toned thighs and six-pack abs should be the icing on the cake, rather than the main goal.
Give yourself a break. We often stress over physical details that others don’t notice (note waist and bra fat mentioned above). Would you judge others the same harsh way you judge yourself? I doubt it!
Be kind to the body you have—it’s a one-of-a-kind gift, and it’s the only one you get.
Author Bonnie Pfiester owns fitness facilities and runs boot camp programs in Vero Beach, Florida with her husband Steve Pfiester. She is also a fitness model and columnist. You can follow her on Twitter at @BonniePfiester.