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Here’s how to get started on a positive body image breakthrough

YogaSometimes we use “thinness” and diets as a metaphor for what we really want in life. We think, “When I lose weight, I’ll finally be happy.” Being thin won’t make you happy. Being healthy and well will improve your sense of satisfaction with your life. You’ll have more energy; you’ll sleep better; your moods might be brighter; and in turn you will lose weight, maybe not be thin, but you’ll feel better and be in better health.

Those feelings of well-being that come from taking good care of ourselves – eating good foods, letting our bodies move/exercise, giving ourselves time to reflect, spending time with God, and having meaningful relationships with people. Being thin alone won’t make you happy. Let’s say it again: being thin won’t make you happy. You will still be you, with your same issues and concerns, just in a smaller package. What is it you’re really trying to get from your life?

First step…make a list of barriers you have in your life. Once you put those barriers on paper, you can approach life in a new way!  Your exercise will have more meaning. You’ll put in the sweat equity time and eat healthier foods because they will fuel your body.  You’ll be in a better mood because you exercised and ate better. It is a vigorous cycle, instead of the vicious cycle too many of us get caught up in that leads to defeat, being unhappy and being dissatisfied with your life!

Second step…check your current fitness level.  Do a few “tests”…Do a one-minute test of how many push ups, sit ups or squats you can do. Do you progress yourself? When was the last time you changed up your workout, or added a new exercise, or totally revamped your program? Tried a class?

Third step…take a GOOD and honest look at your food! Are you eating too many calories for your body to burn off? What are those calories made of? When do you eat? What are your go-to foods?

About Janelle Baldwin

Janelle Baldwin is a physical therapist assistant (PTA) and lead fitness trainer for Agnesian HealthCare’s on-site fitness center, called the ZONE. She is a certified weight trainer (CWT), a strength and conditioning specialist (STS) and a certified strength and conditioning instructor (CSCI). Her 15 years of professional experience ranges from home care and work hardening/conditioning with the Agnesian HealthCare Sports, Spine & Work Center for many years to her role as a certified personal trainer; teaching fitness classes for which she is trained and certified for and maintaining the on-site fitness facility.

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