This post is the last of a 14 ways to help rebuild self-confidence series. We’ve been working our way through the letters of SELF CONFIDENCE with this week’s focus being on the final E in Confidence. Previously covered are Self Compassion & Self Care; 10 Ways to Enjoy your Life; Learning, Love & Laughter; Finding your passion & your happy place; Clear your schedule of activities that don’t serve you; Open-Minded – The way to go and the way to grow!; Neutralise Your Inner Critic & Self-Doubter; Face Your Fears, Imagine, Visualize and Believe, Define your goals, Embrace Gratitude, and Network with others, Celebrate Your Achievements.
It’s been a while but here we are finally at the last post in the self-confidence series. It was originally written as ‘Eat healthy foods and exercise (find your fun way)”. However, I’ve decided to title this post ‘Feel better by eating healthy foods and exercising’ because that is the reality. If you look after yourself you feel better …. it’s as simple as that!
One aspect that many people overlook when it comes to self-confidence is our physical health. Think about it – when you are feeling physically fit and are eating a balanced diet, chances are you feel better about yourself compared to when you fill up on junk food and don’t get enough exercise. This is because the mind and body are inextricably linked. Not only can our bodies be affected by what’s going on in our mind, our bodies can change how we feel emotionally.
The truth is that those of us women who are in our middle years can no longer get away with abusing or neglecting our bodies. We become higher maintenance. We require a little more thought, planning and attention! Eat too much and/or all the wrong foods – you get fatter. Don’t exercise – you can get fatter too but even worse is that if we don’t get enough activity, our brains and bodies become sluggish, failing to function at top capacity! We all know that maintaining a healthy body weight is a matter of balancing the energy we put into our bodies (calories from food) with the energy that we use up (or burn) during our daily activities or exercise. If we don’t use up all the energy we consume, the excess will be stored as body fat, and over time our body weight will increase. More importantly though, in order to feel good (and better about ourselves), we need to look after ourselves by eating a good healthy and balanced diet and moving our bodies. Use it or lose it has never been more true!
I’m no dietician, nutritionist, exercise physiologist or personal trainer, but you can’t reach the age of 52 without learning a few things along the way. In saying that, I’m in no way claiming that I’ve got the balance right myself. I am always learning more and trying though!
Eating healthy needn’t be boring and bland as some might think. It doesn’t have to be expensive whacko hippy superfoods either! In fact, healthy eating can be affordable, really tasty and enjoyable, and leave you feeling much better than if you ate foods that are considered yummy but not healthy.
Healthy eating is not about deprivation and bland and boring . It’s about giving nutritional balance some thought and eating from all the recommended food groups. A balanced diet is one that gives your body the nutrients it needs to function correctly. You can do that by eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, legumes and cereal foods, and include lean meat, fish, poultry, milk, yogurt and cheese in your diet. Of course, make adjustments according to your beliefs, likes, and in the event of any intolerances or allergies – eg lactose, gluten, nuts etc and watch your portion sizes! Below are some photographs of some healthy meals that demonstrate that healthy eating can be diverse and interesting and delicious. Hopefully they will inspire you!
Exercising is a word that can fill you with dread if you’re not a naturally inclined athlete or lover of getting sweaty, breathless and uncomfortable (like me). However, I’m here to tell you, that you can actually learn to love exercise, even look forward to it and feel yucky if you miss it! Yes it’s true! It’s because once you find a form of ‘movement’ (ditch the word exercise if that helps) that gets your heart rate up and that you enjoy, in addition to all the health benefits you gain, you get all the lovely feel good endorphins from it! You begin to look forward to this feel good state and you miss it if you happen to miss a session. So, find what it is that you like to do. It could be one thing or more than one thing which would then allow you to mix it up a bit if that works for you or just stick to what you like best and do that if that is your preference. Your ‘movement’ of choice could be dancing or a particular sport you enjoy. It could be running or walking, skating or cycling. Find your thing or things and commit to doing it or them regularly. If you lack motivation, maybe try doing it with a friend or friends. You wouldn’t want to let them down, so you’re more likely to show up for that reason! Personally, I find that I enjoy brisk walking – preferably somewhere nice in nature – along my local water front, on a beach in the bush, up in the mountains!
I’m sure you’re already aware of the importance of healthy food and exercise for losing and maintaining weight and for general good health, but a reminder and bit of inspiration is always a good thing isn’t it? It’s also important to understand the correlation between how we look after ourselves and our self-confidence. It’s such an important part of the whole puzzle. Look we can’t all be perfect and get it all right all the time, but if we get it right ‘most’ of the time then we’re heading in the right direction for making the best of what we’ve got and being able to get out there lovin’ life!
That brings us to the end of the WOTM Self-Confidence series. I hope you’ve found something helpful with the one or more of the posts. If you haven’t seen them all and would like to, you can find a listing of them all HERE.
Ciao for now,
Link up here at WOTM or with another of us in the Lovin’ Life Linky team:
Leanne of Deep Fried Fruit, Johanna of Lifestyle Fifty, Lyndall of Seize the Day Project,
Kathy of 50 Shades of Age, and Deb of Debbish
It doesn’t matter where you link up as it will magically appear on all six blogs.