Letting Go and living a Wholeheartedly Healthy life

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Last month I turned 33 and realised that I’d spent at least half my life ‘on a diet’. I started my first diet around the age of 11, but had become aware of my weight at a much younger age. I felt chubby and ugly, and diets seemed to be the way to become thin, beautiful and a better person. The message I was getting, even at such a young age, was that to be thin, was to be a better person.

laura hula hooping

I followed the diet, binge, diet pattern right through my teens and into my twenties. When I got married I was at my heaviest ever weight, despite all the dieting that had gone before it.

The following year I decided that enough was enough, and I started a mission to lose weight for the last time. I went to the gym religiously, drank protein shakes in place of my meals and weighed myself every other day. The feeling when the scales went down was amazing, finally it was working!

I reached my goal weight, but I continued to lose even more. I changed my diet to become even more restrictive, and starting running miles each week to burn calories. I was afraid of gaining the weight back, and eventually I got to a very low weight where friends and family were commenting on how ill I looked.

To be honest, I thought they were jealous, I was thinner than them all. That was when it hit me. I was trying to start a family with my husband, but I was infertile because I was stressing out my body so much with restrictive eating and over exercising. Despite getting to my goal weight, I’d kept on losing more because I still equated ‘thinness’ to being a better person.

Being thin doesn’t make you, or your life better. That was when I decided to let go.

laura-eating-cake

I stopped being obsessive about my food or exercising myself into the ground. I started going out for meals with friends, ordering dessert guilt free, eating peanut butter off the spoon if I wanted to. I still ate healthy food and did some exercise, but the focus had changed. I stopped chasing skinny, and instead I wanted a healthy, happy life.

I call this approach wholeheartedly healthy living. Being healthy is so much more than just a number on the scale, the food on your plate or how you move your body. Those things are important, but pointless if you aren’t enjoying life! Having fun, eating a slice of chocolate cake once in a while and having a lazy pyjama day from time to time all add to our health and wellbeing. Self care is where it’s at!

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Letting go of dieting and embracing living a wholeheartedly healthy life has helped me find balance, health and happiness in my own life. I even have a beautiful baby boy to show for it!

Even if you just try shifting your focus from trying to be thin to pursuing health and happiness, you’ll experience the benefits of letting go.

 

Laura Agar Wilson

Wholeheartedlyhealthy.com

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