A Guide to Setting Body-Positive Goals for Health and Fitness

At this stage of your life, it’s a good thing to focus on your health and wellness to improve your quality of life and support your growth and development. So, when the year started, you may have thought about creating health-related resolutions as a tool for self-improvement. However, considering how mainstream health discussions are often centered around losing weight in order to change or improve one’s appearance, it can be easy to distort your body image when pursuing diet, nutrition, and fitness.

However, it’s worth remembering that health and wellness go beyond the numbers on the scale, and what’s important is to cultivate a positive body image when changing your behaviors and overall lifestyle. In this light, we provide a few tips on how to ensure your health-oriented goals remain aligned with body positivity.

Set realistic expectations

Weight management is a common and acceptable health goal, as it has various benefits, like reducing the risk of diseases and improving your mood and energy levels. However, it can easily distort your body image when your expectations are set on losing weight rapidly to achieve a certain body type.

You can start being more realistic by doing your research on questions like “how long does it take to lose weight?” You’ll find that because people have different body types and weight is influenced by various factors like age, starting weight, genetics, and sleeping habits, there is no quick fix for weight loss. Instead, the goal should be to adopt healthy eating patterns and exercise regularly, with weight loss happening gradually and naturally over time.

Focus on habits, not just outcomes

To continue the previous point, realizing the importance of healthy habits like eating mindfully and exercising regularly

can help you focus less on wanting to change the numbers on the scale and your reflection in the mirror.

Instead of making it a goal to lose a certain number of pounds or reach a certain weight, you can divert your attention to taking actions that make you feel good about your body and yourself. This could look something like choosing more nutritious foods so you can feel fuller for longer and lessen cravings, as well as setting aside time for morning walks and stretching to start your day with a brighter mood. Adopting such habits already contributes to holistic health, regardless of whether you lose weight or not.

Incorporate self-care practices

Due to the pervasive diet culture in traditional and social media, it has become common to equate health and wellness with restriction or punishment. In other words, teen girls can easily fall prey to the mindset that they have to deprive themselves of the foods and activities they enjoy before they can be healthy and fit.

But that’s not true. Since body image is also tied to your mental health, the path to true wellness involves creating self-care routines to feel better and allow your body to fulfill its functions. Teen girls like you can start with simple self-care practices like meditation, mindfulness, breathing exercises, and journaling to ensure you prioritize yourself in the process of living a healthier lifestyle.

Surround yourself with other body-positive individuals

Lastly, it’s normal to struggle with your body image, but your goals can be healthier and work better for you when you surround yourself with other body-positive individuals. Research shows that mothers’ dieting habits can profoundly affect their daughters’ own health behaviors and body image, so start by conversing with your family about how you can all be healthier and feel better about yourselves.

When the people in your household are preparing nutritious meals, allotting time for outdoor activities, and sticking to a healthy sleep schedule, it becomes easier for you to set — and more importantly, adopt — healthier habits and goals in the long term.


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1 Comment

  • TG

    Very useful. I’ll def need to start watching my food and hitting the gym soon.

    April 20, 2024 at 8:30 pm
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