I used to think that if I was physically perfect then I would be happy, confident, and my lifelong internal struggle for self-worth would magically vanish.
After doing a fitness competition, getting my body fat down to 9%, yet feeling more paranoid and insecure about my body than ever before I quickly realized how wrong I was to place such importance on my physical attributes alone.
The true deception was thinking I was healthy because I was super fit. In reality, I had never been more ill. I struggled with energy, digestive stress, food sensitivities, hormonal disruptions, and adrenal issues. I may have looked good, but I certainly didn’t feel good.
It’s natural that, as humans, we are attracted to people who are healthy because they naturally exude an aura of confidence and physical capability. They typically have better posture, glowing skin, strong nails and teeth, beautiful hair, and radiant energy. Oh, and they reside at their ideal weight—all of these attributes our society finds desirable.
Do you only feel good if you look good? Or is it because you feel good that you look good?
For more than a decade I have seriously worked on my health. It took some time to switch my mindset from a sole emphasis on my physical size, weight, and body fat, but I found it got easier the more I chose to simply love myself right where I am at.
That’s not to say that I don’t have goals for improvement—on the contrary I am constantly a work in progress. However, the major focus of my work has shifted away from an emphasis on physical aesthetics to the importance of physical, mental, and emotional health.
It all began with genuinely feeling good about who I am and how I am showing up in the world.
As I worked on defining my core values, and then living by them I found I could easily re-focus my goals around developing Love, Respect, Curiosity, Compassion, and Gratitude toward my self and others.
As I behaved more consistently in this new healthy way, I noticed an interesting shift occur. I became the healthy, vibrant person I had always longed to be, minus the internal struggle with body image.
People started commenting on my glow, my aura, and my state of genuine happiness. They would say, “Wow! You look so good!”
And I felt good, too! I had stopped struggling with my weight, with food, with exercise, with my self! I had become whole and healthy.
So, to answer the question: Is it better to feel good or look good? I have to vote for feeling good. When you feel good your whole energy shifts, your body heals, your heart and mind are restored so you end up looking good too—it radiates from you like the inviting warmth of the sun. It’s a true win-win.
Focus on your health first, and I promise all your fitness goals will fall into place.
P.S. A great place to start to Love your Body right where it’s at is Yoga. I developed Yoga for Pain Relief so that you can break free from your struggle—be it physical, mental or emotional suffering. You CAN heal! Click here to find out how!
Written By Missi Holt