While interviewing students about shopping for healthy food on a college budget, the UVU Review met Anika Butler who provided a valuable perspective on health and wellness: our individual journeys towards better health.
“It’s definitely a process, and being kind to yourself is very important,” stated Butler.
“Recognizing little things that you can improve on, like, ‘I don’t feel the best when I eat all this food, let’s just substitute it out’ versus beating yourself up about it” is a very important realization we should all make.
We are not perfect and that is all right. It takes time and consistency to reach the outcomes we desire. As stated by Butler, taking a positive approach to achieving health and wellness can be much more motivating than alternate, more judgmental methods. That is why we have created an example of what such a positive approach might look like:
First, write down what you eat during the day. No need to adjust your eating or lifestyle habits—just build simple awareness. Do this for a week and then think about the times when you felt your best and your worst.
Second, identify foods and/or habits that are obviously unhealthy. This may be the eight brownies you ate after lunch, or all the energy drinks you consumed. It may even be something more subtle, like not drinking enough water. Next, take a week and focus on changing those bad habits. These changes are not as much life alterations as they are just taking a break from unhealthy patterns and then noticing how they make you feel.
Third, try step two again, but while giving up a different habit. Then repeat this process the next week.
After repeating this pattern, you will become much more aware of your own body. “Figure out what energizes you, what makes you feel good and generally it will be those healthier things,” Anika stated. Likewise, the results of this positive, encouraging process will reaffirm that you do not need unhealthy habits to survive, that you have the power to change them, and that you can actually enjoy the benefits that come from lasting, healthy changes.
If you would like to learn more about having a growth mindset, healthy dieting, or anything health-and-wellness related, be sure to listen to the Wellness podcast where we will dive deeper into these topics, and many others. You can find this podcast on Spotify or anywhere else you listen to podcasts.