5 Ways To Measure Your Health That Do Not Require A Scale
I tend to beat myself up over numbers. Unless it’s 100 on an assignment, the best metrics at a job, or the perfect percentage on...well, anything, I’m rarely content. That issue aside, my weight is another thing I’ve always struggled with. But I would really rather not dive into that issue, or my impending doom with numbers (I’m a word person, OK?).
I've talked to too many women - myself included - that are so focused on the number that pops up when they step on the scale that it's the only thing they think about. We've been consumed by that number for such a long time now...while body positivity is at an all-time high, weight is taking up real estate in our minds.
That has got to change, for the sake of both our mental and physical health. Personally, I've gone on strike against those blasted little silver scales (get them away from me). I truly think it makes my life a little better. Put one of them in the bathroom and I'd start to shutter. It's not a perfect solution, but it's helpful. What I've really started to focus on is how to be healthy in other, still measurable ways. As I prepare for marathon training to really kick up, I think these five health metrics are so much more important than what I weigh.
1. How much water you drink
Hydration nation! *high five* Especially since summer is sneaking up on us (by all means, hurry up), water intake needs to be a natural habit. It can be easy to get caught up in your day, passing noon before taking a sip of water (no, coffee does not count towards this metric). I try to drink at least one 8oz glass of water an hour. This keeps me hydrated without completely flooding my kidneys. Try it out -- set an alarm on your phone! You'll find yourself much more energized.
2. How many steps you take
I mean, considering my FitBit obsession, this was inevitable. I doubt you realize how still you are until you have a little watch beeping at you, telling you to get off your butt and move it! Meeting a certain step goal is satisfying, and you are stretching out those legs to a healthy level. Steps > weight.
3. Your relationship with food
Even though we're living in an era of body positivity gurus, there is a countless number of people -- young women especially -- who have a hard time loving their body. That topic is an entirely different conversation (send me a note, we can chat for days!), but your relationship with food is a clear indication of your mental health that directly impacts your physical health. Do you look at food as a way to fuel your body towards greatness? Do you fear what food will do to you? Do you avoid it? Abuse it? Are you undereating? Overeating?
4. How much you sleep
I'm so bad at this. I used to think that if I let my head hit the pillow exactly eight hours before I had to get up that I was getting eight hours of sleep. Oh no, that's not actually how it works. You can have your pretty little head on that pillow for eight hours and actually get a terrible night's sleep. Or you can sleep like a rock. Or you can experience restlessness and not even know it (this is so nerdy, but I consistently check to see how I slept the night before, per my FitBit's analytics).
5. How many "good" days you have
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. While your FitBit can't measure your mental health, you can still log some things. Keep a gratitude journal. Or just a normal journal, if you feel the need. Life is so far from perfect, but if you keep finding yourself having bad, unhappy days, a change may need to be made. Things can always get better, even if it's just talking to someone. A start is a start!
Here's to a happy, healthy life! xoxo