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{Note from Jessica: Today’s post is shared by my good friend, Lauren, author of Lauren Fowler. She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and yoga teacher who promotes a non-diet approach to nutrition and health. She wants everyone to connect to their bodies intuitive wisdom rather than following diets. She encourages the tools of intuitive eating and health at every size. Stop by LaurenFlower.co to read more about nutrition, intuitive eating, heart-based health, and yoga.}

Even a few years ago, I measured health by the scale. I was apparently healthy…by BMI standards.

The truth is, I wasn’t truly healthy. I didn’t have that vibrant healthy glow I have now.

My digestion was out of whack, my hormones were all over the place after being on the pill, and I was sick of living with a bloated belly all the time.

I won’t lie to you. I weigh more today (yup & am totally okay with it), and I feel healthier, my digestion is nearly normal (it’s incredible!), and I have regular periods after healing my hormones.

So, ditch the scale. It’s just adding stress to your life, and there’s no point in basing your amazing self-worth on a silly number from a machine.

Here’s 50+ ways to measure health instead of weight:

  1. Energy!
  2. Energy to go through your day without falling asleep at your desk.
  3. Energy to get outside and exercise
  4. Stable blood sugarsThis is everything. If you want steady energy, stable moods, and a healthy body and mind, eat balanced meals to keep your blood sugars stable. Unless you want to feel tired, hangry, and moody all the time…
  5. Clear, glowing skin
  6. No more rashes, eczema, or psoriasis
  7. Normal, daily bowel movements. Yup, no more diarrhea or constipation.
  8. A bloat-free belly
  9. No more heartburn
  10. Focus and concentration. No more brain fog.
  11. Better memory
  12. You can think clearly again.
  13. Ache-free joints
  14. Decrease in chronic pain
  15. You recover faster from workouts
  16. You exercise regularly…and enjoy it.
  17. You move your body more…not necessarily as exercise.
  18. You don’t exercise as punishment for eating.
  19. Regular periods.
  20. Fertility for men & women
  21. A healthy pregnancy
  22. Happy periods. I’m not saying you have to be thrilled, but extreme PMS, cramping, and major mood swings can be a sign of hormone imbalance.
  23. Better sex drive…or you actually want to have sex
  24. Decrease in medications
  25. A strong immune system, so you’re sick less
  26. You feel happier
  27. You feel healthy
  28. Less anxiety or depression
  29. Drop in mood swings
  30. Better body image
  31. Listening to your body’s hunger and fullness cues…and honoring them.
  32. Decrease in binge eating or emotional eating
  33. You’re not afraid of foods like carbs or fat.
  34. You eat mindfully and enjoy eating.
  35. You crave nutrient-rich foods.
  36. You’ve ditched diets
  37. You don’t feel guilt or shame after indulging.
  38. You know what foods are energizing or depleting for your body.
  39. You’re eating nutrient-rich foods most of the time.
  40. You’ve ditched diets…forever.
  41. Your habits are sustainable and realistic for you.
  42. Quality, refreshing sleep
  43. Decrease in seasonal allergies
  44. You cope well with stress.
  45. You take time for yourself.
  46. You have healthy relationships.
  47. You get outside in the sun regularly without burning.
  48. You take time for stillness and quiet…maybe it’s meditation, a walk, prayer, or whatever works for you.
  49. You have purpose in your life and do what you love.
  50. You go with the flow of life.
  51. You live from a place of love, not fear, shame, or guilt.
  52. You listen to your body
  53. You feel vibrant, amazing, incredible, and healthy.
  54. Keep the list going…what would you add?

I used to view health as purely physical and tried to optimize my health to perfection. As a recovering perfectionist, this didn’t quite work out that well, and I ended up trying to be too perfect with my food, exercise, and habits.

When I realized that health is holistic and includes sleep, stress, a self-compassionate view, and listening to my body, my health changed. My body started giving me clues on what it needed to heal. Rest, less running, more ME time, and embracing imperfections. Now, I measure health by how good I feel on the inside and out.

Use this list as a guidance for your health. It’s not a to-do list; just an offering of what healthy may look like.

Take Action: Make your own list.

See where you can improve in your health, and take it step by step. Make one change, and build momentum until you’re glowing from the inside out.

Share below! What are the THREE most important ways you measure health?

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