Well, friends. Who is still in this journey with me a little over a week in? Last week, I talked a little about other numbers or quantitative metrics aside from body composition numbers that are also impactful to your health. This week, I want to explore redirecting focus beyond quantitative; looking more at qualitative metrics (also known as all the feels and warm fuzzies).
I found myself thinking about this over the last few days as I analyzed my sleep numbers, my active numbers, my calories burned, and the amount of protein, carbs, and fats I was taking in each day. While looking at this data is relatively normal for me, I started to wonder what would happen if I redirected my focus to qualitative metrics and mindful moments. What happened was pure bliss. When I was able to stop, pivot, and redirect, I found myself in pure awe of how beautiful and intricate life is, and in appreciation for the body I have and all the power that it holds.
The researcher and organizational freak in me categorized my redirection over the last week into four categories: noting the feels, being present, quality time, and making smiles. Below is my experience with each of them.
Noting the Feels
When I found myself mulling over wondering what the scale probably said, or why I didn’t hit my macronutrients goal for the day and what the impact would be, I would redirect by documenting various qualitative things that were going well. One time I looked at myself in the mirror and wrote down everything I appreciated about myself, such as the fact that I have good eyesight, my body is strong enough to allow me to do the things I love in life and those I take for granted, being healthy, and the weird birthmarks and freckle patterns that make me unique. Another time I wrote down all the ways I am beautiful both inside and out — from my larger than life smile to my hair and the great hugs I give. Other feels that could be documented are noting what made you over the moon happy each day, or the little moments that make life worth it.
My lifting sessions are usually small group, which makes it easy to take some of the focus off the numbers, but when I run solo, my mind wanders a lot. I always want to check how long I’ve been running, what distance I’ve gone, what my heart rate is and so forth. Sometimes this data makes me go farther when my body is telling me to rest. I chose to redirect from this by being present in my outdoor runs. I observed the people, the scenery, my breath and cadence, and got lost in the rhythm and peace of the journey. I let a timer give me an indication of when I’ve gone a decent distance, but chose to stop, slow down, or speed up when my body was craving it.
Ever have those moments where you don’t have much going on? Maybe you have too much time between two appointments so you’re playing games on your phone or scrolling through text messages. Maybe you are so fried from the day you get home and just stare into space from the sofa for an hour, not even turning a light or the TV on. When I have these moments, my brain starts to go crazy. Sometimes it’s body shaming or sometimes it’s a different worry or weird thought train. In these moments, I decided to redirect to focused quality time either with myself or with someone else. Quality time for myself means taking a bath, doing my nails to relax and not just to do them, cooking something with intention that I really enjoy, or coloring and watching a chick flick I have seen a million times. And in those moments when I looked for quality time with others, it was trying to have a spontaneous coffee, or calling a friend or family member to catch up.
This is one category that is a little more fluid. There were some moments where I intentionally made someone else smile through a genuine compliment or random act of kindness. But what I discovered as a common thread through all these moments of redirection of thought, was that those moments made me smile. And I don’t mean like in my head smile. I mean that there were times when I was out for a run and stopped and stared up in to space and smiled. Giant mouth open smile with teeth and all. Occasionally I would even giggle. When I made time for myself and others, it made me stop and smile with delight at how beautiful things could be. Making smiles was sometimes intentional, but always happened unintentionally either way.
Putting intention and thought into your day doesn’t mean you have to pack in all the things and have a schedule and to do list that rivals the size of novels. It means being in the moment, making the best out of the wonderful life you were given, the body you were blessed with, and treating your body, yourself, and others with the love, patience and beauty that readily exists in this world. I would encourage you to explore options like these or others that feel good to you in the moment. Don’t overthink it. Do what feels right when you stop to listen. And as always, I would love to know about your progress with stomping the scale, so never hesitate to leave a comment, message me, or tag #liveimperfectafstompsthescale on social media.