What’s the Word #2: “Health”

**Written April 5th, 2018**

 

“Health”.

Quotes. Why? Because without them, you’re likely to think of the term as defined by the wildly vast expectations society has associated with it. On a daily basis, we’re constantly fed ideas of what health is, what foods are healthy, what diets are not, etc. In the midst of this information whirlwind, we always forget the most important thing about health…it’s relative.

  • What’s healthy for one person isn’t necessarily healthy for the next person
  • Health is more than what you eat and how you move…it’s what you choose to think about, how deeply you love, how accepting you choose to be. It’s how free you are in the body you were given, how open you are to embracing what comes your way, and how passionately you take charge of your life.
  • Whether it’s in real life or over Instagram, I’m constantly being asked “how are you so healthy?” and it makes me want to SCREAM. I know what is being referred to, but I just wish those who ask would realize something. When you comment on my “healthy” lifestyle, you’re referring to dedication to the foods I choose to eat and the way I choose to move my body. However, it’s not these surface level elements that make up health. I’m “healthy” because I eat foods that contribute to the overall well-being of my body, but also to my mental sanity. I enjoy eating plant-based. It just so happens that this choice also benefits the literal health of my body. I’ve been an athlete all my life, so I love to move. It just so happens that this choice also benefits the literal health of my body.
  • Too many of us are consumed with the idea of wanting to be “healthy” but have irrational interpretations of the concept. Smaller is not healthier. Less food is not healthier. More exercise is not healthier.
  • I spent years trying to be “healthy”. It was mentally taxing, to worry about every little thing I ate, trying to make every second at the gym count, etc. When I finally burned out, let go, and shifted my focus toward living my best life, only then was I able to find the peace of mind that to me, is health.
  • We tend to praise people for being “healthy” when we can see outward signs that we attribute to health. Think lean bodies, muscles, etc. What we have to do instead is accept that health is an inward manifestation. It will reveal itself outwardly, but not in superficial ways. When I feel my healthiest, my eyes look different. Brighter, lighter, not as empty. That kind of thing.
  • As long as you’re working toward self-love, body acceptance, and overall peace of mind, you’re pursuing health. Keep going.
  • I’m not healthy because I eat vegetables, I’m healthy because I ENJOY DOING SO.
  • “Health” has emerged in recent years as a trend, and this is both good and bad. It’s amazing to see so many people taking initiative toward fueling their bodies with whole, real foods. It’s incredible to see so many people coming together to move their bodies, to get stronger. However, with the heightened attention around health, there is opportunity for plenty of misinformation to circulate. There are hundreds of trends circulating. Which diet is best? Healthiest? One day carbs are bad, the next day it’s fat. Is Bulletproof coffee actually good for me? Should I only be baking with almond flour? It’s overwhelming to keep track of everything. And trying to do so, while it may seem to be done in the name of health, is actually doing the exact opposite. It’s stressing you out. Stop. Obsessing.
  • So you see your favorite Instagrammer promote a certain diet or trend. Don’t feel pressured to pursue it yourself. They are not healthier than you for doing so. You are not less healthy for choosing not to.
  • Health is impossible to talk about without referring to food. Keto, paleo, vegan…there are copious amounts of diets that you likely feel pressured to explore. Forget labels. Ask yourself what your body needs at the moment. Some days all I crave are high fat foods. Don’t think for a second there aren’t days where I eat two full avocados…my wallet doesn’t forget them 🙂 Other days, all I can think about are carbs. Those days, lots of starchy foods will go down. I can’t tie myself to one label. It’s not in my best interest to do so.
  • Don’t be intimidated by your health journey. Everybody’s path is different. Look to others for ideas, inspiration, and motivation. Then, fall in line as needed. Listen to your body’s needs. You are not that person you admire so deeply. Learn from them, but in respect to your own body, mind, and spirit.
  • Health is eating vegetables but not being afraid of sweets. Health is crushing it at the gym but then taking three days off to rest and be social. Health is a balance, not an extreme.
  • Health. Is. Relative. Don’t forget it!