I came across an article the other day by Tara Stiles and for some reason, when I woke up this morning I was reminded of it.
What it truly means to *be* healthy…
What does it mean to be healthy? Is it a number on the scale, blood pressure score, jeans size, a body free of disease, or something else?
Health can be a touchy subject. We fight over what it should look like (Dove ad or Victoria’s Secret model). We fight over what size dress is healthy (16, 8, or 2). We bash and judge all who don’t fit into our ideal. We forgot to factor in the most important ingredient. What does it feel like to be healthy? What does that look like?
Living healthy involves a mix of physical, mental, and emotional components that make us who we are. We literally create our bodies from the inside out with what we put in, what we think, and what we do. Regardless of what we think picture-perfect health looks like, there is one thing we all have in common when it comes to health: Everyone wants to feel better.
Wouldn’t the forest be boring if all the trees looked exactly alike? Why do we get so hung up, then, on how people look and what is healthy and what is not? Sure, we can agree that obesity is unhealthy. We can agree that eating junk and lazing around for days on end isn’t healthy. We can even agree that living with high stress leads to physical, mental, and emotional demise. Why is it, then, that we either want everyone to fit into the Victoria Secret or the Dove category? Why is it one or the other? Why are we so superficial when it comes to the most internal of all topics?
Our health begins in our insides and doesn’t stop at our skin. Our health (healthy or not) radiates beyond our skin into the world in the form of our actions. How we live not only affects our body, mind and spirit, but also affects the body, mind, and spirit of everyone we encounter, and (soon to be commonly accepted), on an entangled mind level.
When we shift our thoughts, fears, worries, and insecurities about health from the exterior (how we look) to the interior (how we feel) we set ourselves up for the ultimate success in health and happiness. How about this for an approach to health: Eat clean and healthy, manage stress, and get regular physical activity. Seems pretty straightforward, right?
However, the meaningful factor is the HOW. We can diet, count calories, and manipulate our experience with food into a frazzled tension inducing act. We can be obsessive about food. We can become crazy strict about eating healthy. We can engage in physical activity with tension and force or we can engage with ease. When we go after how we want to feel, and pay attention to how we feel right now, we’re able to enjoy ourselves in the process of living healthy.