What does “healthy” mean?
This word can be defined differently by many people. For some, healthy could mean athletics, while for others it could mean meditating. I find myself floating somewhere between anorexia and “healthy” yet I don’t know where “healthy” is for me, let alone how to recognize it.
As I continue through recovery, and attempt to learn what healthy is, I have found that I may not find the exact answer. I’m okay with that. I’m okay with it because I love exploring health, talking health and learning new information. As a runner, information changes and sometimes you have to try new things. Throughout my search for what healthy may be, I can’t say I’ve found my health, but I have found what it is NOT.
Healthy is a way of living, not a destination. When people state, “I’m going to get healthy”, I cringe. I cringe because I know the next comment coming has something to do with diet and exercise.
This week has been a test for me. It has been a test of whether or not I will fall into restricting based on what is going on around me. On two separate occasions I had the pleasure of having lunch with about 10 different people and over half of whom were “dieting”. In the span of 5 days I have had at least 6 people tell me about their diets from Nutro System all the way down to a cleanse only allowing you to eat 6 almonds a day (Really? You’re “cleansing” with just 6 almonds? – I’ll rant on that at another time).
The diets these people talked about have been swirling in my head for some time now. I’m at the point in recovery where I know I don’t have to act on urges, but I still do not like the thoughts hanging out when I want them to go. I tried to go back and reflect on these conversations that were happening around me and I realized that I now have some insight.
I may not know exactly what healthy is, but I do know quite a bit about what it is not.
Healthy is not…
ordering food from a company and only eating what is in that box.
exercising obsessively because you’ve “had too much to eat”.
deciding what to eat based on calories.
not giving yourself balance in life.
eating 6 almonds a day.
exercising because you have to.
logging your food into a computer program.
staring at yourself in the mirror wishing you were smaller.
trying to change yourself.
losing weight below what your body needs.
obsessing over food.
being afraid of food.
eating the same thing all the time.
eating only low calorie foods.
comparing our bodies to other people.
Truthfully, healthy is not a lot of things, and more. I am finding that a version of healthy can change as time goes on. For me, a definition of healthy is a way of living. It’s being allowed to eat what I want, in moderation, and be satisfied with it – not feeling guilty or deprived. Healthy is a balance of the mind, body and soul. The three parts work together and I am not sure people can reach health without finding harmony between the three.
As I find my “new way of living” (as my psychologist calls it), I am on the search for peace within my mind, body and spirit… while remembering that healthy is a journey not a destination.
How do you define healthy?