What’s health got to do with it?

This word “health” gets thrown around a lot these days. For your average person, trying to adopt a healthy lifestyle while maintaining all of life’s other obligations can be overwhelming.

We’re constantly bombarded by the media with articles and links selling prescribed quick fixes like which 5 foods you shouldn’t eat if you’re trying to lose belly fat, or that you can lose 7 pounds in 7 days by eating nothing but bananas and hard boiled eggs *cue eye roll*. I have been overweight on the BMI scale my whole life. I spent my teen years wondering why the “baby fat” hadn’t come off yet *cue another eye roll*. So I bought into the diet crap for a long time. Of course, all I ever cared about was dropping some pounds, and never understood the array of other benefits I could reap by giving a shit about my well-being. For example, I had no idea I would feel different if I adopted some new habits. Never did I think I’d sleep better, lessen my anxiety, and be able to think more clearly. Why not? Because that stuff doesn’t sell. No one ever tells us that. What does sell is telling people they’re fat and that there is a way to fix it fast. All you have to do is buy into the diet mentality, right? Wrong.

When we buy into a prescribed regimen in order to become “healthy,” what exactly should we expect to happen when it’s over? Do we reach a threshold and just stay radiantly healthy and sparkling forever, after going back to old ways? Of course not. Therefore, I raise the question, why even go down that road? What does that do for you? There is way too much joy to be felt in this life to focus on a 30 day cleanse or a 7 day diet to fit into this perceived mold of what healthy looks like. To me, healthy means having the capability to enjoy all life has to offer, and feeling good in the process. That definition looks different on every single person which makes a lot more sense to me. I encourage you, reader, wherever you are on the spectrum, to start thinking about your health and well-being in a new way. Nourish your body with foods that fuel it and satisfy it. I promise you, chomping on dry kale and raw carrots all day is not the best thing you can do for your long-term health. Not even close.

What will get you closer to a healthy state is listening to what your body wants and HONORING it. For me, that took a long time to figure out. So another key aspect is patience. Those things are so crucial, but since they take some time, it’s also important to learn about nutrient-dense foods, how they fuel you, and how you can make them taste delicious. I assure you it’s possible. This coming from the person who’s only edible vegetable from years 0-20 were canned green beans…dead serious.

I have so much to say about this topic, but the big picture I want to convey here is that if/when you struggle with how you apply health-conscious habits to your lifestyle, remember your willpower or strength are not the problem. There is a system set up to make sure we are in a never-ending cycle of hating our bodies and feeling guilty followed by buying some ridiculous product or cutting out tons of good foods in hopes of “fixing” ourselves, and then failing so we start all over again. If you can break that cycle, you’re way ahead of the game. I hope by sharing bits of how I did that, I can help you see why it’s the most sustainable way to live your healthiest life.

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