There is a stigma in our society that defines healthy as someone who is skinny, eats only foods dubbed “healthy," works out everyday, and is in incredible shape both endurance and strength wise. Anyone who strays outside the constraints of this narrow definition is not healthy, right? WRONG. This cannot be a more distorted view of a healthy person, and there is much more to being healthy than just eating and exercise. Healthy means happy. Someone who is genuinely happy, doing whatever it is that they love and taking care of their body by both fueling it with healthy foods and rewarding cravings when necessary. If you enjoy running, run. If you enjoy lifting weights, lift weights. If you enjoy yoga, pilates, sports, or just going for a daily walk, do that. THIS is what society should think of when they think of what healthy looks like. It’s not about how someone looks from the outside, but how they feel on the inside. This varies from person to person and everyone’s definition of healthy will be different. Achieving balance is the ultimate goal of a healthy lifestyle. It’s time we break the stigma and promote healthy as happy, whatever that means for you personally.
Love yourself. Easy… right? WRONG. We are our own biggest critics. It is easy to quickly list off the 30 reasons that we are imperfect people, but the truth is, we are perfectly imperfect.
- Start by comparing yourself, to only yourself. Compare yourself to your past self, and see the progression or regression that you are making with your personal goals and dreams. Comparing yourself to other people is unrealistic. Let's be real, you truly have no idea where they are in life or how they got to where they are. Comparing yourself to the old you, can remind you how far you have come and the direction that you should be headed. Love how you are literally, you are unable to compare yourself to anyone because you are so unique. Love your curves, muscles, hair, knots, bumps, and bruises. Your imperfections look perfectly imperfect on your unique skin.
- Make lists. Ahhhhh, the gratification of crossing things off a long, long list… am I right? Make lists for everything and I personally promise that you will feel accomplished. Make a grocery list; make a daily ‘to do’ list; make a weekly goal list; etc. Right now you may be saying, “I don’t need a list, I have a mental list.” The fact is you are not superhuman and everyone forgets things on their mental list. On top of that, you can’t hold a mental list in your hand and scratch off a task with a ballpoint pen that glides so effortlessly across the paper, crossing off responsibilities and warming your soul with the idea of being closer to your goals.
- Take care of yourself. Eat healthy. I guarantee you that fast food is not going to make you feel good. I also guarantee you that not eating enough food is not going to make you feel good. You get your energy, clear skin, glowing complexion, and beautiful body from eating healthy and taking care of yourself. Make it a priority to eat at least 3 meals a day, and make it a priority to know what is in those meals. Bathe regularly. Coming out of a hot shower and putting clean clothes on can be the perfect way to start, or end to your day. Wash your face and brush your teeth and remember that looking good, feels good. Wear clothes that make you feel good. Wear clothes that express you without you having to even speak. Wear clothes that hang like lace, or clothes that tightly hug your curves. Wear clothes that make YOU feel good.
- Treat yourself. Remember that time you swore you would finally use that nail salon gift card your mother gave you last christmas? Well that time is now! Get your hair done while you’re at it. A cut or a blow never felt so good. Are you single on a holiday? More of a reason to treat yourself. Splurge and purchase those pair of shoes you have been dying to have. Get sushi for the 3rd time this week, it's okay! Treat yourself, you are a hardworking person who deserves it.
- Put yourself first. It is easy to invest your energy in friends, family, relationships, etc. It is hard to invest your energy in yourself. There are 7.4 billion people in the world, so it seems near impossible to concentrate your energy on yourself when there are so many people that could use the help. Near impossible, but possible. Invest your energy into people that invest their energy into you. Equally water each other’s flowers. Equally tend each other’s garden. Avoid putting your all into people, relationships, situations, that are possible “energy suckers”, as I would call it. Be a little selfish, while remaining empathetic and open minded.
Remember that you are all you have at the end of the day. And you have to put yourself first, love yourself first, take care of yourself... first.
When we imagine what a healthy person looks like, we often think of a guy with rock hard abs or a girl with a gap between her thighs. And while many people would love to look like the models they see on TV, they believe the only way to be healthy is by losing weight. Although weight does play a role on health, it's really fat people should be worrying about.
Many athletes would be considered overweight if we solely looked at the number on the scale. People obsess over their weight and don't take into consideration that muscle weighs more than fat. And while the "weight debate" is incredibly popular in today's media, there is a plethora of other components to health that people are forgetting about.
Drinking enough fluids and staying hydrated one of the absolute top things to maintain. Too often are people getting sick from dehydration. Replenish your fluids as often as you can, especially if you exercise, if you want to stay healthy. Try opting for water or Gatorade instead of a soda during the day.
Sleep is often overlooked as people go through there busy lives and they don't make time for a reasonable sleep schedule. But getting less sleep could be a reason you aren't losing weight and can also cause cognitive issues. In college, sleeping can be inconvenient, so try to get as much as possible whenever you can.
Physical activity is crucial to a healthy life. Even a brisk walk could help strengthen your cardiovascular system. Get up and walk your dog or play a game of catch every once in a while. Find a workout buddy to keep you accountable.
This is the big DUH. What you get in is what you put out. If you're eating donuts and cheeseburgers every other day of the week, you're obviously not going to perform your best. But, if you always restrict yourself to only certain foods your deem healthy, your body will crave the junk and you'll eventually break your cycle of healthy eating. How much you eat is just as important as what. It's unnecessary to eat eight full meals a day, but it's also super unhealthy to only eat one. Make sure you balance your intake to make sure you can sustain yourself. Balance your meals! Make sure to incorporate things you like so you're more likely to stay on track.
Don't focus on the scale. Sure, weigh yourself every other week to make sure you are at a normal weight but don't obsess over it. Measure your health in the hours of sleep you get, the number of calories you burn versus the calories you take in, and how much water you're drinking.