Hey all! Happy last day of January ALREADY!!
I hope you’re having a great day so far and I hope you had a good weekend. 🙂 Sorry I missed ya yesterday but I was doing a TON of cooking for the week. I made these muffins, this chili, this hummus, and this granola. Phew! SO worth it though, because now I don’t have to worry about cooking for the week!
If you happen to make those recipes too (which you should), you might notice they’re all a little bit healthier.
Hmmm, that word, what does it even mean?
Well, allow me to explain.
The other day, I was watching a video by a woman named Jenn Hand, a holistic health advocate and food coach who helps other women find freedom around food, weight, body, and eating. I’ve been watching a lot of her videos lately and I think they could be helpful for anyone, regardless of your relationship with food.
She talked about something she calls “eating for health” and I thought about how I used to think I had to eat certain things to look a certain way. I was always caught up in following “food rules” and the next “nutrition” plan I was on.
I can’t tell you how many times I had this cookie cutter image in my head of what it meant to be “healthy.” Kale smoothies, fresh juices, lean proteins with salad and 45 minutes of cardio every day. HAHA. So wrong Marina, so wrong. When I was striving to be “perfect”, that only meant trying to be thinner, eating cleaner, and exercising all of the time. I never actually thought about what eating “healthy” actually meant…I was just trying to look perfect all the time that I never questioned what health looked like in my own life.
In the past, but even occasionally now, the phrase “I should eat that instead of this” dictated my decisions. Has that ever happened to you? If so, isn’t it annoying, consuming, and exhausting? SO exhausting. And obnoxious. And MEANINGLESS. I was always anxious if I didn’t workout or if I ate later than I normally should have. I didn’t trust my body at all and was obsessed with getting more fit and more toned. The sad part is, it wasn’t out of a motivation to get thin. I was obsessed with my outer image because I wanted to look the best. Isn’t that sad?
I was only focused on my outer image that I completely forgot about the inside.
So honestly, what does “health” actually mean?
It’s NOT the airbrushed woman on the cover of Women’s Health (you know, the one smiling in her skimpy shorts and sports bra, showing off her toned abs.)
It’s NOT the juice cleanse your friend is doing to “get shredded” before her next vacation.
We forget that there are FOUR components to health: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. When most people think of being “healthy”, they often think of how someone looks PHYSICALLY (their size, weight, what they’re eating, etc.)
That’s all well and good, but in reality, it’s SO much more than that.
Even the World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
For me, the physical side of health means eating foods that make me feel good. Eating food that SATISFIES me. Sometimes that could be a smoothie bowl (like the one above), sometimes it’s a big salad, or sometimes it’s a piece of pizza, a glass of wine, and a cookie. Depending on my body’s needs at the moment in time, I eat in a way that will satisfy me and leave me feeling good. No foods should be labeled as “good” or “bad.” You can order a salad at lunch because that sounds and feels awesome, but the next day you can also order a burger and fries at lunch and eat until satisfied because that sounds and feels awesome too. Find what works for YOU!
On the mental side of health, it all comes down to self-talk. I used to spend so long staring at myself in the mirror and picking apart my body. Do you talk to yourself negatively? Do you beat yourself up for every little mistake you make? When you spend so much of your time negatively talking to yourself, it can have a huge effect on your mental health. To me, that’s not healthy. Has your doctor ever talked to you about your mental health? Or have they just discussed how much you weigh and if you’re drinking enough water? Positive self-talk is KEY. We only have one body, so why not take care of it and treat it with respect?
Emotional health is about being happy, self-confident, self-aware, and resilient. I know need a little bit of work with this one. I definitely consider myself a self-aware and resilient person, but I know I’m not that great at self-care. It’s a work-in-progress though! Think about this too: two people can perceive and react to the same situation in surprisingly different ways . This depends on the attitudes and tendencies that we have developed. So ask yourself these questions: are you taking care of yourself? Are you a workaholic? Can you express yourself to others in an authentic way, or are you a people-pleaser?
I know I NEVER thought about spirituality when it came to my health. Different people may have different views of what spirituality is, but generally it’s considered to be a search for meaning and purpose in life. You could also consider it striving for a balance of your inner needs. It’s common for people to use food to fill that “void” in their lives, but food will never satisfy that empty hole. Think about this: do you make time for reflection in your life? Do you have a specific spiritual practice like yoga, praying to God, meditation, or being in nature? Whatever you believe in, it’s important to have clearly defined values, beliefs, and morals. These things define who you are and provide a basis for things like compassion, love, forgiveness, and a sense of personal fulfillment.
It’s about time we shed some light on the other aspects of health that no one likes to talk about.
Thanks for sticking with me through all of that. Much love to you all. ❤
Now tell me…
- What does “health” mean to you?
- When’s the last time you told yourself you were beautiful?