When you hear the word healthy, does your mind immediately go to the newest diet, or the popular workout trend at the time? Do you think healthy means depriving yourself and feeling miserable? Does healthy reflect a number on the scale for you? For me, I used to have the mindset that healthy meant no fun. That being healthy got you the results, but was simply just work. I want to ask, have we ever stopped to ask ourselves, “What does healthy mean to me?”
I have definitely gone through my share of trial and error with keeping myself healthy and understanding what it means for me. About twelve years ago, after high school, I didn’t work out at all. I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. My food choices consisted mainly of fast food. I didn’t get enough sleep and I was in survival mode most days. After a few years of that lifestyle, my metabolism was no longer working in my favor, and my decisions started to affect me both mentally and physically. My anxiety was appearing (at this time I didn’t realize I even struggled with anxiety), I was insecure, not motivated, gained unnecessary weight and didn’t know who I was.
Over time of living this way and not being happy, I realized I needed to make a change. It took years, and that is not an exaggeration. Years to learn how to shift my nutrition, understand what my body needed, push myself to workout and do what I knew I was capable of. Now, this was all pre-baby, so I had a lot of free time. I was able to workout 5-6 days a week, I was strict with my eating and dieted often, and was okay with it. I was in the best shape of my life. I adjusted my exercise and nutrition rapidly, but not once did I focus on myself mentally. I also thought that the number on the scale was the most important. So I did whatever I needed to do to see a specific number on that scale. Was I healthy? I would say I was physically. Was I mentally? Was I happy? I think that I thought I was at that time.
You see, after having my daughter Anna three years ago, I have continued to grow and become more of who I am. I have learned that what I did before was a diet, not a lifestyle. I attempted it after having Anna, and failed. It wasn’t attainable. I realized I couldn’t kill myself in the gym like I used to, nor did I want to. I no longer had 5-6 days to simply workout. I am a wife, mom, a full time employee, and more. My time is more valuable now. I also realized I was doing workouts that were popular, or what other people were doing. I don’t think I did workouts that truly brought me joy. I have since, found my passion…Running. Most think I am crazy, but I truly love it. It is freeing to me, it allows me to zone out, and it definitely doesn’t feel like a boring workout to me. I feel that everyone should strive to do workouts that are fun to them, something you enjoy. Don’t worry about who else is doing it, focus on what brings you joy.
Another thing I have learned that
I need, is having quiet time. This could
look different week to week. I need time to write in my journal, time to read
my devotionals, or time to simply just be, with no expectations. Some days, I
don’t need the run, some days I need to take care of myself mentally.
For me, being healthy isn’t just about the food you eat or the exercises you do. I believe that being healthy is not a destination, but merely a way of living your life. We were meant to live our best life. But how can we do that, if we simply don’t take the time, to nourish our mind, body, and soul? Healthy is whatever you need, to be in a positive place in your life, to be your best self for you, and for others.