Being healthy has become a bit of an ‘in’ thing over the last few years with plenty of the internet community taking pictures of anything sports or exercise related, toned bodies and wholesome, healthy looking foods. And yes, I am being one of these people and I am proud to help see people that they can aspire to that level of health and wellbeing also.
However, pictures of delicately arranged foods and toned bodies also have the power to give people a reality which implies to them that health really is only about exercise and food.
I would like to argue that health is not just about food and exercise, it is also about a healthy mindset towards yourself and your own body, being intimately acquainted with yourself and an attitude of self-respect and self-love.
A healthy mindset towards yourself helps you to keep your expectations towards yourself realistic and be forgiving if you do not achieve the goals that conventional wisdom tells you you should be able to achieve (be it exercise or food wise).
A healthy mindset towards your own body helps you to keep things in perspective: a body abused for years with the wrong foods and a stressful lifestyle will not look like the body of a 20 something, air brushed model in a Hollywood magazine. It also is deserving of some much needed care and attention instead of vicious attacks by self destructing thoughts we are often not even aware off!
Being intimately acquainted with yourself helps you to be fully aware of what nourishes you physically, emotionally and mentally and what not: the type of foods you eat, the exercise regime you have, the people you surround yourself with.
An attitude of self-love and self-respect helps you to prioritize the healthy habits that you know ensure that you are able to step up to the demands of daily life: be it with your family, in your job, when you socialize or have time to yourself.
Hence, healthy habits are not just eating a bland salad because you feel you have to to avoid gaining weight. Or going to the gym for an intense workout because you feel you have to make up for eating that piece of cake this afternoon despite being bone tired. Or doing a juice fast and going to yoga classes once a week just because it is in and ‘the’ thing to do to resolve all your problems.
Your attitude counts, your mindset is important!
Once you realize that, you will find that all those ‘shoulds’ and ‘should nots’ around your diet and exercise regime dissolve completely, with no effort at all. You are connected to your body and mind and you will intuitively know whether it needs time to itself or an evening out with your friends, some gentle movement or an energetic run, a burger with fries or some warm, nourishing soup.
Here is to your health and wellbeing and you finding a routine with those healthy habits that nourish you most!