Everyone always tells us to be healthy; to do whatever makes us happy as long as it is not detrimental to our health. But they never specify what kind of healthy they want us to be. They never say precisely what they even define as healthy.
Do they meant the kind of healthy where we look like supermodels, our faces clear of faults but also of pores, covered over by makeup, and our bodies free of fat but also of nourishment?
Do they mean the kind of healthy where we fall asleep to soft flute music and we drink green tea, sitting in rock gardens and open air, achieving a lightness in our state of being only possible in the deepest state of mental zen, at the cost of every responsibility we have?
Or do they mean the kind where we eschew carbs, both simple and complex, go outside and run, and then come back inside and do push-ups, and then we feel strong, and it becomes acceptable to indulge in a cookie?
Nearly every socially accepted norm of what the term “healthy” means is different, and almost all of them come at a price beyond what we pay at the grocery store.
To me, being healthy comes with three pieces. There is the physical component, which is what it looks like on the outside. There is the mental component, the calm and cheerful state of mind that I often find myself enjoying when I consider my routine to be healthy. And then there is the nutritive component, which is what I put into my body and my routine.
Means not having gray circles under my eyes. Means all of my belongings having some semblance of organization. Means wearing clothing that is not rumpled, and having time to put in contact lenses instead of wearing glasses. It means clear skin, with just a touch of makeup to accentuate. It means having muscle and well-proportioned parts of my body, thanks to putting the time in to work out. It means having bright eyes and shiny hair. It means a smile. It means clean soft skin, the result of soap and water and lotion. It means caring what I look like, but also not fixating on it if I miss a day in my routine.
Means having time to read for pleasure, to lose myself in a world that isn’t my own. Means appreciating all of the beauty around me, and adjusting so that I can live with what I might not consider beauty. Means being okay with letting loose and laughing. Means having time to write, to organize my own thoughts on a piece of paper. It means feeling comfortable with who I am, and caring about my personal beliefs more than other people’s judgements. Most importantly, it means making peace with the problems that may be in my life rather then allowing them to dominate my life.
It matters what goes into your body. Feed it well. Not eating does not equal being healthy! And to be honest, I feel better as a human being when I have been eating lots of salad and fruit and veggies than I do when I have been subsisting on bread and food that is all one color. The latter always leaves me feeling lethargic and sedentary (which is, by the way, a feeling that I hate).
It’s all interconnected. I feed my body with good food that makes me feel good, and I find it easier to get some peace of mind, because I will be more predisposed to cheerfulness, and with that peace of mind comes sleep and clarity, which are both integral to what I consider healthy physical traits….
I could go on and on.
My point is just that “healthy” means what is healthy for you, and what matters is not a cultural convention, it is the feeling of happiness that being healthy should give you. I personally find it in writing, and in good food, and in good music, and a lot of the time in sleep.
It’s up to you to find what makes you feel good, and that is my top tip for life for anyone questioning their health. It’s that simple. Just find what makes you happy.