The Dangerous Downside of 'Healthy'
On the topic of National Stress Down Day, I wanted to talk to you about the darker side of healthy living.
Absolutely, 100%, without question, is taking steps to be the best version of yourself and looking after your body through food and exercise a fantastic idea!!
But what happens when it becomes you? I'm not referring to 'becoming' healthier. That's the goal. What I mean here, is when your healthy goals overcome your entire life.
You skip out on social occasions, dining at certain restaurants, hanging out with friends over food, and would rather choose the gym or exercise over, well, anything! The scales, the tape measures, the progress 'selfies', the meal preps and the constant reading of self-help or discovery books. Maybe results don't come quick enough and you find your moods fluctuating with how your session was at the gym, how you didn't run as long or as fast as you wanted, how you still can hold that pose for very long, and it all gets you down. It's ok to feel a bit upset about that. But to get you down for the whole day or to have it negatively affect your relationships with those around you? That's a bit of a warning sign towards orthorexia. An unhealthy obsession with being healthy.
If Instagram makes you feel that your life isn't as "healthy" as others - quit comparing! So what if your salad looks lousy, or your paleo muffin is a little burnt and the lighting isn't so flash today? Or heaven forbid you ate a piece of bread. It's not a race, it's not a game, it's not a matter of trying to 'outbeat' others at being healthy. As long as your feeding your body what it needs, and you feel great for it, forget what the rest think. Can't afford organic? You know what? Regular wholesome natural foods aren't all that horrendous. Can't get to a farmers market in your area? Do your best with what you have.
Living a healthy lifestyle isn't meant to be stressful, filled with rules and regulations, meal plans, hectic training regimes and schedules. It's meant to be about making the most of your life. Enjoying your time. Spending your time moving your body, stretching it out, making you feel energised. Its about sleeping when you need sleep. Resting when your body is calling out for it. Pushing your limits to see how far you can go to improve yourself mentally and physically. Enjoying the flavours of fresh wholesome foods, and feeling happy knowing you're nourishing your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive. It's about unwinding, relaxing, breathing in some fresh air, and getting back to nature. It's about doing what you want with your life. Doing things that mean the most to you, and finding happiness knowing that you choose to run the life you desire, and the healthiest one you can.
There's no room in that for thigh gap comparisons, ab counting, weight measuring, and calorie counting. It's about making good, solid choices - that suit you. The individual. Your unique self. Do what makes you happy. What makes you thrive. What lights that fire inside you. Because at the end of the day, its your life, your decisions, your health, and your happiness.
Healthy should not get you down. Healthy is about lifting yourself up to live the life you love.
Get off your own case. Life is stressful enough as it is. Let your hair down and simply do your best.
I'll finish off with these wise words from Danielle LaPorte:
- When you get off of your own case, you tend to ease up on everyone else around you. Which makes you way more fun to be around. Way more. Only good can come of that.
- You will probably be more accepting of the way people are. And by “accepting” I don’t mean that you stay in unhealthy relationships with narcissists (insane), or that you hire people purely for their potential (risky), or that you join the committee just to be a good sport (ugh). By “accept” I mean that you stop expending energy trying to change other people, which means that you will have so much more energy for LIVING your life. This calls for an “OMG!” There, I said it. OMG.
- For the other 7, head here: http://www.daniellelaporte.com/not-improving-yourself/