As women, we are continually bombarded with images of how the 'perfect' female should look. The dictionary defines “healthy” as being “in good health, not diseased,” but that only addresses the body.
The World Health Organization (WHO) may have a better definition:
“complete physical, mental, and social well-being - and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
To truly be healthy, the second definition may be closer to the truth. We all must define our own version of health, but when developing that belief, it’s important to consider the whole self in mind, body and spirit.
Research shows that Americans – a culture that influences much of our mainstream culture here – define health in a narrow, negative way, focusing more on what we do not have. We don’t have a body that looks like the one on Instagram who seems to be so happy and fit and living a perfect life.
Then when we can’t do a 5k run or ride a bike around a beauty spot, we get into a habit of comparing ourselves and feeling inadequate.
The irony is that when we define our health by those things we struggle to achieve, such as weight, it can lead to stress and ultimately undermine our health.
At TFF, I believe in exercise for life rather than for aesthetics. Sure, liking what we see in the mirror plays a part in confidence and happiness, but if we neglect of areas of our being, exercise purely for aesthetics only fills a temporary void.
Instead, we focus on the things our incredible bodies can do, rather on the things we wish we could change. We strive for balance and building strength of mind, body and spirit for happiness and contentment.
So let’s look at what healthy means in each of these areas:
Health in Mind
Mind, body and spirit all work in harmony to create our personal definition of what it means to be healthy. This is why harboring negative emotions can often lead to serious physical illness.
Your mind is affected by your body, and your body is affected by your mind. You have experienced this when you get stressed and end up with a headache or eat “comfort food” when you feel anxious.
You also have experienced this on the positive side. When you focus on loving and accepting yourself, you feel joy and self-appreciation, which leads to positive desires towards healthy choices.
Health in Body
Obesity is indeed a global epidemic and our biggest health problem. But if we only focus on weight it can have unintended consequences.
It’s a sad reality that society views overweight people as lazy or worthless and dealing with this disapproval can put fuel to the fire. Focusing only on weight creates a cycle that is difficult to break.
Focusing on the positive can break this pattern. Instead of thinking about diets and the guilt of eating that cookie, focus on feeling nourished and satisfied by a nice meal.
Many overweight people isolate themselves due to societal shame but sharing a meal with friends is proven to be healthier. Health is a social activity.
Health in Spirit
Spiritual health is about finding meaning in your life and finding who you truly are. Through this self-discovery you can understand how you got to where you are and how to get to where you want to be. In this case, find what healthy means to you.
Taking time to practice meditation or (yoga or taking part in a group exercise class such as my Chill Formula) can improve spiritual wellness by reducing strains on your mind and body.
Other small steps include traveling or getting out in nature gets you away from you’re the hum drum and provide space to free your mind.
Your definition of being healthy has nothing to do with living a restrictive life. It has everything to do with seizing the life we are given in the body we are gifted and focusing on the positive.
If you’re interested in learning more about my 1:1 Lifestyle Coaching – where I help you make healthier choices in your mind, body and spirit – drop me an email.
I’d love to arrange a discovery call to see how I can help you.