This is a blog post written by 2012/2013-Anne. I accidentally stumbled across it in my notes recently, and thought it would be fun to publish – both because it’s interesting to see what past-Anne used to write like before she really got into blogging (it’s a bit of a mess) and because I still think I raise some good points, even if I wouldn’t have written it exactly the same way today.
MY HEALTH PHILOSOPHY
Healthy and happy goes hand in hand
Something that kept popping up in my head when I was thinking about what to write while I was out running (that’s when I usually think the best) was an article on greatist.com back in November last year.
To give you some background info, the founder of Greatist.com, Derek Flanzraich who wanted to see if he could get six-pack abs in six weeks with an #Absperiment. The long-term effects the serious food restriction and hard-core exercise regiment has had on him. He has a bad relationship with food, he has trouble setting rules for himself, and he really struggles with his body image. I can only recommend you to read the full article over his reflection after the challenge, but I want to emphasise his parting words:
Happiness is something we learn to define not just through nature but also through nurture, culture, and community. What “success,” “beauty,” and “power” mean to you is subjective. But the impact of the silly, human shortcuts we take in pursuit of satisfaction based on what others tell us can reverberate for a long time. A long, long, long time. So be mindful and choose better your way, to whatever happiness means to you — and nobody else.
You don’t need six-pack abs to be happy. And sometimes getting them can make you less happy than when you started.
– Derek Flanzraich, I Got Six-Pack Abs in Six Weeks. Here’s How I Feel One Year Later.
It is so important to find a way to make physically healthy choices, without forgetting to take care of your mental health. Besides that, six packs are not an indicator of health – some people just find it visually appealing. You can be fit, healthy and all that without a six-pack!
A healthy lifestyle doesn’t necessarily mean never getting sick
If something makes me cringe, it has to be when I see images like the ones below going around on social media.
Yes, eating a healthy diet consisting of various fruits and vegetables can help decrease the risk of many diseases, but it cannot stop all. For example, apricots and other fruits have been promoted as a cure for cancer – but that is completely false (it’s not even a vitamin), and they can actually be toxic in high doses. How healthy does cyanide poisoning sound to you?
Some people need their medication to stay alive, to be healthy – to have increased life-quality. And that’s okay.
Genetics also play a huge role when it comes to disease risk, and there are many environmental factors that you can’t control yourself. Admitted, many people get sick because they’re not doing enough to improve their health. But that’s not always the case. You got to work with what you got, be the healthiest you can be – and that will probably not be the same as someone else.
Eating healthy shouldn’t include guilt
“No food (with the possible exception of those containing hydrogenated oils and certain acutely harmful compounds) can be considered healthy or unhealthy in isolation, outside of the context of one’s overall dietary intake.” – Source
This is such an important thing to remember. You don’t have to go around labelling food as either ‘good’ or ‘bad’. In the right amounts, everything can be bad for you (even water) – but in moderation, you can have a bit of everything. You don’t have to give up chocolate, cake or ice cream to be healthy – you shouldn’t eat it all the time either. Unless you really want to give up anything that isn’t considered ‘clean’, there’s no reason to do it.
I don’t believe a healthy lifestyle has to include guilt – not when it comes to eating, nor when it comes to skipping a workout once in a while
It’s just about finding the balance that you can live with. I don’t believe a healthy lifestyle has to include guilt – not when it comes to eating, nor when it comes to skipping a workout once in a while. This is a lifestyle, meaning a way that you could potentially live for the rest of your life, not a punishment.
If the way you’re living right now constantly make you feel bad and inadequate, maybe it is time to reevaluate some of your choices.
The best thing I have done for myself is starting to eat and exercise because it makes me feel good. I love healthy food, it’s delicious and experimenting with new recipes is fun – but I also love chocolate, and sometimes, I will eat the damn chocolate.
Being healthy means finding balance
In my opinion, a ‘healthy lifestyle’ stops being healthy when it comes and obsession. Healthy and skinny is not the same. When you can’t go out and eat with friends, or are scared of eating dessert, something’s not right.
My two favourite words when it comes to health is moderation and balance. That’s what it’s all about in my head.
To me, health and happiness go hand in hand. A healthy lifestyle should provide you with a feeling of increased life quality, not guilt and self-hate.
What is a healthy lifestyle to you? I look forward to hearing your inputs!
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