“Healthy” is a funny word, isn’t it? It can mean very different things to different people. As a Nutritional Therapist and Coach I have heard things like: “I just want to get healthy”, or “I need to be healthier”.
But what does that really mean? I personally have come to a definition of health that encompasses all areas of one’s life: spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental.
Scrolling through Instagram one can find umpteen examples of very beautiful, attractive, and seemingly very physically “healthy” people. There are definitely some outward characteristics that we humans associate with healthiness; but I would argue that not everyone who looks “healthy” is and vice versa. Health is about so much more than physical appearance. It is a factor, no doubt; but it is not the whole picture!
Instead of putting so much emphasis on BMI (height/weight ratio) at the conventional doctors office, I think they should start asking questions about other important health markers like: sleep amount and quality, social support/ community, amount of real whole foods being consumed, type and amount of restorative movement, level of enjoyment in life vs. stress/depression, level of true hydration, and amount of time spent in nature amongst other things.
These are the types of health markers that are much harder to measure in a few minutes and take more exploration and time to delve into than most current medical appointments would allow for. But, they are also much more indicative of a person’s whole health status.
How is your whole health?
When you think about the status of your own health, are you tempted to think about only your weight/ size or appearance? I think this is normal in our modern day society which is absolutely obsessed with “looking the part”.
I would challenge you, however, to go a little deeper and assess all areas of whole health. This includes your mindset, thoughts, relationships, spirituality, work/life balance, family life, commitments, hobbies, distractions/ addictions and habits.
If you are the “picture of health” on the outside, but riddled with negative thoughts all day long, you are not truly healthy in the full sense of the word. I’ve often come across a very common phenomenon of people (often youngish females) who desperately want to change their outside to be “healthier” in the eyes of the outside world, but insist on constantly bashing their appearance with their thoughts and words in an attempt to bully themselves into a thinner, smaller, more “attractive” person. Even if they somehow achieve a “healthy” look through these harmful means, they are actually quite unhealthy emotionally and mentally.