Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Healthy Cause I Wanna Be

I follow a spunky gal on Twitter who goes by the name @healthyeveryday.  I've been following her health journey in the lovely way that Twitter allows (which is pretty much socially-accepted stalking) and her spirit is really refreshing!  Yesterday she tweeted something that resonated with me: venting the frustration that people feel when it's assumed that we exercise or eat healthy with weight loss as our primary goal.

Dude, been there. It's so annoying!

I call this my "healthy cause I wanna be," position.  There was definitely a time when weight loss was the paramount purpose behind working out and watching my calories. But eventually it dawned on me that I even though I had been busting my butt for years to achieve this idealized body, I never had. I wanted to give up, and for a while I did, before I had another epiphany: I liked being healthy. Even if I never achieved that (unrealistic) ideal, the way I felt when I was working out and eating clean far surpassed how I felt when I wasn't.  So, it was pretty clear to me: I'm healthy cause I wanna be!

I used to participate in a weight loss community called CyberDiet, back in the day of message boards and forums. I met so many wonderful women who were struggling with their weight, and it's where I first started hearing the call of wellness coaching. I would remind them that even though their efforts to become healthier might not be showing up on the scale right away, their bodies were already feeling the difference. Their hearts, lungs, joints, blood, and minds were in better shape, even if they didn't feel like they were achieving "health" yet!  Eventually I turned that advice on myself too and realized that I might not have that magazine-perfect physique, but I was way healthier than I had been a few years before and that was better than being skinny!  Sometimes I still have to remind myself; we're all works in progress.

So, chillax people. It's possible to actually strive for better health just for health alone, and I think it's actually healthier that way. When better health is your goal, the body follows. I had to bang my head against the wall before I was able to reprioritize enough to experience that, and @healthyeveryday reminded me yesterday how thankful I am that I did!

A couple of years ago I went on a rant about this, Exercise Alone Won't Make You Thin, and I still feel the same way. Be healthy cause you wanna be. Be healthy cause it's better!

And get out there and GET HEALTHY!


Anonymous said...

I would like to add that just because someone might not be at an ideal weight, it doesn't mean they are a health dummy. There are still a lot of people out there that see a person 20, 30 or 40 pounds overweight and think that all that person does is do is eat nachos and ice cream and sit on the couch all day. We can't all be a size 2. Nor, do we want to! Carole

ernise said...

I totally agree! The body will follow if you are living healthy! Glad I could provide a little inspiration to you yesterday!

Healthy Heather said...

Thanks Ernise for always staying positive and fighting the good fight! And AMEN, Carole! It took me a long time to realize that, but you're right on!