It’s so fun to share all of the newfound happiness and ease I’ve found since deciding to “truly” recover. I say “truly”, because I really didn’t consider myself “sick” before. I wasn’t critically ill and was living a relatively normal existence – one that far too many accept as okay. I’d grown used to a lot of things that I didn’t even realize could be so much better if I just let go of some of my anxieties and fears.
I do have a few struggles, though. I struggle with body image, especially when seemingly everyone else around me is talking about how to lose weight or loving their new exercise regime.
I also struggle with being “healthy.”
What I’m doing right now is nearly the exact opposite of what is conventionally considered “healthy.” Aside from having an illness, people think of diet and exercise when they think of health.
Let’s see where I am with those:
- I’m getting virtually no cardiovascular or strength exercise
- I’m definitely not the picture of clean eating
Am I harming myself? Is it really “healthy” to sit around all day and then eat a chocolate chip cookie topped with oreo stuffed brownie?
What I need to remind myself is that for me, for right now, YES. Certain health issues take precedence over others. Obviously if someone had a terrible cancer they wouldn’t be expected to exercise every day. If you have the flu and can barely keep anything down, who cares if you’re eating crackers instead of salad?
In the same respect, if someone’s obesity is harming their health it would be a good thing to focus on eating better and exercising more.
Right now my version of healthy means getting my body functioning properly, my hormones balanced out, my metabolism up to speed, and my mentality to a good place. That is what takes precedence right now, and it happens to not include workouts or a focus on a meticulous diet.
Maybe, hopefully, sometime in the future, I’ll be able to exercise again. I miss running, race training, spinning, and lifting weights! I’ll certainly have to ensure I’m doing it in a balanced and appropriate way, but there are a multitude of benefits in exercise and I intend on being able to benefit from those throughout the rest of my life.
Maybe I won’t eat a 3 layer dessert every night. Maybe 😉
My mom had a pile of magazines that had been delivered to the house waiting for me when I arrived home last week. I brought them to the pool for some mindless reading, but found I couldn’t stand to look at them.
I hated reading about the workouts that I can’t do right now, and I hated reading all the articles steering women down the wrong path. No you should NOT eat 1200 calories a day! No you DO NOT need a six pack for that bikini! No you don’t need tips to improve your will power!
I threw them away. I don’t read many of the blogs I used to either. I unfollowed on instagram. That stuff isn’t good for me right now.
What’s conflicting is that given the high rates of obesity and obesity-related diseases in this country, many of the recommendations I read and hear even from the mouths of doctors are the very thing I’m trying to break free from. I shadowed a physician as he told one patient she needed to turn down the cobbler her neighbor brought over and another not to eat more than 1200 calories. Every other “health” article I see is a way to sneak in exercise, wake up earlier to workout, or resist dessert.
When you consider that, it kind of makes sense that I was passing on indulgent foods in favor of “healthier” ones, that I was making exercise a priority, and that I was eating fewer calories than my body required. It’s what we are told to do!
But not me. Not now.
I’m having to remind myself that I’m not like everyone else. I’m not one of those people that is nutrient deficient, has diabetes, or barely moves their body. I have my own issues to resolve, and quite frankly I have to ignore almost every damn thing other people say.
Magazines, TV shows, and blogs can play a big role in our expectations and lifestyles. We can start to get high & mighty, judgmental, comparative, and even worse gullible. We start to believe everything the media tells us or that what one person does is what we should do. But we’re all different, and the media doesn’t have our best interest at heart.
This is a struggle for me, but so far the benefits have been worthwhile.
- Do you struggle with finding YOUR version of “healthy”?