What Does Having a Healthy Lifestyle Mean to You?

 

Hello, thanks for looking at my article. This is written to explore a point of view and to explore what is considered to be a healthy person or have a healthy lifestyle.

 

To me having a Healthy Lifestyle means ‘Control’ and ‘Happiness’. What do I mean by this?

Well most see being ‘healthy’ as eating ‘right’ and exercising. Now whilst this can be true, I find this to be a limited view of a healthy lifestyle.

During my time as a health coach. I have come across various points of views and comments (clients & non-clients) that, while some differ, seem to hold a common theme.

You may or may not agree with what I’m about to say. This is just what I have found during my time and this has now prompted me to write about it.

During my speaking events, private coaching sessions and even while out and about. I hear people say things like:

  • That we live in a culture that promotes unhealthy food
  • We are tied to events that go on around us. For example, when the world cup is on, beer and crisps are advertised more or discounted. (Yes. We did also touch upon Tennis with its Strawberry’s and Cream conversely)
  • There is always a special offer on the unhealthy food and not so much on the healthier options.
  • Being healthy is boring. You cannot eat the foods you enjoy. You can only eat bland foods or just fruit and veg. Thus not being motivated to eat in a healthier manner
  • When going out, choice of food is restricted
  • My work schedule gets in the way of me eating in a regular fashion
  • We work right next to a fast food shop (not mentioning any names)
  • Don’t like to exercise
  • I love eating food. That’s all that matters
  • It’s too expensive to eat healthily
  • You get attacked by the ‘food police’ – people who, if they see you eat something that is deemed unhealthy will go out of their way to mention that to you.

and so on.

Now although I am not disputing any of these. Some of these comments may even be true. But what I began to realise from my point of view as a Coach, I felt something was missing.

Some way of thinking or some information was missing.

Can you see it?

If so, do you agree or disagree?

What I found or felt, like I mentioned before, was that some people’s view of being healthy can be arbitrary.

It is becoming more and more clear that they have learned maybe a few basics of health and then over the years stuck to that point of view and never even considered to update it.

So the result is that they are repulsed by the notion of being healthy. Maybe, even in some cases, built this goal to such a height, that they feel it is unobtainable.

So why bother trying? It’s easier to just enjoy myself with the food I love. I’m going to die anyway? So why not enjoy myself while I’m alive?

 

On a personal note, I am not a huge fan of those memes that go around saying ‘eat how you want as you are going to die anyway…etc’ I’m sure you have seen them. I wont go into that now, that can be discussed at a later time.

 

So going back to why I consider living a ‘Healthier Lifestyle’ means to me ‘Control’ (or self-control) and happiness.

Let me start with ‘Control’ (Self Control)

I work with the belief that there are many different ways to look at things.

You can look at this as a static point of view: You are either healthy or you are not.

Or you can be a little more dynamic: There is some kind of spectrum or range of health, you are healthier on one end than on the other.

Or it could be purely an individual thing: My body is different from yours, I have different tastes, likes and dislikes from you. My body reacts differently to yours when it comes to certain foods.

So I tend to work on the basis that there is a kind of a spectrum when it comes to health. Someone can be completely healthy on one end while on the other end, someone could be completely unhealthy.

Also, that everyone is an individual. So what might work for one person might not work for another person, whether it’s due to body reaction or simply down to personal taste.

I feel that this is a personal choice and that it is down to the individual where on the spectrum they would rather be.

A professional athlete or health fanatic (I use the term fanatic loosely here) may choose to be on one side of the spectrum, while someone who just doesn’t care about this sort of thing, or indeed may be struggling to be where they wish to be, could be on the other end of the scale.

While others can be anywhere in between.

What I am suggesting is that whether it is through budget, or taste or enjoyment etc. You could move up the scale to as close as possible to your ideal view of health. It does not need to be a case of being healthy or not being healthy. You could take it one step at a time. Move up, acclimatize, then when you are ready, move up again. At your own pace, at your own timing.

 

What do you think of this?

Now let’s talk about ‘Happiness’

The reason I mention this is because I believe happiness is a part of being healthy. Or more specifically, your emotional (and physical) health. Your actual lifestyle.

If you are constantly sick or not feeling the best you could. If you are not happy with the way you look and it’s affecting your confidence (which by the way will affect you in other areas of your life) then can you be happy?

If you are not happy, then in my humble point of view, you are not healthy

 

“Well, I love my food. I’m happy with it. I enjoy it and it makes me happy. So I don’t get what you are saying”

 

Ok, that’s cool. If that’s really how you feel and you think you have caught me out with what I have said, that’s fine. I’m not even going to bother convincing you. You do what’s best for you.

But for those who are not happy with their look or their health. Not feeling so great and confident with themselves and find it is affecting other areas in their life. I’m really asking you.

So for example:

  • Relationships: Not feeling as attractive. Intimacy challenges. Lack confidence around others
  • Finance: Having to pay for medicines or some sort of healthcare. Spending too much on unhealthier foods
  • Career: Always feeling tired. Unable to focus and concentrate or brain-fog.

 

I believe a healthy lifestyle is more than food and exercise. It’s also how you feel about yourself. Your emotional and mental health Your life as a whole. It is all connected.

 

How do you feel about yourself?

  • How do you feel about your current life?
  • Are you worried about your overall health? heart health, digestive health, diabetes or any other bodily health?
  • Would you like to look better than you do now? Fitting into the clothes you really want to?
  • Do you find it hard to think or focus? Or concentrate for extended periods of time?

Because I believe, if you focus on these types of questions rather than focusing on food prices, convenience, inconvenience and even some of the foods you enjoy. It could be the thing that changes how you behave.
Which could improve your ‘Self-Control’.

 

To help, here are some questions to ask yourself. Without thinking about cost, enjoyment work schedule etc. Putting those aside for a moment:

  • On a scale of 1 – 10 (with 10 being really healthy and 1 really unhealthy) where would you like to be in terms of having the health and lifestyle you want?
  • How would you physically like to feel?
  • How would you like to feel emotionally and mentally?
  • How would you love to look? What kind of clothes would you buy once you had that look?
  • What would your life look like once you were there?
  • What would you be hearing in your mind as that healthier person?

I ask these questions in such a way that it is not just about your body. This is also about your actual lifestyle. It could include having a more energetic lifestyle, more excitement, more amazement or more intimacy in your relationships.

Or it could be a lifestyle that is slow or lacks stimulus.

 

Please note, I am a fairly quiet person myself. So I am not saying that because you prefer a slower life or quieter life, you are not being healthy. I am more focusing on would you live a lifestyle that you actually chose and preferred. Rather than putting up with a lifestyle that you would not prefer or have chosen.

 

There are many questions to ask yourself. These are just to help you get started. If you think from this place and allow yourself. You will find that your actions and ways of thinking could change.

Being healthy does not need to be boring, or hard, or expensive. I am sure you will find a way if you want. I have surprised myself on many occasions when it comes to finding cost -effective healthier alternatives when it comes to buying food. This allows me to enjoy my foods because I am in control and I am happy with my healthier lifestyle and myself.

 

A healthy lifestyle could be viewed as an ambition. A form of success to be healthy. Believe it or not, once you achieve success in one area of your life. You can achieve success in other areas of your life. The mental strength and disciplines to achieve that can easily be transferred to other areas of your life. Also because you have succeeded, you will remember that. This is usually what spurs you on towards other achievements because you know you have aquired your desired goals before.

 

Could you take on the idea of being healthy as a goal to succeed at?

I don’t eat boring foods, I don’t eat only fruit and veg and bland meals. My meals are colourful and varied.

At times I eat pizza, hamburgers, cakes!

Yes, I do!

Not much, but when I do, I am very conscious of what’s in the pizza or burger (no tomato ketchup or mayonnaise for instance. Careful of my pizza toppings. I only eat cake and such if I go to a party)

I have chosen my level of health. When the time comes, I can change it. When I get back to my Thai boxing training – took some time off. But when I go back, you can bet that I will go up a scale.

So let’s say I’m at like a 7 for now. I can at, anytime, move up to a 8 or 9 or even 10!. It’s up to me. I’m in control. This makes me happy. I feel empowered. I feel healthy and I can enjoy my food and my life.

So what do you think of this point of view?

This is meant to be a discussion to see people’s point of view of what they (YOU) consider to be healthy. You might be surprised how each of us sees being healthy as different.

 

When we remove the text-book answers or the ‘right’ answers and really delve into what each of us really believe it means to have a healthy lifestyle, you will find we all differ. I know this as I have worked with various people and while there are some similarities, there are also many differences.

 

Sometimes it’s good to just ask yourself what having a healthy lifestyle means to you and only you, rather than following the text books or the ‘Diets’ or what others say.

You are unique. You are different and only you can choose what’s best for you. For better or for worse, you will live with the consequences.

Which consequences would you prefer?

  • Food-related illness? (cancer, diabetes etc.)
  • Sadness, misery, disappointment?
  • Lack of confidence?
  • Lack of self-control?

Or

  • Feeling good
  • Looking great
  • Living long and strong
  • Happiness

So what does having a healthy lifestyle mean to you?