I used to think health was one size fits all. Now, at the ripe old age of 21 (as of two weeks ago-happy birthday to me!), my philosophy has changed and most likely will continue to change as I grow and learn.
I believe that health and wellness is incredibly individualized. I used to gobble up diet and workout advice from magazines and think what worked for such and such fitness model would work for me. Oh how wrong I was.
My body is not your body, yours is not mine. We are so incredibly unique, from the hair on our heads to the bacteria in our guts. Unless you are an identical twin, your DNA is unique to you. And even if you are a twin, your needs are still your own.
What is Health?
I think the rough framework of “health” is something most humans should model- eat wholesome foods, move your body, get plenty of sleep and drink your H20.
That is a very vague outline, and it is up to us as individuals to fill in the details for what works for us and our bodies. That’s the hard part- figuring out what your body needs, and listening to it!
Listening to Your Body
I am currently still in the process of learning my body’s unique needs and, the real kicker, honoring those needs. After 6 years of denying my body of the food it was begging for, and running it into the ground exercising, I have done some damage to the relationship I have with my body. You should be in sync with your body, not a separate entity from it. Your mind, body and soul work together to be a whole. As children, we are all born this way, but for a lot of us, the bonds get severed as we grow and adopt false beliefs about ourselves or how we should treat our selves.
It is a journey to truly listen to what your body is telling you, without letting those false, learned “rules” sneak in to question your intuition. Trust your body, and it will it will start to trust you again.
One of the biggest tips I have for rekindling that bond is to stop comparing yourself to others. Just because the “fit” girl on Instagram is having a giant acai bowl for breakfast doesn’t mean you have to. If your body is craving a salad for lunch but your friend orders a burger, you should honor your craving as your friend should honor hers.
Stop comparing your body to others. Love it and treat it with respect. This is something I am working on and it is definitely a learning process. It may take time to understand what your body needs and get those instinctive cues back. For now, just do the next right thing. Eat whole some foods, but also go out for froyo. Exercise, but get enough rest days in. Talk kindly to your body, don’t tear it down with “fat talk.”
Healthy looks different on everyone, to compare is to despair. When you begin to honor your body you will thrive. Your health is your greatest wealth.