Thoughts on Getting Healthy
Health should not feel like scarcity, a list of foods you can’t eat and a list of consequences that will happen if you do.
Health is not about being mean to yourself until you are filled with fear. It is not about mentally flagellating until exercise feels like something you must do, something so vital that it is worth sacrificing your friends, your plans, or your sleep to meet a self-set list of rules and requirements.
Being committed is not about forgoing basic human pleasures.
Enjoying food is not something to equate with failure.
There are all these products, the Guiltless Gourmets of the world, that imply that somehow we should feel cloaked in shame for enjoying a tortilla chip. Those products are tools of sexism at the very least and evil at most. These things are not to be taken seriously.
Because outside of the context of making food choices based on ethical standpoints (I’m talking organic foods, or vegan foods, or foods that are ethically and sustainably sourced) how is food a moral issue?
How can a bag of chips try to assert that we are somehow ethically superior if we eat their product above another? That sounds like capitalism to me, not health in any sense of the word. It sounds like schilling processed food, under the guise of it being healthy, with our self-esteem as the price.
No fucking thank you.
Health is the moment that you wake up and you ask your body what might feel the best.
It can be not feeling like exercise, but knowing that the process of going to the gym, of seeing people, of raising your heart rate, will ultimately make you feel better. It can be needing the alone time of a run. It can be feeling exhaustion in every part of you, in your steps and in your bones and knowing that, for today, your exercise is to rest.
Health is knowing that neither choice is good or bad.
Both are just honest.
Health is being honest with yourself time and time and time again. It is knowing that certain foods might make you feel like shit if you eat them, even if some little nook or cranny of your body is dying for it. It can be deciding grains are just fine when they are decidedly out of vogue. It can be the willingness to try going grain-free and assessing the process beyond weight loss.
Health can be giving up a way of eating, even if you lose weight while doing it, even if you get compliments, because it leaves you feeling hungry and dissatisfied.
Health can be losing weight, but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:
Losing weight is not one and the same as getting healthy.
Getting healthy might feel bad, then good, then bad, then good. Because getting healthy, like really healthy in all aspects of your life, is about confronting things, time and time again, getting super deep with yourself, and getting real. It’s uncomfortable. It’s hard. And then it feels really really fun. Like being your own best friend.
Listening to your body is getting healthy.
Gaining integrity is getting healthy.
Giving yourself more credit is getting healthy.
Doing the work to figure out the roots of fears and compulsions around food, exercise, and your body image- that is super fucking healthy.
So do it. Get healthy. Because you deserve health.
We all do.