Why we should abandon the idea that there’s only one meaning of “healthy”

@kayleeperkinsphotography

@kayleeperkinsphotography

The word “healthy” has so many different meanings to so many different people. There is truly no single way to define the term.

There is always a new food guide or workout plan that is released to try to sell being “healthy”. There are thousands of diets that are promoted to help you lose weight or get in shape, like the paleo diet, keto diet, going vegan or vegetarian, or intermittent fasting. These are just some examples of what people try to promote as being “healthy,” and what you need to do in order to eat healthy. This is the same way for exercising. There are so many different exercise programs that all seem to be the best way, like doing fasted cardio, weight training, or yoga. All these different ideas make it difficult for people to choose what to do, because there are so many conflicting methods to becoming “healthy”. That is not what being “healthy” should mean. Each person needs to create their own definition of the word. 

@kayleeperkinsphotography

@kayleeperkinsphotography

If being healthy to you means getting up at 6 a.m. to go for a run or trying to maintain a balanced caloric intake, that’s your call! Everyone’s interests are different, and exercising should be based on what you enjoy doing. There are so many different types of workouts a person can do that are all extremely effective. Maybe you need to go out and find something you excel at like flag football or biking. If you enjoy doing something active, then being physically healthy becomes much easier. Instead of it being a chore,  it becomes a hobby that you like, which helps to keep you motivated.

Each individual is different, so don’t let anyone tell you what being healthy is or isn’t. Not one diet or workout plan is the best for everyone. It’s all about how you feel, and what you want for your own body. Have you met the goal that you set? Do you feel good about yourself? Do you feel comfortable in your own skin? If you can answer yes to any of these questions, you have created your version of healthy.

Healthy should mean feeling good about yourself, whether that be physically or mentally. And the only person you need to prove that to is yourself. The worst possible thing you can do is compare yourself to others. You are truly only competing with yourself. People have different bodies and being “healthy” depends on the person. If you compare yourself to others you are only causing yourself harm.

Aside from being physically healthy, being mentally healthy is just as important. Motivating yourself to keep your eye on the prize, whether that be to keep to your chin up or stop judging yourself so harshly, can help your mental health significantly.  

@kayleeperkinsphotography

@kayleeperkinsphotography

I find that when I am mentally in the right place, being physically active or even just going through my daily routine becomes easier. It’s all about your mindset. Positivity will carry you far. We all go through times where it is hard to keep a good attitude or vision of yourself. If you do not keep track of your mental health, your physical health will deteriorate too. At the end of the day, it’s you against the world.

There are so many tips that are created and shared to promote being “healthy,” but let’s keep it simple. If you set a goal for yourself, you need to be consistent and do what you need to do to attain that goal. Don’t beat yourself up over small failures. That will only demotivate you, drop your confidence and harm your mental health. Being positive with yourself is very beneficial for your overall health and helps you get where you want to be. And last, make sure to listen to your body because it will tell you what it needs. If you are going too hard, you will need to take a break and reevaluate the plan that you are on. Just don’t be afraid to try something new, and do whatever works for you because there is not just one definition of being healthy. Create your own!