The word ‘healthy’ means different things to different people. It could mean one thing to a young lady, and something completely different for a working mum. Regardless of who you are, being healthy does not have one particular definition or set of rules you have to live by. What works for you may not work for another.
What does it mean to be healthy?
Being healthy means that you experience vitality and feel strong, fit, and confident daily. It means being realistic when it comes to food choices, exercise, sleep and work-life balance.
The Pareto principle or 80/20 rule fits well here – eating a balanced diet can be periodically interrupted by an occasional not-so-healthy splurge. It's what you do 80% of the time that makes the BIG difference.
The body is a creature of habit and your daily rituals are what builds vitality. Healthy habits reinforce your attitude and awareness, so choosing wellness is the first step towards creating a long-term health goal. That could be the hardest part but then it gets easier as the healthy habits become ingrained in your day-to-day routine.
I often talk to people who say they want to clean up their eating, so their game plan is to head to the nearest health food store and stock up on every ‘superfood’ and dietary supplement they can find.
Being healthy doesn’t always have to be expensive.
The concept of ‘healthy eating’ can often lead to the dilemma of having to pay a lot of money for foods that you may not like or that you’re not sure how to use. I once spoke to a woman who threw out everything in her cupboard and fridge then spent $500 on new ‘healthy’ foods which then sent her into a flap because she lasted only four days on her new regime. This is why it’s important to make positive changes slowly over time so that they’re integrated into a habit rather than a short-term fad.
Health on a budget
While I encourage everyone to experiment and try new things, I want to let you know that it’s possible to eat healthy on a budget, with foods from your neighbourhood grocery and farmers market. The trick is to keep it simple! A plate of fresh fruit and yoghurt with perhaps some nuts sprinkled on top is just as beneficial as a nourishing smoothie bowl.
Being healthy doesn't also mean you have to spend on the latest yoga clothes, superfoods, gym memberships or juicers. Being healthy means that you simply make healthy choices such as:
- Planning your menu to include some healthy and satisfying meal ideas
- Exercising in the great outdoors
- Going out and experiencing life
- Getting a good night’s sleep
- Being mindful and choosing stress management over worrying
- Showing yourself love and compassion
- Nurturing healthy relationships
Beyond food and exercise
Being healthy also means that you feel motivated and inspired to keep searching for better ways to improve the definition of ‘healthy’ as it sits with you! Adding a little more to your daily routine or removing things that aren't working will get you there in the end. For instance, why keep drinking green juice with spinach if you detest it? Take the spinach out and add some extra celery. Make it work for you!
"Good health is my superannuation fund."
This is a great quote that practically sums up everything! Being healthy is a mindset that you continue to re-evaluate and redefine. There’s no such thing as perfection – health is a constantly moving target and creating wellness is key.