What is ‘Healthy’?
I’m a health coach at a time when the focus on healthy is at an all-time high. Everywhere I look there are lotions, potions and fixes for an unhealthy lifestyle and attention-grabbing headlines.
All this information has really made me stop and think about what healthy actually means. Do we consider ourselves healthy as long as we’re not ill, unwell, or have been diagnosed with a specific ailment or disease? I don’t think healthy means not ‘being ill’. I talk and work with plenty of people who consider themselves ‘well’ yet spend their spare time recovering from the stress and rush of life, self-medicating with food or alcohol, is that healthy?
I think we should aim for more – I simply don’t think that lifestyle is good enough, we should aim for more, and that’s why investing in your health now is so important – bad health can creep up on you, over a period of time.
I think true health is about feeling well, thriving, being energised, rather than getting through another day or week, or living for the next holiday! We spend our days rushing from pillar to post – from activity to activity. Going through to-do lists that we never get to complete. Compromising on what we eat and the way we eat (on-the-go or at our desks) because we’re just too busy. Because we don’t have time to stop.
But, what are the challenges in changing this trend?
Good habits are hard to find!
Have you ever wondered what would happen if you changed some of your daily habits and replaced them with better ones? Small habits add up to big changes. And yet, bad habits are hard to die. Trying to unlearn or change years (decades, even) of established habits that are deeply ingrained in us can be very challenging. It takes a lot of self-control to stop doing something you’ve been doing for ages.
And it’s undeniable that new habits aren’t easy to build. Rather than focusing on days to create a new habit, I think it largely depends on the habit and (believe it or not), on your personality. Finding the motivation to keep going is hard because when we’re tired, stressed, and feel pressed for time, guess what we revert to? Our habits.
As your coach, part of my role is to work with you to identify what’s achievable (realistically) – that could be large or small, the importance is on achieving so that you start building daily habits that serve you and your body better.
We are under a permanent state of pressure to be ‘healthy’
Every client I work with is different and the end result of what’s healthy for them is different too…. Many have been on the rollercoaster of diets and are now so confused that they don’t know what works for them and feel ‘unfixable’ and suffering from ‘goal fatigue’ (where you make the same goal/ promise over and over). They struggle with:
• What would have the biggest impact?
• What will work quickest?
• Why is that working for other people?
All this does need figuring out, along with motivation and the ‘WHY’ to make a change. And, there is the reason I became a Health Coach. Change doesn’t just happen, it needs planning, time, support and accountability.
The constant pressure to ‘achieve healthy’ is in itself a source of stress. We may decide to go all in and go vegan overnight, just to find out we haven’t really thought this through and can’t sustain it. Or we start exercising and exclude carbs (because we’ve read that’s the answer) and we are so bloody hungry we end up eating our body weight in chocolate eclairs! So often we shoot for the stars, aim for perfection, and try to run before we can walk. And the result? We get demoralised and deflated, and we revert back to what we know. We bury our heads in the sand instead of looking for the right solution. I’ve heard many times – “nothing works for me”.
There is no one-size-fit-all-answer to this, unfortunately. But I believe there is a right answer for everyone. And it’s to stop procrastinating. It’s to make a decision and a commitment to invest in your health.
If that sounds like the way you want to go then get in touch.