F&%$ the Word Healthy: 5 things to say instead
Ok seriously what does the word healthy even mean?
When I looked up the definition it states that
1. Free from disease
2. Showing physical, emotional, mental well being.
3. Beneficial to one's physical, emotional, or mental state.
Of all these descriptions I think I love #3 the best. Beneficial to one's physical, emotional or mental state. This is amazing there are so many things that can fit into this category.
Please take note: None and I mean not one of these definitions defines a type of food, or a type of diet. Wait what? Here is my soap box about food and the word "healthy". Foods that are brightly colored, fresh, whole, require preparation, and refrigeration or foods that spoil are not "healthy" foods.
They are just "F"ing food people!
They are what we are meant to be eating. We need to eat the rainbow, and eat fresh foods that provide our bodies with fluid, minerals, vitamins, fats, protein and yes even carbs (gasp).
We are supposed to eat real food without 10 ingredients. We are supposed to eat foods that we prepare, and that can spoil. This does not mean you are getting "healthy" It means you are eating real food that can nourish your body.
Thank you for joining the team! Now here are my other thoughts on the excessively used word "healthy"
So what is my issue with the word healthy? It has become this bastardized version of itself. Everyone that is on a diet, or starting a new fitness plan starts telling everyone they are getting "healthy". When you ask people what they eat in a regular day they say things like "well I eat pretty healthy". When asked to describe what that means they cannot.
Many people can't even provide a definition of the word. The word is used as a verb like it is something we are "doing" to ourselves.
"I'm getting healthy"
"I'm eating healthy" (this is often said like someone is punishing you personally or poking your eyes out with a hot poker)
I rarely hear things like "I choose to eat in a way that supports my physical, mental and emotional wellbeing" "I exercise because it helps me continue to be free of disease and pain, while supporting my wellbeing"
ok maybe that sounds a little pretentious, but seriously why is the word "healthy" synonymous with the idea of deprivation. I mean seriously are you really depriving yourself of cookies? No. Oh and how much time do you really need in a day to catch up on Netflix?
Obtaining health or including activities that promote health is not only about what you are doing, and how you are eating, but the mindset you choose to have about your self and your wellness. It takes reviewing your goals, and letting them be a driving force in your actions. It is about being clear with your self and your friends or family on what is important to you and letting them know that if they love you they will support you not sabotage you.
Change is hard and using the word healthy like it is a four letter word doesn't help you include actions that promote health it will only give you something to resent.
If you are making changes to your lifestyle, fitness or eating try these statements instead.
- No thank you (this works when people offer you foods you might be trying to avoid including sugar, alcohol and processed crap).
- I am only eating things that make me feel my best right now
- I am working with a group to improve my overall wellness, you should join us.
- I have been working on increasing my activity to support mental and physical health including weight loss.
- None for me, thanks, I packed an amazing meal from home today! (this works when the breakroom has yet another potluck in it).
I personally use No thank you often. I don't go into the fact that I cannot eat gluten or dairy unless people want to explore that. I just say No thanks and guess what it isn't like crack, most people leave well enough alone. On the other had when it comes to nurses and chocolate you might need to say something like. Well that makes me feel crappy and I am eating to promote wellness right now. No sugar for me thanks.
So good luck, get after it and change your mindset around the word healthy. If you want to change own it and find a coach, or a support team to help you. Find a system that works for you. Start small and ease into change. Add in a walk, get rid of sugar and alcohol, find your tribe trust me they are out there.