I think the term ‘healthy’ is overused. It’s relative, so no one knows what it means.
How many of you would describe yourself as a ‘healthy?’ What does that even mean? Some consider only eating McDonalds once a week ‘healthy’. Others consider doing yoga once a week ‘healthy.’ It’s relative.
When I was struggling with my weight and frustrated I would complain to family or friends, and say something like “I don’t know why I keep gaining weight I’m pretty healthy.” What does ‘healthy’ even mean?
It’s confusing. We are given conflicting information from the FDA, documentaries, news reports, and corporations. I don’t even think that they really know! It has become nearly impossible to discern the truth. One would think that we would be able to trust the words of our doctor who has had over ten years of schooling for advice regarding healthy living. However, according to a study done by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an estimated 50-80 percent of chronic diseases are partly affected by nutrition, and over 70% of medical schools do not require at least 25 hours of nutrition education.
Friends and family it seems we must rely on ourselves to determine what ‘healthy’ means for ourselves and our families.
I believe that we should take care of ourselves spiritually, physically, and mentally. The balance of these I will refer to as ‘wellness.’ Sounds a lot better, right?
That’s why I’m compiling a list of 5 simple steps to help you create wellness habits for YOU.
5 Steps to Creating Wellness Habits
Step 1: Start with what you know
What do we know is bad for us? Fast food? Crisco? Everyone has a baseline of knowledge, use it as a starting point to make small positive changes in your life. Remember, baby steps. Did you know that 92% of people with New Years Resolutions fail? Why? Well, eventually striving to lose 50lbs, get out of $20,000 debt, and meditate every day becomes overwhelming. Start small with 1 habit such as eating a salad with every meal or walking 30 minutes a day. By making specific and attainable goals you will be able to ensure that you achieve them.
Step 2: Define what ‘wellness’ means to you and your family
As discussed earlier,’ ‘wellness’ means something different to everyone. It’s relative. Does ‘wellness’ to you mean you are drinking a glass of water with every meal? Getting 8 hours of sleep? Going to therapy once a month? Sometimes its best to think about the life that you want to live, and use it as a starting point to build a plan.
For example, I want to be able to play hide and seek with my grandchildren one day. Well, in order to achieve that goal, what can I start doing today?
Step 3: Apply it!
Don’t let the knowledge you have go away. Knowingly giving our bodies food with little nourishment is worst than ignorantly consuming it. I’m not trying to shame anyone into never having Fruit Loops again. However, eating Fruit Loops every morning knowing that over 40% of it is made of sugar, one of the leading causes of obesity is absurd. Moderation is important.
Step 4: Continous Learning
Continue to learn and refine your definition of ‘wellness.’ Today, more than ever we constantly have a plethora of knowledge at our finger tips. Be open minded to learning and applying what you learn to your life. If reading isn’t your thing, there are dozens of Netflix documentaries such as ‘What the Health’ (I highly recommend it) that one can gain insight from.
Step 5: Live
Don’t become obsessed, but make educated decisions that you believe are best for you and your family. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with information and not take any actions at all. Take realistic baby steps everyday and don’t forget to enjoy life. The main reason most people want to have wellness is so that they can have a quality life, so don’t forget to live.