These two concepts are so intertwined that it’s very easy to think that they are the same thing. If you’re healthy you’re well and if you’re well you’re healthy.
That can be true but it can also be a lie and so many of us are busy chasing healthy that we often forget about the wellness. I know I did.
Healthy is eating the “cleanest” or “best” food available even if you don’t enjoy it.
Wellness is eating in a way that you can sustain and brings you joy AND good health.
Healthy is slogging through another draining workout even though you hate it because it’s what you have to do to in order to be healthy.
Wellness is finding the movement that your body loves and makes you feel full of energy and allows you to do what you want the most.
Healthy is ignoring the voice in the back of your head that is telling you you’re miserable doing this even though it’s “what’s best for your health”.
Wellness is honoring all of your thoughts and feelings and making a change in order to not only be the healthiest you but the happiest you.
Health is so personal and we all have different versions of it. What looks healthy for me won’t necessarily look healthy for you. It’s important to find your healthy though so you can also find your wellness.
And don’t forsake your wellness in a dogged pursuit of health.
Your body will let you know what works and what doesn’t, you just have to listen and make adjustments. And it’s ok if what makes you feel your healthiest isn’t what everyone else is doing. You aren’t a failure and you aren’t doing it wrong. This journey is going to be life long and you’ll change and adjust and tweak as you go. Roll with this changes and give yourself what you need in that moment and your health, and wellness will thank you for it.
Food is a complex thing.
On the surface, it’s just fuel to keep our bodies functioning. But we know that it is so much more than that. It is social, it is cultural, it is pleasurable, it is creative, it is tradition, and unfortunately it is sometimes the enemy.
I don’t know exactly when food became such a problem. If you think back to our ancestors, they didn’t really give much thought to food in regards to good or bad food. They knew that they needed to eat and that meant hunting, gathering, and cooking. There weren’t really off-limit foods. There weren’t junk food aisles at their local store, candy bars didn’t surround the cash register tempting them as they waited to pay, and while they had parties and gatherings with special dishes, they enjoyed them and then moved on with their life.
Somewhere along the line, food started to get more troublesome. We started mass producing food and creating products out of things that you wouldn’t necessarily find in a home kitchen. We moved away from making our own meals and started relying heavily on other sources like restaurants or meal services to provide. Diets started emerging each promising to fix all our myriad of health problems. All of these things combined has led to huge amounts of confusion when it comes to what food we should eat.
I have been there with the thousands of Americans who have no clue what is healthy and what isn’t. It’s hard when you have advertising for all of these products claiming to be healthy when in fact they aren’t any better than the junk food we know isn’t good for us. I’ve done my fair share of diets and cleanses and fasts and made food out to be the enemy of all my weight problems. Don’t get me wrong, food is a huge part of being healthy even more so than exercise. But it doesn’t need to be a complicated headache.
When things finally started clicking for me it was when I simplified my food. I stopped buying food in packages and that had commercials and marketing campaigns. I started using more fruits and vegetables and making all my meals. I learned how to cook and make things taste good without store bought sauces or dressings. I tried to stop stressing out over food and feed my body what it needs.
It’s an ongoing process. I still have times where I have a rocky relationship with food and I have to remind myself to simplify. Food doesn’t need to be a huge stress in your life. It will take some work to change the way you view and eat food, but it can go back to being pleasurable, social, cultural, and traditional instead of the enemy. Eat simply and if you have to wonder about a certain food then you probably don’t need it.
Simple is where it’s at.