What is your version of “healthy”

by Sara on February 10, 2012

I came across an interesting discussion the other night, while reading through one of my favorite wedding forum’s fitness boards.  While the original poster was inquiring as to the different ways readers went about loosing weight, a bit of a debate came up as to what “eating healthy” really means since it is so subjective a term.  Whether you are eating healthy, or being healthy, can enitrely depend on your lifestyle and beliefs.  Vegans believe not eating any animal products is healthy, whereas if you eat Paleo, your main focus is (animal) protein.  Some people think that being thin means being healthy, but there are plenty of unhealthy ways to get thin, and plenty of people who are naturally slim and have healthy issues.

Plain and simple, according to Merriam-Webster, Healthy: enjoying health and vigor of body, mind, or spirit : well.  Health: the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit;especially : freedom from physical disease or pain.

Healthy, to me, is providing your body with the most nutrient dense foods, and avoiding a lot of processed empty calories.  It’s making small changes that last a lifetime and turn into a lifestyle instead of going on a crash diet or an extreme eating plan.  I don’t count calories but I am very aware of when my body is satisfied from food and don’t over feed myself.  It means exercising regularly, because that is when my mind and body feel the best.  It’s not about loosing my winter weight to fit into a swimsuit, it’s not about looking good in my wedding dress, but about a consistency.  I refuse to deprive myself of something if I really want it, but at the same time I feel like I eat a pretty well balanced diet.

But what is a diet really? I was discussing this same idea with a friend of mine recently.  She recently had changed up her eating habits, and when co-workers noticed she was eating differently they made the comment, “but you don’t need to be on a diet”.  Keep in mind she wasn’t actively trying to loose weight, or restrict her calorie intake, but was adding more nutrient dense foods, like lean meats and vegetables.   If you want to get technical, diet is not only reducing your calories to loose weight, it is “habitual nourishment” or “food and drink regularly provided or consumed” (again, according to Merriam-Webster).  A diet is the food you eat, for whatever reason you decide to eat it.  Do I consider myself “on a diet?”, of course not. But do I regularly eat a lot of fruits and veggies, and limit my fat and sugar? Yes I do.  If all you ate every day was pizza and soda you would be on a diet too, a bad diet.  If people choose to consume foods that are good for their bodies, why are they instantly judged as “being on a diet”?  I have had co-workers (not many and not often, but a few) say the very same thing to me. “You don’t need to be on a diet”, and I wish I could tell them, how do you think I say this size in the first place?.

I’m no doctor, and I’m no dietitian, but in my opinion there are many ways to be healthy and happy and enjoy life.  The fact of the matter is there are so many options out there and different things work for different people.

So what is your version of healthy?  Do you consider yourself “on a diet”?

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Dana February 10, 2012 at 10:03 pm

I love this post – and it may have inspired a post for my own blog. 🙂 My fiance and I have recently started eating much healthier, mostly because we’ve made a commitment to improving our long term health. I’ve noticed that co-workers and others who see me eating salads and heatlhy snacks will always remark that I shouldn’t dieting and don’t need to lose weight – and, when I try to explain that I’m just eating healthier, they think that I’m only saying that because I don’t want to admit I’m “dieting” before my wedding!

I came across the link for your blog on WeddingBee – I’m looking forward to reading more!

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