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What does ‘healthy’ actually mean?

what does health mean

Health – what does this mean to you?

I ask because it is subjective.

Maybe you think that ‘clean’ eating is the best way for you to be healthy but if doing so causes you stress and anxiety, then is it really?

And what about calorie counting, cutting carbs, 5:2 or juice cleanses?  If they mean you can’t enjoy a meal with your family or that you have to think too hard then are they really working?

If you only feel good when ‘on plan’ and then think ‘screw it’ when you fall off, what is this doing to your self-esteem, motivation, and overall health?

If you have set yourself a goal of running 6 days a week and then ignore your body’s signal for a break because you are terrified of breaking your routine, how is that healthy?

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I tried every trick in the book…

I tried to manipulate my body by:

  • obsessively checking the labels on EVERYTHING in the supermarket – imagine me trying to do that with the Krays (my young boys) these days.
  • limiting carbs to one meal a day.
  • eliminating sugar.
  • quitting alcohol.
  • working out until I felt sick far too often.
  • obsessing about my calorie burn.
  • googling the ‘best’ diets.
  • doing exercise I hate because it was the ‘most effective way to shed fat’.
  • only going to a restaurant that had low calories options.

The list goes on and on!

And none of it made me healthier, quite the opposite in fact.

Not only did I deprive my body of the nutrients it NEEDS, but my mental health also suffered significantly.

I never had fun, I was a bore to be around and I was constantly on edge.

I had no concept of what it was like to relax.

My family had to tread on eggshells because they never knew when I was going to fly off the handle.

Yes, you may well need to drink less, eat more veg and exercise a little more right now.  If all of these things are going to improve your health without compromising your sanity then absolutely implement them!

Many of my clients often do so.

But just make sure that they are coming from the right place.

❎  That you are not doing them because your controlling new diet says you should.

❎  Or you are afraid to eat the foods you love.

❎  Or because you have completely lost trust in your body.

How will you know the difference?

Easy – if it becomes obsessive then you need to let go.  If it takes over every waking moment, it is time to move on.

Prioritise your mental health first and foremost.

Let’s stop dressing diet rules and restriction up as a health pursuit…

For more on how to do this, check out my ‘Healthy Executive’ workshop series here.

Have you ever tried to do something to improve your health that actually compromised it?