I am really curious to know what YOUR definition of physical health is.
For many years health to me was based on external metrics only.
I was way more interested in the number on the scale, how flat my stomach looked and most importantly… the size of my jeans!
Those were the things that defined and indicated to me “My good health.” When I allowed these misconceptions to become realities in my life I suffered greatly mentally and physically!
It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with cervical cancer back in 2012 that made me think different about what physical health was and the approach, I would take to reach it.
Understand this…health is not a diet!
Although good eating habits are essential to our physical health, as well as exercise… I want to take it a step further! Over the past several years on my own personal journey… I have discovered this… “
Health is a lifestyle that positions you for long-term success!”
The first misconception about health that I want to talk about is: HAVING THE PERFECT SIZE OR SHAPE:
The perfect size or shape of what we should look like is many times a subjective picture or mental image of one’s own body. So right off the bat… there can’t be a “perfect” size or shape because we all have a different picture or image in our minds of what perfect is and how it should look! We spend most of our lives creating in our thoughts the “perfect size” and in reality, that doesn’t exist! How can you have “the one perfect body” for a woman who is 5’2” and a woman who is 5’11? It’s just not realistic! What about those who have longer leg lengths and shorter torsos, or shorter torso’s and longer leg length?
Maybe you carry most of your weight in your mid-section, while others like me carry it in our hips and butts! Men and women aspire to biologically impossible ideals. When we have unrealistic expectations of how our body should look… this is when eating disorders can develop, depression kicks in, in fact I read a study and it showed that 1 in 4 people are depressed about their body.
If you are comparing yourself to a model that is 5’11” and you are the 5’2” person and you are trying to achieve their look, you are bound to get really discouraged because your entire body mechanics are not the same, let alone you have no clue what they are doing to themselves to look the way they do! I’m not saying they are all taking unhealthy measures to look a certain way, but you can definitely google story after story where models talk about their journeys and how they have had to starve themselves to almost death in order to get work and be successful in that world.
I also read an article where 1/3 of all women would sacrifice 1 year of their life to achieve the ideal body weight and shape. In addition, I also read a recent survey where girls said, “thepressure to look good was the worst part of being female.” That broke my heart when I read that! The crazy thing is… I get it!
I am not here to put blame or guilt upon you by any means. Everything I speak and teach on I have gone through one way or another! I know first-hand what it is like to be tormented by appearance. I had insecurities for years until I got cancer. My whole life revolved around how I looked and the size of my clothes. I used to be a 100 pounds overweight, I did have an eating disorder, I was a closet eater, an emotional eater. I did all the harmful things to lose weight, never caring what it was doing to my health! All that mattered was that I “had the perfect body” according to the culture’s standard!
Developing a healthy body image happens over time, not overnight! You need to give yourself grace! Because If you are someone who is unhappy with the way you look, for instance, if you are overweight, you got to remember you didn’t get there overnight either. This is a very vulnerable issue. It’s personal, it’s sensitive and it needs to be handled with love, patience and grace but it does need to be handled! “LIFE IS TOO SHORT TOO WASTE TIME HATING YOUR BODY!”
I realize our culture sends negative messages that can fuel dissatisfaction about ourselves. Your image can be influenced by experiences, opinions and feedback from others. I can still remember my father saying to me when I was overweight, “Even a gunny sack would look good on you if you were skinny!” I remember that as if it was yesterday and 5 years ago when I thought about that statement it would sting and cut me like a knife, but since having a whole new outlook on health, if that comes to mind, I just laugh and say… I don’t like gunny sacs anyway and they are way to itchy and I would never wear one!
So how can you change those negative, false aspirations of the “perfect body” into a healthy realistic way of living for lasting transformation?
In my next blog, I’ll talk about 4 steps you can take towards having a “healthy” approach to your physical health.
I promise, it’s not as difficult as it may seem. But it will require you to look at your physical health in a different way.