50 Shades of Healthy
Reminder to self - “Healthy” is a relative term.
What does the word “healthy” mean, anyway? What does it look like? What does it feel like? What does it taste like?
We are constantly bombarded with images and stories about “health” and “wellness” and “fitness” and other buzzwords. But what does it all MEAN?
I often get caught up in the whirlwind of it all. Am I healthy enough to be a “wellness” blogg
er? Am I fit enough to be a personal trainer?
Most of the time, I don’t think I am.
This past week, my friend asked if she could send me a video of the workout she was doing to see if she was doing it right, or if I had any tips to help her improve. Right away I noticed that she was having trouble balancing because her core wasn’t properly engaged. I told her, and gave her some suggestions on how to improve, and she said it helped. And I thought… maybe I do know what I’m doing?
I am constantly being reminded that “healthy” and “fit” aren’t one size fits all. They aren’t black and white, but infinite shades of gray.
And wherever you are on that spectrum is OKAY!
As I say to my participants in my fitness classes, be where you are today, but work towards tomorrow. Keep choosing to improve yourself. Keep making better choices each and every day.
I was given a harsh reality check on that a couple weeks ago, when my partner Jim said, “look, Jamie, I made myself a healthy meal!”
He held up a bowl of chicken and rice and had a glimpse of pride in his eyes. Jim is not one to show many emotions, so a glimpse is kind of a big deal.
Without missing a beat, I replied: “Where are the veggies?”
The pride vanished from his face and was replaced with annoyance and disappointment. I instantly felt ashamed of myself.
“It’s better than getting Wendy’s or something like I normally would,” he mumbled, and sat down to eat his meal.
I was reminded in that moment of something my dad said to me when I was losing weight and had discovered a new love of soups. “Isn’t that stuff chock-full of sodium?” he said as I dumped a can of minestrone into a microwavable bowl.
He was right. Canned soup does have a ton of sodium. But, it also had a lot of veggies, and it’s better than most of the other quick meals I might have chosen.
The point is, as long as you are making a healthier choice than you did yesterday, you’re on the right track.
My former boss (and current friend and mentor), is one of those incredible humans (but maybe an alien) who has a full time job, two kids, goes to the gym every day, AND makes fresh meals for her family every day. She is also hands down the most organized person I’ve ever met in my entire life. She does a farm-share in the summer, and every weekend she plans out a menu of meals for the next week, then makes a grocery list according to the meals, then does the shopping, then preps whatever needs prepping - all in time for Sunday night dinner.
I am not there yet.
AND THAT IS OKAY!
I don’t plan out my meals in advance. I use frozen veggies most of the time in my cooking because I feel like prepping fresh veggies is too time consuming. I use a lot of pre-made sauces, too. And I still reach for the occasional canned soup for a quick meal. But, I haven’t eaten at a fast food restaurant in years. And I only get take out maybe twice a month. I don’t run marathons or lift weights every week. But I do exercise regularly. I can’t do a pull-up. But I can do a push-up.
I’m doing okay. I’m trying to accept where I am today. And I also want to keep improving and working towards tomorrow.
My partner is at a different stage in his health journey. And that’s okay too. He is making healthier choices every day.
So, wherever you are is OKAY!
Be where you are today, and keep making healthier choices to work towards tomorrow.