It shouldn’t be this difficult, to get healthy. Not to mention to love health.
I had this thought nearly one hundred times over the last fifteen years. The belief that health shouldn’t be as hard to achieve as it has become. It felt like some illusive lifestyle that only a few are lucky enough to live. But I stayed in it. Searching and looking for what would be the answer to our problems. A lifestyle that ironically only seemed to add more problems while also stealing every ounce of joy and happiness I had left.
I was tired, angry, and frustrated, creating the perfect storm for me to quit health altogether. But I knew quitting wasn’t the answer either. The pull to be healthy was too strong. I could almost taste it, but I just needed to figure out how to live it without giving up my life altogether.
I was ready to fall in love with health.
To live healthy and happy.
What I hated about health
I knew health existed, just like I knew happiness existed. I just couldn’t seem to get one without losing the other one. Every time I would jump on the bandwagon of health, I started to lose my joy. The repetition of lifestyle practices that seemed to take more time than it gave felt overwhelming.
Likewise, when I opted instead to be happy, I let loose, eating whatever and whenever. In time, this left me feeling less than stellar. I hated the by-product of living happy and what it did to my health, and I hated how striving for health stole my life. It felt like a losing battle, no matter which way you flipped the coin.
You had one option, pick your poison.
And this is what I hated most, that you had to choose what you would sacrifice to achieve. It couldn’t be this way. It shouldn’t be this way. Leaving me with no other option but to figure out how to experience both.
To live coexisting in health and happiness.
A New Approach To Love Health
If you begin to erase the perceived idea of what it means to be healthy and happy, I think we can start to piece together the puzzle about how to exist in both. Honestly, I think the only way to achieve either is by experiencing both of them simultaneously. They go hand in hand.
It’s wildly different from the traditional health approach and yet so similar that we easily miss it. But I don’t want you to miss it because if you do, you miss living.
The only way to achieve health is to love yourself there. As the saying goes, no one in the history of the world has ever hated themself healthy (or happy).
Perhaps, it’s love that makes this so elusive to begin with. Because we have a terrible view, a small picture, or a worldly view of what it means to love. Defining love down to a conditional idea. Like boxing it up into a size on the scale or what size number is sewn into the waistband of your pants.
We miss it chasing an idea of a place we think will bring us what we want instead of learning how to create what we want. It’s the difference between consuming and creating.
Creating Health vs. Consuming Health
Consuming health is based on the idea that your body is a problem to be ‘fixed.’ It’s the idea that health is to be achieved. You attach your body to how you feel (your health) to your desire. Believing that if you can fix your outer shell, you can somehow fix the problems within you. Leaving you to consume a lot of external ideas, foods, and programs – believing that is the answer you need.
Consuming health looks like:
- Following all of the latest diet programs
- Perfectly implementing them into your life
- Micromanaging your diet and exercise programs
- Eating to change your body
- Eating because life is stressful, and you need it to help mask what you’re feeling
- Living for the trends
- Looking outside of you for the answer to your problems
- Fixating on the external outcome and solutions (body focus)
Creating health is an action. It’s how you live out health. Creating health is understanding it’s not what happens to you but what you choose to do regardless of what happens to you. It’s the foundation of forward movement, building out the life you desire.
Creating health looks like:
- The internal awareness of how you feel
- Eating to support your body, not to change it
- Focus on habit formation over goal setting
- Connecting your mind to your body, paying attention to what you think
- Fostering soul care
- Shifting your focus to your internal health and well being
- Taking your power back, living based on how you want to feel, not on how you feel
We’ve gotten really good at being consumers of the world. But consuming does not create the lasting impact that creation does. It’s temporary, making you feel good momentarily, but long term, the only way you’ll achieve and love what you achieve is if you find purpose in the creation of it.
That’s how you fall back in love with health, by choosing to create it.
You might not like where you are starting from. In fact, you might hate it. But you have to find grace to be here by knowing you don’t have to stay here. There is a way forward. That way is through creating health in the everyday. The only way it will ever stick long-term or be worth it, is if you can find joy in the process of it. You create your version of health every day, maybe it’s time to go back to the vision board and build a new vision.
5 Ways To Love Health
01: Create a Vision of Health You Like
If you don’t like it, you won’t stick to it. And even if you do stick to it, your body won’t respond accordingly. Think back to the last workout you did that you absolutely hated. How did it go for you? Most likely, it was miserable. It might have even left you tired and hangry for the rest of the day. Leading me to ask you, do you really think it was helping?
Just because someone classified it as healthy at one point in history does not mean it’s healthy for you. You must pay attention to what your body needs more than what the world tells you it needs.
If you hate your life and health, like I did, go back to the drawing board. Get to know the vision you’ve set for where you want to go, and then question, is this really how I want to live? Ask yourself, what is your idea of health (even if it’s faulty).
Build a new vision. Instead of dreaming up your ideal healthy life, dream up your ideal happy life and use that to understand how you could support it with healthy practices. Start with what’s most important, and the critical elements, like health, will fall in line.
02: Choose What You Experience
We give a lot of our power away to other things and people. We even give it away to things with no power, like food. In my pursuit of loving health, I realized how much power I gave to external things to determine how I felt. But none of those things, at least not earthly things, ever provided what I was looking for. That’s because no one is responsible for your happiness but you. And nothing on this earth can change it if you don’t choose to create it.
A better workout, a new relationship, more financial security, or a skinnier waste carries the power to change your happiness. It might temporarily change it, like going on a vacation. But at our core, only choosing to create happiness and live it can produce it. A concept that proves health is way more spiritual than anything else.
Every day you get to choose. What you choose becomes what you experience.
03: Don’t Neglect Your Mind and Soul
I missed health, staying stuck on the surface, and living for my external appearance. Of course, I understood what I ate was dictating more than how I looked but also how I felt. But I had missed the impact my thoughts and spiritual life had on my health. I had separated them out, misunderstanding how deeply connected the three are.
Think of health like a lightbulb. It doesn’t glow without the proper connection and the energy that travels through this. Your life is similar. The only way for you to truly shine and live your life to the fullest is through the connection of the mind, body, and soul and the energy that flows through all three.
You can’t have a healthy body without a healthy mind, and you can’t have a healthy mind without a healthy soul. It’s the foundation of the three that produces the unwavering healthy life we crave, and it’s this foundation that requires support.
Pay attention to what you feed your mind and soul. It matters more than what you eat.
04: You Can Learn to Love the Same Life that Brought You Pain
I sat with my husband in a bougie boutique hotel over an expensive breakfast, telling him how much I hated my life. As soon as I said it, I knew how it appeared, like a privileged brat. But it didn’t feel like that at all. It felt like a deep sense of brokenness.
I wanted to love my life, but the way I felt called to move forward appeared exactly like the place I had left. The place I had hated.
Positioning my life in a place that felt impossible to move. I wanted to move forward but didn’t want to return to the same place I had escaped. Leaving me with no other option but to refuse to move.
But God in his goodness reminded me, Just because it looks similar doesn’t mean it’s the same. I didn’t need to escape this life and build a new one like the endless sea of self-help books promised. I just needed to change my perspective and shift my focus away from what I hated and onto what I loved.
Finding happiness in the same place that once brought you pain is possible, and it might be your way forward.
You can find joy in the marriage that feels too difficult to enjoy.
Health can be found in the body that has previously been labeled unhealthy.
You can find happiness staying, more so than running.
It’s here that will produce your happiness if you shift your perspective to see your health and life differently.
05: It won’t always be easy, but it is Simple to love health
The over-complication and confusion of health are perhaps what has made it so difficult to achieve. When things get difficult, they become frustrating, leaving me with one bold assumption: Perhaps the overcomplication of health has prevented you from living it.
Maybe what’s stopped you is simply your wrong view of health, forcing you into a place you hate all because you’re living for the wrong reasons. Summing health up as a means to arrive rather than a way of life.
The truth is that health isn’t difficult. Health is providing what your body needs to thrive. A step that begins with awareness, understanding what your body needs, and providing that. Nothing more and nothing less. And repeating that day in and day out, learning how to ebb and flow with life rather than living fixated on the perfect system.
Perhaps what you can learn to love most about health is celebrating how your health provides the vehicle to experience life. The miraculous feat your body has accomplished to get you to this point in life. Cherish that. Respect it and provide the space for it to do the job it was designed to do.
Let health be simple.
What it means To Love Health
I don’t want you to get confused, loving health does not always look like ecstatic joy when your alarm goes off in the morning. It doesn’t always look like excitement to eat those cooked veggies. And it certainly isn’t always easy. But at the root, it becomes simple because love is a way of life more than it is a fleeting idea.
Loving health really means loving yourself because you see yourself for something more. You see yourself as worth it, bought at a price and purposed here for a purpose. You love health because it’s here that you get to experience life with the abundant energy that is already inside of you.
It’s not perfect because perfection is actually a root of hate. But it’s embracing the beauty of imperfection. Choosing to do more of what fills your mind, body, and soul. Loving health means paying attention to what shows you watch, magazines you read, and Instagram accounts you follow, understanding if they’re giving or taking away from your life. Loving health means paying attention to how the relationships in your life influence your life or what habits are helping or hurting you.
It’s not that people, shows, or Instagram accounts hold the power to alter your health unless you give them permission to. But what you’re exposed to, just like food, interacts with your energy, changing how you think, what you believe and how you feel. Choose to fill your mind with what brings you life. If it doesn’t, nix it, delegate it, or learn how to change your perspective of it.
The way to love health is by learning to embrace what fills you, even in the places you once hated.
Want to take things to the next level? To build a life you love and live it in health?