Firstly, oh mannn, have I got an amazing recipe for you tomorrow!!! Vegan. Gluten-free. Deliciousness. In a few words. (Phew! Thanks for letting me get that out. Rarely do I justify 3 whole exclamations, but this is very deserving — according to my tastebuds…) But today’s post is awesome(sauce) too… I am already eager to read your answers to my question at the end ; )
As I’ve said before, I used to have a completely mistaken attitude toward fitness and health: I thought a photoshopped fake model on the cover of a magazine was my standard. If I looked like that, I was “healthy.” Automatically.
…I know, I needed a moment to stop laughing too. Ah, one of the many erroneous thought patterns of my youth…
If you want to see just how ridiculous photoshopping has gotten…
Note: Here is an awesome resource that actually offers suggestions and opportunities for being proactive about this issue.
Anyway, I finally reached a point where I could rationally consider what it meant to be healthy for me, and as I age (not that I’m old, ha), I realize a little more each year that health is so much deeper, and so much more, than what we’re told it is (see above photoshop-esque nonsense projections)… My health is my body, but also my mind. It is how I interact with everything and everyone around me. It is how I approach life. It is the strength inside and outside complementing one another.
Now that I’ve gained perspective, I find it helpful to have standards “reaching-points” for (holistic, not just physical) health. They develop and change over time with me, and keep me growing, without obsessing. It helps me to reflect on what health is and means to me!
Here are some of my reaching points right now:
This is the most appropriate “reach” photo I had…
- Smile and laugh readily and freely.
- Be thoroughly honest with myself, and others, even when it is awkward or difficult. (If you know me, you know this is almost a fault now ; )
- Be able to hike a mountain whenever the mood and weather occur.
- Be thankful.
- Be generous in thoughts, words, and deeds ( = empathy)
- Be able to walk comfortably to the market and carry back our ludicrous amount of produce.
- Be able to lift someone up if they are injured/need assistance.
- This actually really paid off over Christmas break when my Grandma fell, and could no longer hold herself up…
- Feel awesome in my clothes. (= confidence)
- Feel awesome naked.
- Yes. Naked. I change with modesty — but not shame anymore — in locker rooms. Bam.
- Be patient with myself.
- Keep reading, learning, discussing.
- Be encouraging.
- Go up all the stairs I use frequently without losing my breath.
- Be able to do crow.
- Buy only unprocessed foods. (This is real, and doable.)
- Buy local and organic as much as possible.
- Oppress others as little as possible in my lifestyle choices.
- Try hard not to buy anything new, unless it is an absolute necessity.
- Take care of those around me as well as I am able.
- Cook all our meals, 99% of the time.
- Be able to protect myself if necessary.
- Assume the best about everyone; be merciful without hesitation. (We all have our moments!)
- Use non-toxic, natural products, preferably homemade.
- Do interval cardio sessions that leave me sweating.
- Be able to do chaturanga for a good length of time… This lets me know that I can support myself, which is important to me on a variety of levels, both physical and metaphorical.
- Strength training using weights.
- Since I started this three years ago, I am in awe of the transformation of my confidence, my stamina, my metabolism, and my….well, strength! I faced something I was deeply afraid of and totally kicked it in the facehole. This obviously helps me with so many practical things. Significantly, though, I am not afraid of the gym, or weights, or my own strength anymore. At. All.
These are just a few random selections, and they will surely transform into new reaching points. As you can tell, it’s important to me that my healthy lifestyle extends beyond myself. That is something I will be working on until the day I die, but I still celebrate when there is growth there! : ) I know that I am proud of where I’ve come, and where I’m headed. It’s not about competition. It’s not about comparison. It’s about inspiration, and growing because I can. I will keep my reaching realistic, but also challenging. I liken it to the yoga rule of stretching – reaching just to the point of discomfort, but not pain, so that I get better without hurting my progress.
Now the real question: What about you? What are some of your reaching points?
I can’t wait to read them!