‘Healthy’ is such a relative term. For a sufferer of a chronic illness, healthy means being cured of their ailment. For someone who is overweight, it means shedding a few kilos or being happy in their skin. Being healthy depends on your own point of view and that changes the way you strive to become more healthy or manage your already-healthy lifestyle.
By Jana du Plessis
It’s easy to identify someone close to you – a friend, family member or work colleague – who lives a healthy, balanced life in a way that makes you believe they have the whole healthy thing all figured out. You scrutinise their food choices, eating habits and gym regime in the hope of glimpsing the secret to their success. It may seem that following their principles will lead to you being the same sort of healthy, but don’t forget to calculate your own goals into the equation. What are their goals? Do they practise a sport that needs a strict training program and nutrient guidelines? Or do they aim to enjoy food and life in as simple and wholesome a fashion as possible? If your goals are not the same, you cannot expect the same results.
Make a plan
Before you throw out the pantry and give your fridge a makeover with unprocessed foods, establish why you want to become more healthy and define your end goal. If it’s losing weight, focus on being more active, eating enough protein and not going crazy on the sweet things. If you want to kick an unhealthy habit like your daily 3 PM chocolate, aim to rather eat a sweet fruit when the craving hits. Once you know what you are working towards, it’s easier to devise a plan and stick to it.
What’s mine is not yours
Each of us view being healthy in a different light. To you, eating low-GI bread, staying away fromrefined sugars and limiting fats may be the rules to eating healthily, while the organic foodie goes nuts with coconut oil and maple syrup – as long as it’s free from chemical ingredients and other unfavourable additives! It is often a slippery slope when it comes to figuring out who is on the more healthy path. Do some research and experiment with different theories, habits and food to learn what healthy living means to you. Just be sure to let other people follow their own personal health journeys along the way.