How to Be a Healthy Person

I’m surprised by how often I hear the words, “I hate them” in response to seeing a fit, healthy person.  It’s not that I don’t understand the feeling -- it’s so much easier to resent others who have the lives we want than to actually try to emulate them.  Also some people are afraid that healthy individuals are judging them secretly, so they avoid making friends with these fit folk.  Which is also just as sad because the majority of them can identify with being on the other side of health and fitness and can be an amazing source of inspiration and encouragement.

When I was overweight and unhealthy, I felt like thin healthy people were like a different species.  Like they must not really be human to look that good.  When I began my fitness journey and started losing the weight and getting compliments, I made the connection. It’s not impossible!  It’s within reach!  And...shocking, I know...it’s FUN! 

So instead of judging these healthy people or isolating ourselves from them, take a moment to study what they do.  What does it take to be healthy?

  1. Healthy people make health a lifestyle.  If you eat healthy only as a reaction to bingeing the day before, that’s never going to move you in the right direction.  Many small positive changes add up and create a lifestyle of health.  Start with something you are totally committed to doing (like drinking more water, skipping dessert, walking for 30 minutes a day) and DO it.  Then choose another -- you’ll find it becomes thrilling and fun!
  2. Healthy people shop smarter.  If it goes in the cart, it goes in the body.  You’ve heard the term “shop the perimeter” and there’s a good reason for it.  Nutrient dense, living foods should be the first things you choose.  If you’re not certain how to prepare the produce you see, there are plenty of resources out there to give you inspiration.  I often tell people who say “I hate tofu” that they just haven’t been making it right!   
  3. Healthy people plan ahead.  The best way to avoid temptation is to prepare for it.  If there’s an event coming up, plan ahead mentally and practically by bringing your own healthier food alternatives.
  4. Healthy people get moving.  Exercise should be part of your day, not a chore.  If you find yourself dislking your current form of exercise, then choose another form of movement that you DO enjoy, like dancing, walking, riding your bike, swimming, the list is endless. 
  5. Healthy people love life!  They don’t get sick as often, they have more energy, their clothes fit better, they are more flexible, and they know what real food is supposed to taste like.  What is there not to love? 

Sure, it means sacrifice in the beginning.  But I have to laugh every time I see a post on Pinterest about sad vegans eating lettuce.  Because all I’ve sacrificed is illness and feeling tired and depressed all the time.  I see food for what it is now -- fuel.  Once you make the connection between what you eat and how you feel, it’s really quite simple to make the switch to food that makes you feel alive and energetic. 

So the next time you see a healthy person and are tempted to resent them, introduce yourself and ask them their story.  You might be surprised at how similar it is to your own. 

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