Y’all, it’s hard to be nice to yourself.
The other night, I was sitting down to eat my delicious homemade tacos with chicken, beans, and lettuce on a tortilla, and in the midst of the meal I thought to myself, “You know, if I were really being healthy, I would have made these on lettuce shells instead of tortillas….”
NO. Kim, stop. You made yourself a nice healthy dinner (after a healthy breakfast and lunch!). You ate what your body wanted. You are being healthy enough.
How many times a day do you think to yourself, “You know, if I were really being healthy…” and fill in the blank? I know it happens so many times a day for me.
You know, if I were really being healthy, I would get up at 5:30 am and take Charm for a walk before my 6 am workout class…and do some yoga when I get home from work.
You know, if I were really being healthy, I wouldn’t have this cookie.
You know, if I were really being healthy, I would be reading a book instead of Instagram. Or watching Netflix.
You know, if I were really being healthy, I would have made it to 10,000 steps today.
You know, if I were really being healthy, I would be eating brown rice instead of white rice. Or quinoa instead. Or no grains at all.
You know, if I were really being healthy, I wouldn’t be getting migraines.
There are some things that are out of your control: a busy day, the food offered at a lunch meeting, chronic diseases. It’s been very challenging for me to process all the articles out there about people who have “fixed” themselves with their diet, or with exercise, or some other non-medical solution. And it makes me feel like I should be able to fix myself this way too. So I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that maybe my migraines are just the way my body is made and I should focus instead on how to work with my body in its current state instead of trying to change it. I need to thrive how I am, not change who I am.
In this world of oversharing and instant experts, there are tons of different opinions out there on what’s the most healthy. And you know what? There’s no one right opinion. The right opinion is the one that works for you. Some days, you really need that cookie and it feeds more than your stomach – it feeds your soul too. Some days, you really need to work out to work off the stress of the day…but other days, you may be exhausted and what you need more than anything is to sleep an extra hour. Many people take pride in doing it all: working out and working a long day and taking care of the dog or the kids or the house and making a healthy dinner and reading that book, and when you think about it, there are only so many hours in the day. It’s taken me a very long time to realize that what’s healthy for me changes slightly each day.
A few constants for me are getting enough sleep (usually between 7.5 and 9 hours a night, depending on the night – I definitely prefer to sleep in 90 minute increments and totally agree with the research behind this calculator!), eating food as fuel for my body, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, and moving my body at least once a day. Feeling rested and empowered make me feel my healthiest, and that’s what I need to strive for. For me, healthy is a choice I constantly need to keep making, and I need to be proud of the progress I’ve made.