Elusive Health

It’s a new year, the time when many people turn their thoughts and energy towards weight loss and getting healthy.  It’s got me thinking a lot about what health really is.

When I graduated high school eons ago, I was 5’2″ tall and weighed 99 pounds.  I was co-valedictorian (not such a big deal when you know my class was only 23 people), and in my entire school career thus far, the only B I had ever received on a report card was in sixth grade math.  I was known to be trustworthy and never got in trouble.  Seriously, never.

Now, in case you think I’m bragging, I say all that to say most people would’ve looked at me and said, “She’s healthy.”  I was a good student, responsible, dependable, and obviously, not overweight, a sure sign of unhealthiness, right?  But in reality, I was thin because I was embarrassed to eat in front of people.  I was sure if people saw me eating, they would be talking about why that fat girl needed more food.  Alone, though, I would eat as much of anything I could get my hands on to stop the intense huger pains and headaches that accompany food deprivation.  And that obedience and dependability schtick?  A cover up for low self-esteem.  My rationale was that if I did and said what people wanted, they would like me.

So was I healthy?  I guess it depends on your definition of health.  If health means the absence of illness, then, yes, I was healthy.  I was, and still am, rarely physically sick.  If healthy means a thin profile, then I fit the bill of health.  But if health means seeing the truth about yourself, accepting what you can’t change, and learning non-harmful ways to change the things you can, then, no.  I was anything but healthy.

All these years later, I realize I’m still in search of my healthy.  As I’ve been contemplating what being healthy really means, I don’t think I fully know, despite a career in healthcare.  I think healthy involves exercise and good nutrition, for sure.  But health is more than that.  It’s a lifestyle, a way of thinking, a pattern of decision making, a journey of self-awareness, and a spiritual quest to know God that looks a bit differently for everyone.  I’m finding that healthy is more than 30 minutes on the elliptical and 8 glasses of water everyday.  And I’m starting to realize that finding my healthy will be a lifelong process.

What about you?  What does being healthy mean to you?


Author: Juanita

Thanks for dropping in! I'm Juanita. People tell me I don't look like a Juanita since I'm red headed and freckled with super pale skin, but what's in a name, right? I'm a 40-something, single (as in no kids, never been married) gal from Oklahoma. I'm a nurse and most importantly, a follower of Jesus. I love chocolate, am scared of heights, and petrified of snakes. After my fortieth birthday and coming to grips with the fact that I was obese, I discovered I'm a runner and a CrossFitter, and that there's a whole lot of life left to live. I just had to get past the fat, stare down the fear, and realize that 40 is not too old for new beginnings. So this is the story of my struggles and adventures in the quest to live a healthy life in mind, body, and soul.

2 thoughts on “Elusive Health”

  1. I loved this entry too. I have a feeling that I’m going to love everything you write. This could be a book easily. Just putting that out there. 🙂 Now to address your question; healthy to me is complicated. It involves many things. Spiritual, mental, and physical are my three categories of health and each category has it’s own criteria in order to be healthy. For spiritual, I want to Love God the best I can by showing others love, by seeking God’s will for my life, and praising God as much as possible because He deserves all the glory and honor. For mental, I want to be happy. But to be happy is a whole other category. I also want to overcome anxiety and depression. Managing my mental state and being able to function in society or at work without getting too overly anxious would be healthy for me. Physically, I’m feel like I’m 3-5 years behind the kind of healthy I’m supposed to be. I think it’s important to eat good, stay active, and get regular checkups with your doctors to monitor your overall physical health. Then take the doctor’s advice for once because I need to. I would be physically healthy if I listened to my doctors. Instead I’m 175 lb and 5’3″ with chronic lower back pain. Losing weight would be very healthy for me to do. I just need …… Will power and persistence to do so. If I was healthy in all categories would I be happy? I really hope so. Alot of happiness for me has to do with spiritual and mental well-being and I struggle with both. So being healthy is quite the challenge, at least for me it is.

    1. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head! Health encompasses so many aspects of our human experience. All the best in your search for health and happiness! I hope I can share something that will be of value to you. 🙂

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